Since the release of Black Panther a lot of Africa has been proud of embracing their heritage and finding more about their roots. Being African goes far beyond growing your natural hair and wearing African print clothes but it dives deep into the investigation of who you are, how far back your family tree goes and how your people lived years ago.
African spirituality was deemed as taboo and any practices of anything Africa has been labeled as unholy by the western communities and westernized churches at large but with the growth popularity of “woke” people, the need to know more has grown.
Introducing to the Dannywired community – we welcome Gogo Lwandle also known as Zintle Mackenzie to many. Gogo Lwandle is an unsuspecting young hard working professional and mother of 2, a sassy new-age sangoma who’s life mission is not only to educate her students but to enlighten the world about spirituality.
I personally met Gogo Lwandle who then at the time was just Zintle 10 years ago. Zintle was full of life and was a free spirit yet had a presence which commanded respect but like many young women, her goal was to secure the bag and snatch her waist. It wasn’t until later in life when just Zintle became Gogo Lwandle.
Gogo Lwandle will be joining us every Tuesday to share stories and educate us about African Spirituality and Spirituality as a whole. We at Dannywired got to know Gogo Lwandle a bit better
Growing up did you ever think you would be a sangoma.
Never LOL ! I mean that world didn’t really exist in my mind. Not that I had any prejudice against it, I saw the weird looking people with a lot of garments , beads and red hair( little did I know I was to be one of them) far and few in-between and they didn’t affect me. Even when my mom underwent the process of intwaso, still to me it was one of those things that happen in life, I guess. If anything, I thought I’d be a priest or marry one ( he he he he he)
People always talk about the calling, how did you know you had a calling?
Honestly, I didn’t really know. I mean for the most part of my life I was within the Christianity channels. Sunday School, girl’s union, youth, youth leader, lay minister. I was told of my gift at lay minister level and it sounded unreal. I wasn’t much of a dreamer nor did I see things. I had just a very strong sixth sense, and when I prayed things happened. My dreams about my calling came so casual , and so were very easy to miss. I think throughout the journey of ubungoma every time you do something that yields results, is reaffirmation of your calling. It has little to do with doubt, just acknowledging that it is unfamiliar territory with different rules and everyday you learn and gain knowledge. That is how one becomes a continuous learner, isangoma – a student of the beat / song. A rhythm not of your own but of those who lead you.
African spirituality is a taboo in most families, how was the conversation between you and your family?
For me the conversations weren’t difficult, as I wasn’t consulting nor seeking approval. I didn’t really advertise it either, I went through life or maybe life went through me and I had to do what I needed to do to get me balanced. The support that mattered was that of my parents and siblings, and they came all out on full force, and to me it was all I could ask for and more. I mean yeah I could do with a supportive husband who would buy me an impersonator ozongihlehlela I dlozi entwasweni ( he he he he he he ). I had my family and that they understood and supported me, every other conversation with family members who would ask “ huh where does that come from, we don’t have that in the family” became secondary. I saw it as I still do, an opportunity to educate those with little knowledge.
When you decided you are going to follow your destiny how did your kids the conversation?
Conversation with my kids neh…that was tough. It was a rough year, such a rough year. In that year, my kids went through so many seasons in a short space of time. So when I had the conversation with them I had to trust they’ll understand that adulting is tough. That the decision to heed the call was for everyone because I represented the old, the current and the coming. Yhoo it was not easy, the most difficult part was making them understand or me more than them that I won’t be with them physically as we know. I have cool kids hey and that I was leaving them with my mom and sisters made it easier. I doubt they understood, I didn’t , I suppose we all just knew it had to be done. They got to understand each time they visited me and witnessed the peace within and so they continue to understand everyday throughout my journey as I grow with them
Dating life and spirituality is complex. How do you balance the two?
Eish !! Lamula baba, relationships and spirituality is tricky. Number one nje people get scared of the beads and chains on you. Two, people don’t like their privacy to be imposed on( big brother house vibes). Three, it can’t just be anyone. Yhooooo mama yhoooooo he he he he he Balancing you say ? Hayi andazi. Every day we learn and we continue ngomzabalazo hehehehe, It’s a mess often times, but we leave in faith of those who lead us.
How different are you now from the Zinhle before the training to be a sangoma?
How different am I from the Zintle before Intwaso ? There’s more of me added unto me, aspects of myself I didn’t know existed.Trust me more of myself in all conducts. I loved wine before and now I really love wine he he he he he he. I am aware of how my actions affect not only me. Fears I had about relationships have multiplied because now there is a lot more things to consider. I can never be ordinary I am extra ordinary; if my sister can call me close to midnight and ask me to check who broke the arm of her Jesus doll LOL ! trust me I got superpowers. I am a little bit saner in my outlook of life. But most importantly I am content in knowing that what I want is not necessarily what is for me. I continue to remind myself every day to be patient with myself, love and accept myself for who I am continually becoming.
What challenges did you come across in your training of being a healer?
My journey was a pleasant one for the most part. I suppose because I wanted to heed the calling for my healing. I gave myself, and maybe just a tad too much ( a story for another day), so I had to die to myself and allow myself to be led. Psychologically that can mess one up. It can never be pleasant not being in the comfort of your own home, sleeping intermittently and getting used to a different diet. My worst nightmare was uku gida …aaiiyyyy Jerusalema, I even got a nickname from u baba calling me robocop, not very nice. Overall, I really believe attitude as your breast plate, determination as your helmet and faith as your sandals gets you everywhere and those were my clothes of armour