A GROUP of izangoma has graduated with degrees.

They even have practice numbers giving them the same rights as doctors.

The izangoma, who graduated from the Mhlabuhlangene School of African Medicine – in collaboration with the Interdenominational School of Theology and Projects International – are now regarded as essential workers.

School spokesman Dr Sefadi Mohami told Daily Sun the izangoma were taught scientific principles.

“As traditional healers, we’ve always been recognised without qualifications, which limited us,” he said.

Mohami said the izangoma could now claim medical bills from patients with medical aid.

“He said having practice numbers meant they could give patients medical certificates.

“What the school is offering isn’t just mentoring or coaching, but also training through assignments.”

His colleague, Dr Mpho Malatji, said to become an African healer you don’t need a formal education and are called by the ancestors.

He said a lot of knowledge about the cultivation, harvesting, preparation and storage of plant medicine had been lost before it could be passed on.

“This has left a big void in the African medicine sphere, opening the door to opportunists, fraudsters and self-proclaimed miracle workers who’ve defrauded many,” he said.

The university would solve most of these problems.

“Our izangoma are trained thoroughly, and when they leave they can help communities in a professional way,” said Malatji.

He said the institution, which was founded in 2014, would help unlock more local medicine for healthier communities.

He said it would bridge the gap that izangoma faced when it came to research and documenting.

Sangoma Dungamanzi Mlotshwa told Daily Sun he’d enrol so he could become a real professional.