The tale of a multi-skilled sangoma

BVUNZAI Mukumbiri is not just an ordinary man, he is a traditional healer, family man, a health facilitator and a village head.

The Zinatha member from Murombedzi area of Zvimba was initiated in the realms of healing as a sangoma when he was still a young boy and grew up to become a powerful force in the spiritual world.

He told the WeekendPost that when he started his trade in 1963, he was not sure what it was, as he was still a very young man.
“I had barely finished school when I started getting sick but every time I was taken to a health facility nothing medically wrong could be found. It was only later that I started the initiation process to being a sangoma and this is where I am now,” he said.
And he says he has since seen it all.

Doubling as a traditional healer and as a health literacy facilitator at Madzorera Clinic was to be his biggest challenge.
“Before I started working as a village health worker, I was of the feeling that nurses were sabotaging my work since I did not fully understand what modern medicine was all about.”

Mukumbiri said as a village headman and traditional healer he was chosen by the community because of the many responsibilities he has and also because he is a teetotaller.
“But later, I discovered the positives of medical healthcare and from then on I started to incorporate it in my operations as a traditional healer. I now mix the two as I usually refer patients to clinics or hospitals to seek medical attention.

“Some people are even surprised when I tell them that I am a traditional healer because of the way I promote modern medicine and procedures,” he said.

The Zinatha member said he has treated many illnesses from general infant infections, aiding births to sexually transmitted infections.

Mukumbiri, said he is mostly approached by men seeking treatment from STI’s as they are ashamed to visit to a regular clinic.

“I treat the swelling of the testicles as well as an infection which involves the uncontrolled discharge of semen.
“However, after treating any patient I refer them to the clinic for the infection to be effectively flushed out of their system.
“As for female patients, I usually refer them to a female traditional healer.”

He however, said in his life of work he has to be tactful in the way he relays a message as most of them may not be favourable to the recipient.

“Most girls come here arguing that they have abdominal pain knowing very well they are pregnant. If a healer is not careful they can dispense a herb that may trigger an abortion.
“As such, when that happens, I try to make sure that the girl gets the appropriate care for her condition or tell the parents of the child’s condition so that they know what to do.”—Helen Kadirire

Post a comment