SANGOMA Phumzile “Manekwana” may have passed on, but his ancestral dolls live on – and they love Old Buck Gin!
Phumzile was nicknamed Nolokhwe for wearing a woman’s dress. In 1997 he started building a scary double-storey house. He said the dolls represented his ancestors.
“When my husband died in 2015 I lived in another house with my kids. This house was dangerous,” she said.
“I fell sick and the ancestors advised me to go back to the house to take care of the dolls.”
She said after the mourning period she made umqombothi for the dolls to tell them she’d take care of them.
“They welcomed me with open arms and my practice has blossomed. I see about 40 clients per week,” she said.
But when the Old Buck runs out the clients disappear.
“I’ve tried several times not to give them their gin to see what happens. They punish me by not bringing the clients.”
They’re stricter than my husband. It’s against culture to call them by their names. Only he was allowed to do that.”
If she goes out of town the dolls make her feel sick and females clients aren’t allowed to wear long trousers.
“They must always wear a dress even if they don’t have a doek on.”
A client from Zwide said: “Siyolise worships her ancestors like other izangoma and there’s nothing strange in her muthi.”
Maradebe Dlamini (53) of KwaZakhele said: “Everything was going bad in my life but she helped me.”