SOME GOBELAS just left the child to play with her dolls and watch cartoons.  Other gobelas tried to bring out her ancestral voice.  BUT THE ANCESTORS JUST WOULD NOT TALK THROUGH HER!

The six-year-old girl has been moving around from one gobela to another for months, apparently because her mother wanted her to be a sangoma.

Her first destination was three weeks spent with a gobela in Dobsonville, Soweto.
Angry residents threatened to report the matter to the police and the child was moved. This carried on until the child landed in Braamfischer, near Dobsonville.

This is where the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Community members who had been trying to locate the girl for months finally found her.
Mntimande Ngwenya of the Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Community and the SunTeam were able to approach and rescue the child after weeks of investigation.

“At this point the child is supposed to be in grade 1 playing with other kids and toys,” said Mntimande.

He said if the child was faced with danger she would not be able to defend herself.

“Traditionally when a child has a calling at this early age there is usually an amagobongo ceremony to ask the ancestors to be patient until the child is old enough.”

Gobela Bhozabhoza from Braamfischer, however, said she saw no harm in taking the child in for ancestral initiation. “My own child went to initiation school when she was only seven years. I did not want this, but not even amagobongo could appease the ancestors,” she said.

“Instead I tried to delay taking my child to initiation school, but she was hit by a car. So I had to honour the ancestors and let her fulfil her calling.”

The little girl from Turffontein, Joburg, had apparently forgotten her own name.

She said some gobelas treated her like a baby and she would spend days watching cartoons and playing with dolls.

She also complained that while she was with a gobela in Braamfischer her fellow thwasas, who were all under 20, would pour cold water over her to force the ancestors to speak through her.

She said the ancestors had never spoken through her and she could not remember the things she had been taught.

When the SunTeam spoke to the child she seemed to have no understanding of why she had been sent to thwasa and she said she wanted to be reunited with her family. She was taken to a place of safety.

Attempts to find the girl’s mum were unsuccessful as her phone was off, and there was no one at the gobela’s address.

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