My name is Patricia Tumi Motsoeni Shange, popularly known as Gogo Skhotheni, from eMbalenhle in Mpumalanga and I’m 28 years old. I am a Sangoma, businesswoman, Gobela with amathwasa; I work with ancestors and with spirits as well. Most importantly, I’m a wife and a mother to my lovely daughter.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love and care for people; that’s one of my personality traits. My work allows me to help people. They come to me with all sorts of problems, some physical while others are emotional, and being able to use my gift to assist is the greatest feeling ever. When they leave, I find that I have gained sisters, mothers, and brothers because they become my family.
Why do you think spirituality is important, especially during these times?
These are difficult times, and spirituality should be our source of comfort. Spirituality helps us to be in tune with ourselves. When we live spiritually centred, we are able to find comfort, peace, healing, and even solutions from within ourselves. Spirituality puts us in a good position to share love for one another and this is one of the top things that are needed in our current situation; a world where we love and understanding each other.
What are some of the myths that some people believe about Sangomas and traditional healing?
One of the most disturbing myths about Sangomas is that we are people of destruction and witchcraft. For so long now, people have hardly associated Sangomas with doing good things in the community. Sometimes this goes as far as people blaming Sangomas for the things that go wrong in communities. This is a false stereotype and a lot of work still needs to be done to remove this stigma from the work that Sangomas do.