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Tiisetso Makhubedu answers calling to embrace African spirituality

Tiisetso Makhubedu.
Tiisetso Makhubedu.

Tiisetso Makhubedu is a young sangoma who is passionate about issues of youth and spirituality.

For cultural activist Makhubedu, 28, anyone should be able to practise their spiritual or cultural traditions freely after the dawn of democracy.

"Structurally there is no reference of anything that embraces your African culture or that gives you visual access and allows you to adhere to it and revere it in any way.

"It's just like when you move into a state of modernity you have to leave behind your Africanness and embrace a global world view and that's the crisis that a lot of young millennials are facing," he said.

Part of Makhubedu's work is to help young people who receive spiritual calling and need a safe space with like-minded individuals to help them navigate that spiritual journey.

Young people, he said, can suddenly feel isolated when such happens and often find that their mental health is also affected.

This is often how the link between getting the calling and mental illnesses is established.

"I have been able to embrace it [the calling] because I have been able to identify what causes our young people to move away from it, and that required me to move into indigenous knowledge system of consultancy, and cultural activism, not just ub'ngoma, so I can try and bring that issue to the fore," Makhubedu explained.

Amid calls for decolonisation of the education system and getting the land back, Makhubedu says black youths have realised that the issue of not having land has negatively impacted on their ability to be economically free. Thus it should follow that not having
land would also affect them spiritually.

"In order to be able to practise your spirituality you must be in an environment which is advantageous," he said.

Makhubedu believes that he is fighting a new struggle, one of helping people practise their cultural traditions on African soil.

"I feel that the work that I do, firstly by having answered my calling and embracing my ubungoma as inyanga, I am living up to that very same premise that was made by the youth of 1976," he said.

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