By Pumza Fihlani
Ms Siswana is one of thousands of young men and women who are balancing the demands of a career with the calling to be a messenger for deceased ancestors, or “amadlozi”.
Sangomas have played a central role in many African cultures dating back many years; they were seen as custodians of their communities and were consulted by villagers to heal the sick, communicate with the gods on their behalf and to protect villages from harm.
They are essentially diviners – a channel between the physical world and the afterlife.
They believe that through a special “calling” known in Zulu as ubizo, they are able to access advice and guidance through possession by an ancestor, throwing bones or by interpreting dreams.
In today’s South Africa, sangomas are often seen as unsophisticated, uneducated and backwards.
Despite this, they remain the first point of contact for physical and psychological ailments for about 80% of black South Africans according to authorities.
Phi Beta Iota: We are quite certain that the next frontier of human intelligence with integrity will be the re-integration of the natural, spiritual, and scientific. It will take a quarter century for humanity to achieve conscilience — the unity of scientific knowledge — while a second track runs parallel, integrating the natural and spiritual knowledge of the indigenous that have kept their integrity over centuries, and the newly integrating scientific. A major challenge for the science track will be the eradication of the massive (60% or better) fraud, waste, and abuse that now characterizes most science, along with the implementation of Open SOurce Everything (OSE) protocols to permit sharing of data across all boundaries in real time. We are at the end of the beginning.