DUMISANI MTHETHWA goes down to the river every single day, come rain or shine.

He said he’s waiting for the river snake to come and take him.


“I don’t know what this means,” the 31-year-old from Vooslorus, Ekurhuleni, said.

“Maybe the ancestors don’t want me anymore.”

Dumisani said he had dreams in 2018 that he was wanted for ukuthwasa.

“I worked at a retail store and was worried I’d struggle if I left my job to go thwasa. Bad things started happening.

“I was fired. I was evicted from my house. I lost my kid and my lover of eight years left me. I suffered every day.”

He went to consult and was told he suffered because he disrespected the ancestors.

“They punished me for not listening to my ancestral calling. The ancestors wanted me to thwasa in the river.”

They showed Dumisani the river he should go to.

Eventually, he decided to accept the calling, but the ancestors were no longer interested.

“They stopped communicating and made me suffer,” Dumisani told Daily Sun.

In November he started going to the river.

“I go there to try and meet the snake that’s supposed to take me to thwasa,” he said.

“I’m very disappointed that until today the snake hasn’t taken me.”

But Dumisani is determined.

“I won’t lose faith. I’ll keep coming here until the ancestors feel sorry for me and send the river snake,” he said.

“My life is a mess. I need the ancestors to fetch me so I can live a normal life again.”

When he gets to the river he throws coins and speaks facing the water, with the hope that the river snake will hear him.

His mum Joyce Mthethwa (69) said: “I feel for my son. He’s really troubled. I’ve spoken with the ancestors hoping they’ll be lenient with him, but they keep making him suffer. He goes to the river every day to find peace.”

She hoped a powerful sangoma could help because all the sangomas they’d been to couldn’t.

“They told us he had powerful ancestors who won’t let him thwasa anywhere.

“They want him to go to the river, but now they’re deserting him.”

Sangoma Jabulane Mthimunye said only a sangoma who went to thwasa in the river could help Dumisani.

“The sangoma could cleanse him and help him reconnect with his ancestors so that they start communicating with him again,” said Mthimunye.

“Going to the river won’t help him. You don’t go to umnumzane, the river snake. It comes for you, or calls you to come to it.”

When the call comes he won’t see what happened.

“He’ll walk there blind,” said the sangoma.