As a young girl, having just started primary school, I would often have nightmares. Some of my dreams were probably caused by the African fairy tales i had heard during the way, because many of those were about cannibals and vampires. But then there was this insistent dream, which I later came to know as actually a vision. This Vision was of an elderly woman offering me a bunch of rich green medicinal plants that were the shape of a carrot. This woman would hit me if I refused to take the roots in my dreams.
At first I made light of this nightmare, and since I was such an active child with a wild imagination, most of my family brushed aside my nightmares as I retold them each morning. Soon the dreams were so persistent I went to tell my father about it each time it happened. It even got to the point where I would dream of a name of a plant grinded into powder put in a clear big bottle and placed in the corner of my father’s Indumba (Traditional Health Clinic) and asked to administer to a patient. The next morning I would be called to eNdumbeni (Traditional Health Clinic) with instruction to administer or even use a similar medicine to a patient visiting at the time. I would get so excited and anxious each time the dream came and shared it with my father. My father would tell me that I might grow up to be a great healer in my next life. I was later to learn that it was a sign from the ancestors that I was the chosen one to be taught about ancient healing methods and secrets that have been passed down in my family for over three generations.
We all knew my father was a Healer, and a very good one at that because as far back as I can remember he has successfully been healing people in our homestead. Africans, like all people around the world have formulated medicines using natural resources available in their environment. To become a Healer is as much a process in the African traditional sense as it is with western medicine, even though traditional medicine and practices never got to advance to the same sophistication as western medicine.
I have always been daddy’s girl, and it is not because I have inherited his gift. He was my favourite person in the world, and he always had time for me. During school holidays when I was back from boarding school and he wasn’t attending to patients. We would spend hours together with him teaching me where to find and identify the different herbs and plants for medicine. He would then teach me how he makes formulations for different ailments from these plants. This was an exciting world for a young girl, it was also my schooling in African traditional medicines and healing practices.
My father took his time teaching me all aspects of healing, and I came to understand African spirituality as well, because for us, the gift of healing comes straight from Devine. This knowledge has always given me confidence as an African that my people have always been great even though history books tell a different story.
It is the purity and simplicity of traditional medicine that makes it so effective. The ingredients come from nature, nature that has always provided for us abundantly and completely. The journey to becoming a Healer, as I am, is also one that draws one closer to nature and spiritual essence of a living being. It is also the understanding of supremacy of all life that is central to the formulation, mixing and serving of our traditional medicine.
The natural essence, respect for all life and spiritual purity in the preparation and serving of our traditional African medicines is what led me to share this rare gift with the world in the form of mass production business. A business that is not based on profit alone, but on values of sustainable development, conservation of nature and life and promotion of healthy lifestyle based on what nature provides for us naturally.
I present to you PHEPISA,, which means “to help bring to good health or protect from ill health”