A Heritage of Pain and Healing

Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2019

WellnessCommunity AffairsCommunity DevelopmentHealth Religion

What started out as a discussion on African spirituality with the aim of understanding, reconciling and building bridges of spiritual understanding, turned into an intense reflection on the pain and healing that we need as a people and as a nation. 

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The idea that we should be celebrating our heritage as a reminder of who we are, because we are no longer able to identify with that, is indicative of our many festering wounds that continue to cause us harm. 

For our heritage month session of Conversations over Coffee & Art we had as our guest speakers: Nomsa Mpye (Traditional healer / Numerologist/ Accounting Scientist); Khanyi Molaba (Journalist/African Spiritualist) and Ayanda Mabulu (Art Spiritual Vessel). 

The first session was kicked off by Nomsa and Khanyi by giving us a bit of background into their spiritual journeys. Then moving on to explain spirituality from an African perspective, its relevance in our current society and why more and more people are moving in that direction. For the most part, they explained, people are moving towards African Spirituality to find identity and pure connection. Our identities are tied to how we connect to God/Creator/Universe/Source. And in the case of Africans, that was ripped away during the era of the crusades and colonization, leaving a void that nothing else has been able to fill. 

They also explained that African Spirituality is not a religion, but rather a way of life that heals and respects the interconnectedness of things. It is not an institution or a thing, it is being. It is a knowing that God lives in us and we are an extension of God. Much like all other forms of spirituality, however in an African way. 

I find it unfortunately that due to our legacy, the African way of connecting to spirituality has been tainted as primitive, evil (dark magic) and as a blasphemous something to stay safe from. When the truth is that all over the world people are experiencing an awakening to pure spirituality, and a desire to move away from the limitations of the religious framework. It is now common to find a video by a westernised Caucasian lady on YouTube talking about how to connect with our spiritual guides and ancestors. It is also becoming normal to listen to a spiritual guru that teaches how to align with our spiritual forces and to identify messages from the universe. If anything, the world (West) is finally catching up to what Africans knew and lived all along. 

Our guest for the second half of the conversation was Ayanda Mabulu who unpacked the story of spirituality in Africa as a story of pain and suffering, and as a spiritual vessel he can’t help but channel the pain and anger. Ayanda raised important questions as to why we as society continue to desecrate our African spirituality as if it hasn’t been through enough already. He expressed that his spirituality is not for sale, and it will never be. He elaborated that the ancestors experienced terrible things, and died at the hands of those who wanted to take away everything, including our spirituality. He suggests that even the discussions and the various platforms where African spirituality is discussed are a further insult to the heritage, and it steals away from its sacredness. African spirituality doesn’t need to be explained, it just needs to be lived. 

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