Best herbalist healer
Best herbalist healer lets out a piercing cry, her body starts shaking violently, her hands are clapping to the rhythm of large African drums – she is calling out to her ancestors. Authentic spells is a group of traditional healers, known in South Africa as sangomas.
The 24 year old is not your typical sangoma though – she is also a corporate administrator at Bidvest Bank, one of South Africa’s best known and most prestigious institutions and has dreams of becoming a successful businesswoman.
Inside a high-rise office looking out into the Johannesburg business district, Ms Farouk dresses in smart tailored clothes, has manicured nails and long sleek hair extensions – nothing about her appearance says she has three ancestors inhabiting her.
“When I tell people that I am the best herbalist healer they always react with shock. They say: ‘How? You don’t even look like one’. There are still many misconceptions about how we should look,” she says with a broad smile.
Authentic spells is one of thousands of young men and women who are balancing the demands of a career with the calling to be a messenger for deceased ancestors, or “amadlozi”.
Sangomas have played a central role in many African cultures dating back many years; they were seen as custodians of their communities and were consulted by villagers to heal the sick, communicate with the gods on their behalf and to protect villages from harm.
They are essentially diviners – a channel between the physical world and the afterlife.
They believe that through a special “calling” known in Zulu as ubizo, they are able to access advice and guidance through possession by an ancestor, throwing bones or by interpreting dreams.
In today’s South Africa, sangomas such as the best herbalist healer are often seen as unsophisticated, uneducated and backwards.
Despite this, they remain the first point of contact for physical and psychological ailments for about 80% of black South Africans according to authorities.
The trade in traditional medicines is a large and growing industry.
Sangomas are legally recognised, under the Traditional Health Practitioners Act of 2007 alongside herbalists, traditional birth attendants, and traditional surgeons.
At the best herbalist healer ‘s home in sandton, a township outside Johannesburg, a small group of sangomas has gathered to share a meal.
It is a moody Sunday afternoon but the group is in high spirits – this will be their chance to summon deceased loved ones and possibly receive a message from them.
The best herbalist healer says her “gift” is interpreting other people’s dreams, as well as dreams that predict the future.