I had just returned from school on a balmy Friday afternoon when I was summoned to the "club house", which was actually the owner's palatial compound, much like Jacob Zuma's Nkandla palace. I was told to bring my soccer boots with me, which was a strange instruction since there was no scheduled practice that evening.
On my arrival, I found that the whole team had been ordered to be present. We were told that we would spend the night there as a team and we would be "prepared" for the one-day tournament the following day.
At midnight a medicine man came and ordered us to join him outside. There we found big enamel basins filled with cloudy water and floating crushed leaves. We were ordered to strip and take a bath. The medicine man didn't even have the decency to heat the water. It was cold as ice, but nothing prepared me for what came next.
The herbal bath made my skin itch like crazy, and we were not permitted to scratch or dry ourselves with towels. Then when we had air-dried, we were allowed to put our clothes back on and go back to the rondavel we had been occupying. There the medicine man had made a small fire and we had to jump over it several times while he kept sprinkling some muti, which choked the room in a vice grip of the foulest of stenches.