My grandfather and grandmother up in uMthata shared a story with us, that one found amusing and the other not….

She went into a taxi and found a few ladies, nje nga siqhelo she greeted but the response was not as  usual. She ignored it and thought to herself maybe they are just in a foul mood for the day. Until one of the ladies could just not contain herself and blurted it out in a disgusted tone, “ honestly Ma X how could you? How could you do that to such an honourable man? Obviously very confused she asks” I ntoni? What have I done?” the lady clapped her hands and continued to murmur “ Yhooo, isibindi sakho, waw’gqiba uzimangaze”. Meaning the nerve you have for committing such then turn around and act innocent.

She gets home relays this to my grandfather, further explaining how confusing all of this was. She was not ready for the belted laughter that came from him, seriously amused. He went on to explain how it all started. My grandfather was in the company of these women who expressed how scarce he’s been. Clever him respond with the following,” OOHH, hayi kanti ngu skaat wonke lo. You see my wife called me one day to come and taste if the korobela she poured in the pot was strong enough. I got there and tasted, and thought it to be a bit weak, so I asked her to put in some more. We stirred the pot and tasted again; I concurred to it now being strong enough”. 

Of course he found it absolutely amusing, with no care of how it tarnished my grandmother’s name in the village…truly speaking, I think after a while she couldn’t be bothered either. She has her skaat and his skaat has her and that was all that mattered. 

I was thinking about them the other day and that story crossed my mind, got me thinking;

What is korobela ka hle hle ?

 Is it used for the right reasons ?

 Should it even be used on someone?

We’ve heard stories about korobela since growing up, there were even songs from the likes of Sello Chicco Twala that went like “ African woman, why give me korobela. No korobela. I wonder why I wash you. I wonder why I cook for you. no kororbela” This song along with all the other stories portrayed  korobela as an enslaving mechanism, given to men by woman who wanted to control them.  Just a quick short left…. do white people use korobela, yazi I wonder?  Any way in all its glory , korobela never came across as a home building tool, a love gesture or a human rescuing mechanism. 

Was it because the korobela then was too potent ? I mean I know we used to look at all men with umkhaba who seemed to like their woman a lot and think, it’s the korobela brewing inside them that inflated the stomach. Was it really ? 

As a healer today I know better. I know there are mitigating circumstances that would agree with the use of korobela and there are some not. I also conducted a mini survey on WhatsApp and telephonically asking people their feeling about korobela, I must say it was a balanced response. An equal number of people are for and not for.

The question begs, why was there a need to form this mixture called korobela, where did it all start? 

In the olden days our grandmothers used to be obedient housewives who knew that their husbands take care of a few households in the village. It was never something the women of those households bragged about either. It was a silent unwritten agreement. Thy cherished the visits and prepared for it, entertained the man, bo sule umlomo and allow him to be on his way and wait for the next visit.  

Man who practiced transparent polygamy, had to derive a way of managing these women. Such would go to a male healer, to get something to assist him in building his home. Meaning this thing would assist the women of the house to get along and, submit to the head of the house_ the man. 

In actuality korobela was meant for women  not man. Additionally, it was a home building tool, not love enhancer and, women then knew nothing about it. Times changed and people evolved, kwa moshakala. In the survey I conducted there were man who said yes to korobela – absolutely korobela rocks, and there were women who said no to korobela –  absolutely not  indoda ayidliswa. Which brings me back to the mitigating circumstances. 

As healers I’d like to think we don’t just freely give out I korobela to just anyone asking for it. We throw the bones to check the background of the people, the validity of the person requesting the korobela and most importantly, is the korobela warranted and acceptable by your ancestors and the ancestors of the one the korobela will be used on. If we don’t follow that process korobela becomes just another weapon in society used to  control and destroy marriages. This can no longer be called healing but witchcraft. 

There are scenarios that warrants I korobela, and there are those that are clearly uku geza no bu greedy. You want to soften your woman/man up so you can get away with adultery and others do it because they want to be given the entire salary by their spouse/partner.  Then there are young girls who use it to lure man for financial gain and man who use it to lure older woman or younger girls for power, ooohhh heck some use it to gain popularity. What this group doesn’t understand is that it has adverse effects when used for selfish reasons.

Yebo, kumnandi when it is working because ave isebenza! Do you know though that it must be renewed periodically and if not done, as it wears off from the person used on how they see you also diminishes to filth?  People wonder what happened to so and so, they were so in love and the next day he/she woke up never wanting to see him/her ever again…yep I phelile and you missed the renewal time frame.  Do you also know that using it for selfish reasons I kufakela isichitho , isimnyama, nesidina wena the user and the usee ? 

When there are mitigating circumstances that warrants the use of korobela, the golden rule is to ask. Request permission from  your owners and your partners owners_ the ancestors. Make sure that the sole reason is to build your home and wena Healer make sure that you give it out for the purpose of healing. You find that poor woman is tired from curing STD’s all the time, you throw the bones uyabona ku kho ingozi la, this woman could end up with a deadly disease. Upon further investigation you determine that this man actually loves his wife and family but is just weak to short skirts and dimples out there. Solution? Fa ka le korobela wena Nyanga. 

A loving man/woman the sweetest ever when sober, but once they’ve had one glass of alcohol they turn into something else they always wake up regretting the next day. They’ve tried to stop drinking, in fact they have stopped a few times kodwa baya bora and become finicky when they don’t drink. These two people are in love and they want each other. Solution? Faaakkaaa le korobela wena nyanga!

Qaphela ke, I did say the golden rule is to ask. There are people korobela should not be used on totally, because it kills who they are. The more you use korobela on them, the more they drift away from you and like you lesser and lesser. You become so confused and desperate and end up using all forms of it, not realising that you are the one becoming more obsessed with them. 

The opposite is also true, using korobela on someone it doesn’t agree if it works could ruin that person to beyond recognition. They become someone not even you can find joy in, what was the point then as you end up leaving them to spoil while you go get fresh meat out there. Spreading the venom from one person to the next, this time unintentionally. Be se u hambe uthi una ma bhadi, wena you are unlucky in love….no sisi karma is just working on you.

Sometimes korobela is as simple as leaving someone when the situation is no longer conducive for you. Korobela could also just be working on yourself, realign yourself with yourself by cleansing, meditation, uku phahla and prayer. Korobela is also sometimes just simply showing love with no reservations, communication and acceptance. Nge li nye I xesha ke  it is simply the case of you two having no business being together, yo hlukanani ngo xolo.

 Most importantly stop creating reasons for the next person to want to bewitch you, if the love is gone hamba, just leave in peace and stop dragging other mothers’ children along for your amusement or due to your lack of spine. Nawe eish, people have a million ways of saying I don’t want you, learn to believe them. 

Also, phuma ezi ndabeni za bantu, some man love being kept allow their women to korbela them in peace and remember you are not Jesus Christ the savior, u yesu wa bethelelwa emqamlezweni wena gqadambekweni !