IT IS not usual for someone to make a full recovery after three months in a coma and such dramatic events are regarded as miracles. This is even more special if that person was never diagnosed with a specific illness, other than the words, “we don’t know what’s wrong with him, but prepare for anything”.MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS Those were the words uttered to the family of famous KwaZulu-Natal spiritual healer Thulani ‘3 Seconds’ Nkwanyana (46) by doctors at a Durban hospital in 2008. He had fallen sick, with medical staff puzzled by what may have been the problem, but interestingly, all they knew was that he could “die anytime”.BIGGER THINGS IN PLACE And while his family had bought into the medical opinion, fate on the other hand had bigger things in place: things that would later turn him into being an internationally acclaimed healer. “I (eventually) woke up after spending three months in a coma. The night before I woke up, I had visions. I dreamt that I was being shown of places where I could go and seek traditional medicine to help people,” says the 46-year-old healer. Move! spent a day with him in his compound in Empangeni, on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast. The village he resides in looks peaceful, and so admired is 3 Seconds that a few metres before you reach his place, there are road signs pointing to his compound. DRAMATIC RECOVERY His main house is a double-storey building situated in a piece of land that also accommodates six more houses. At least three of the six are rondavels and upon our arrival, scores of people from across the country had crammed his compound to seek healing for various ailments. “I was very sick and I had lost a lot of weight. I didn’t know what was wrong. I was in and out of hospital until one day when the situation got worse,” he recalls. “I had always known that I had a calling but I always ignored it. I think that’s why I got sick. I lost a lot of friends in the process and my life came to a standstill.” But little did 3 Seconds know that his encounter would later make him famous. “I don’t heal for fame. It’s a calling. I need to respect it as that,” he says. “Everybody comes to see me, even white people and people from other countries. My healing powers don’t see colour. The funny part is that, people think I use bones, but I don’t.”SPIRITUAL HEALER But with bones being used by most traditional healers, how does 3 Seconds operate, that has seen his healing attracting international communities? “That’s the problem with most people; they think that I’m a traditional healer but I’m not. I’m a spiritual healer. I look at a person and within seconds, I can tell them their problem and how to solve it. That’s what makes me different from other healers,” he says. It takes him seconds to diagnose a person, but one wonders: could that have been what gave birth to his famous nickname. “Not at all,” he laughs. “I was a boxer before and I was a knockout specialist. I would knock out a guy in seconds and that’s what earned me the name. But I guess even in my calling, it’s still relevant.” The portraits around the walls in his house paint a picture of a once celebrated boxer, and a person who has also earned respect from not just communities, but all sectors of society. Pictures of him with his former boxing trainer Norman Hlabane, the same man behind the success of the great Dingaan Thobela, are among his boxing collection, while a framed picture of him and Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini is also visible. “The king once invited me to his palace in KwaNongoma so he could give me his blessings to heal,” says the married father of five.COMMUNITY BUILDER Next to the entrance to his house is a boxing gym he uses to train young people in his community. He has also recently registered his boxing promotion stable, 3 Seconds Boxing Promotions. This, he says, forms part of his long list of community development projects. His face lights up when he talks about boxing, the actual gift that gave him his first taste of fame. “I train boys here in this gym so they can get off the streets,” he says with pride.RECENT CONTROVERSIES But his fame and love for helping has also created controversies. He was recently accused of using ‘untoward methods’ to help Maskandi star Mroza to become an overnight sensation, after he won the SABC Summer Song of The Year of 2016. “People said all sorts of things about me. But all I did was to give Mroza blessings and motivated him. In the past, I also successfully intervened in the war between Maskandi artists Khuzani and Mthandeni and nobody complained there,” he says.