On the 4th of March 2018, we lost my eldest sister. She committed suicide. When she was found, she hung from the ceiling of her home from a rope secured at a strong wooden structure from within the escape hole of the roof.
Only someone in a dark long winter would choose to leave the world this way. Only someone who'd contended with many other solutions as a source of relief would succumb to this. Our biggest pain as a family is that we couldn't and didn't hear her cries. Our hearts weep that she died alone.
In March of 2016, almost two years to the date, I tried to take my own life by swallowing very many pills. I myself was in a lot of pain, and a deep depression as I contended with a spiritual calling from my ancestors. I was struggling to decipher the unknown and the unseen and those around me, especially my elders, could not assist with decoding this spiritual crisis. I was at my dead end - well so I thought. Like my deceased sister, who heeded the call from her ancestors in 2012, I too was being called for the same task. Both of us had accepted the duty of being sangoma's (healers/shamans), to heal ourselves, our nuclear family, and the greater community.
My family dynamics are complex, and ngesintu, whether you come from the same mother or father is irrelevant. Your sibling is your sibling. My sister Nonceba (or Ncebi as we called her) and I shared the same father. Our familial structures created a lot of barriers for our love, but love each other we did. Ncebi didn't know about my attempted suicide, along with some of my other siblings and family, for many, this may be the first time they learn of it.
I write these words from the deepest parts of my pain, but it is from this pain that I hope that you may learn things I wished I'd known long, long ago. Perhaps in my sharing, others may recede from the cliff, while others my garner the strength to extend a hand to those in muddy waters. Perhaps within my pain, you may be reminded of your own (collective) joy.
I tried to kill myself, but unlike my sister Ncebi, the universe showed me grace. I'm still here.
Depression is very very real... ...rest at vuyiroamsfree.tumblr.com
The razor blade. A common tool used to make small incisions ("gcaba", :caza", "zawula:) into the skin. Method used by my people to administer medicine directly into the blood stream. Where the Western trained doctor pushes a needle into the flesh to release a fluid, African trained doctors mix medicinal herbs into a paste that is applied to a very tiny incision. At some point I tried to keep tally of all the tiny slits on my body, but I stopped when I reached 62 or so. We may say this is the way of the #Ndebele Kingdom to visually project a very common health practice. #isintu#ndebelesymbolism#zoladube .nyc #Ubuhlalu#caza#gcaba#herbalmedicine#healers
Photo of popular mural design, Ndebele Kingdom. Can you spot intricate geometric design that is, in fact, a razor blade? Photo credit: Francisco Javier Garcia Orts photography at flic.kr/p/fueuvH. #zoladube#zoladube .nyc #Ubuhlalu#ndebele#beading#isintu
Why does the missionary insist he/she taught us about a single creator? Why, in the making of South Africa, did they lie about our phenotype and "Blackness", distinguish us from the rest of the continent? Could it be the archeological discoveries of ancient pyramids & artifacts of the late 1800s, the findings publised in book "Punt in South Africa", our testimony about our spirituality/rituals/practices and supporting symbols? #vintagepostcards#truthvslies#zulu#fashion#isintu#Ubuhlalu#zoladube#symbols#SouthAfricanHistory
Teach them young about their roots and traditions, let them fall inlove with who they are so they know where they come from. You are not a product if slavery my princess but of a beautiful nation of warriors, nurtures and healers.❤💋😍 #mynunupops#youngqueen#umzulu#isintu