We live our lives to the best of our ability in the best way we know how, mainly based on upbringing. Though we grew up being told education is the goose that lays the golden egg, it has very little influence on your being, if you think about really. Yeah it can give you a better life, but does not really change who you are, otherwise there wouldn’t be a saying of “ you can take a person out of the surroundings but can’t take the surroundings out of a person.
In the days of old, our ancestors did not need to go to school to be wise and yet, they are our navigators in life. Does this mean we do not need education ? No, we do because times are different, life has evolved. There you are in your educated suite finding it difficult to balance dlozi culture and life as you know it in all your educatedness, it is then no wonder you’ll find amangoma frustrated and claiming that having the calling feels more like a curse than it is a gift.
Ephehlweni we are not taught how to strike the balance, we are only taught about intwaso, nowhere are you taught about the balance, it is one challenge after the other you need to overcome yourself. Some it swallows and they turn to be people they are not, people they were never meant to be. Some get by, with some days being better than others.
We go into intwaso from a place of struggle, hardships, pains, and unresolved anger. We leave ephehlweni with memories of cold water, limited sleep, and a diet you can’t wait to leave behind. You are introduced to idlozi as this harsh non negotiating force in your life, that dragged you through the fire and continues to demand from you with very little consideration of who you are.
But is it really who our ancestors are? What is the nature of idlozi ? Who’s responsibility is it though to teach us about amadlozi?
Growing up we could never understand nor agree with most of the things we are told to do by our parents – infact, many times you can’t wait to start working and leave the parent’s house. Entering into adulthood we realise that actually, what our parents were trying to teach us are the building blocks to life and we more often than not, practise same with our kids in an effort to instill the same discipline and principles. Why do we do that though, when we swore so many times that we would be the most understanding parents ?
It goes back to doing the best we can in the best way we know how, based on upbringing. Idlozi lakho was once a parent, who was brought up by parents too, now they have you as their child spiritually, do you not think they would practice same with you ? As a parent would you not go out of your way and even practice tough love to get your children better equipped for life ? Would you not punish your child if you found out they bunked school to hang out with a friend? Would you not forbid them from hanging around certain friends because you felt they were not influencing them good ?
iDlozi is a parent with no physical form, meaning they would have to show you and allow you to feel, for you to understand. In your infancy your parents are your heroes because they do everything for you, teenage – your parents are out to ruin your life because they want you to start learning to do things yourself, young adult – your parents are demanding because they want you to learn responsibility and ownership, in your adulthood – your parents are wise because finally you see how capable you are because of them. Those are the exact same stages we follow edlozini.
The challenge we tend to have is to 1. get stuck in a particular stage 2. Make it the responsibility ye dlozi to teach us who are. 3. Self-entitlement. All of these result in missing out on fully evolving to find yourself in the adult stage with wisdom to pass on. You get stuck at a particular stage hindering the process, gosh coming back as idlozi that still needs to be taught about what happens in the adult life, because during your time you didn’t complete your cycle.
In the Anglican church we have the Nicene creed, u Ndiyakholwa that we recite every Sunday before or after the sermon of the day. The ending sentence says “ We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come”. REINCARNATION, EVOLUTION ! Just as when we sing our father who art in heaven “ Let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. I suppose we don’t really say these sentences to hear them, but to just know them for reciting.
Spirit evolves and we are spiritual beings, meaning we are a continually evolving people, dead and alive, or does death even exist, if you think about it. Or is it just a trading of bodies that require replenishing after a certain period which is achieved by “dying “ and being re birthed. We go through reincarnation while on this earth and continue in the afterlife.
In my short dlozi experience, I have learned that;
We take ourselves far more seriously than idlozi actually is – sometimes they really just come out to have an earthly experience but there you are, all stifled and tied up in your dlozi theories . Live, just live be you in your best possible ways.
You are not idlozi lakho – remember idlozi once lived there is a personality there, all u gogo no mkhulu want to do is to equip you, to make you capable. They do it by being them, in the best way they know how. See it for what it is, you do not also have to die too, they then also die again. They live because you live, so phila.
Evolve – Entertain the different stages in your life. Some days you feel like being a child, be one and allow people to do things for you. Some days you feel youthful, go out have fun and mingle. Some days you want to be the adult, reason and be serious. None of these stages happen for no reason, the lessons of the experiences are realised when you least expect it.
Let go of the pain – don’t hold on to your past, chose from it what will build you and dump the rest. Like any thing overloaded you will crash, so travel light. Laugh a lot, see the miracle of nature inhale and exhale, realise it is all for you.
Communicate – talk to your ancestors, have casual conversations too apart from ukuphahla and prayer. Seat with them over a cup of tea or glass of wine and just talk. Sometimes those conversations reach them faster than umphahlo
It’s a relationship ! – Give and take, improvise and compromise. Meaning there’ll be tears and there’ll be laughter but during all what keeps it alive is the drive, the willingness to love and be loved. Being loved means letting go and trusting , to love means not being selfish.
Keep to your own – Leave them alone the street kid madlozis, and this is what you will gather every time you allow someone else to teach you about your ancestor. Actively seek them with a humble heart. E lakho idlozi you would know better than the next person would, trust that.
You are the captain of the ship – They are the map and the navigating system. The map cannot teach you to drive, it shows you the way. Drive torgo, steer that ship. It’s ohkay you sometimes won’t see the humps, what matters is how you come back from a near accident.
Educate, educate , educate ! – share your knowledge, it is through knowledge sharing that you yourself gain knowledge. Don’t be stingy maan
No parent wants to see their child fail. No parent wants to see their child struggle, why on earth do you think idlozi wants that for you. You fail and you struggle because you steered that ship off course or drove that car on gravel. Big surprise you hit an iceberg or got flats ? No, dude call roadside assist, learn the lesson and get back on route.
Self-entitlement never worked, nobody owes you anything you have to put in the work ! learn about your dlozi culture and communicate to them who you are, and who you are is again derived from how far you’ve come until you were introduced to idlozi lakho. You’ve been lazy with no ambition before intwaso, you think you’ll miraculously have ambition after ? OHH heavens ! idlozi looks at you and thinks, “ kodwa God are we being punished, sent to this one ? Was there no one else..”
The same frustrations you have about them, guess what are the very same they have about you! Get off your high horse, ufunde ukubonga, say ‘thank you’. Thank you for loving me, thank you for having my back, thank you for all that I am and what I am to become.
Take me far thonga lami, let’s soar with the eagles, Ndauwe!