A FACEBOOK post about a modernised indumba had izangoma up in arms recently.

Posted by Sangoma Festival, the caption read: “We need to do away with dusty indumba full of mayonnaise bottles.”

He posted images of luxury rooms with lavish furniture he suggests should replace the traditional indumba. Lots of izangoma didn’t like the post.

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  • Moitlamo Sekaki said: “Some of us are led by idlozi on what has to be done and shouldn’t be done. To those who lead it, make your indumba the way you like. What I like is that when things go bad you come to dirty izindumba dressed in a respectful manner. We help you, but when things take a good direction you make a joke of izindumba.”
  • Mpho Mokoena said: “The old izindumba are the best. I don’t think I’d connect with my ancestors in this kind of modern indumba.”
  • Thokoza LadyHellenkie said: “As long as mayonnaise bottles are clean and the indumba is clean, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Being a sangoma is not sophisticated. The important thing is healing people.”
  • Tekoetsile Tsiane said: “Very soon you’ll be suggesting injection and flavoured mpepho and herbs from Woolworths.”
Sangoma Romeo disses izangoma who work from dirty izindumba. Photos from Instagram

Sangoma Festival said: “There are no patterns in this post because such izindumba don’t exist. This post is to spark some thought. How do our ancestors go from creating pyramids and varsities with great architecture to a dusty indumba full of mayonnaise bottles? Today’s izangoma block innovation.

“It’s your fault, guys. Then you turn around and blame it on idlozi. Our ancestors used to carve gold with their bare hands.

“You want to tell me your ancestors don’t want a sangoma to advertise or talk about yourself and what you do? You’re lying.”

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Romeo Malepe, the face behind the post, said healers must rebrand.

The interior designer didn’t want fellow izangoma to be boxed into thinking it’s okay to store muthi in mayonnaise bottles.

Some people agreed with him.

  • Mandisa Dangazela Nkuta said: “Beads, cow dung, mkhukhu, rondo, mayonnaise bottles or branded bottles, ceramics or not, plants or not, indumba should be clean and neat.”
  • Ngozi Lebohang Chakura said: “The aesthetic of our spirituality has always been one of wealth, precious stones, rich fabrics and use of gold. It was plundered.”