Mandaza Kandemwa is a Nganga, a Bantu shaman or medicine man, in the Shona and Ndebele traditions of Zimbabwe. He carries with great heart the Central African tradition of healing and peacemaking.
I was introduced to Mandaza by Jeannette McCullough and I cherish the time that I have been able to spend with him.
Mandaza regularly travels North America providing an opportunity for people to gather to experience an indigenous understanding of the interrelatedness of healing, peacemaking and community.
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A former anti-apartheid activist from Zimbabwe, Mandaza is one of the truly exceptional men of our time, a warm and generous teacher and healer with magnificent gifts and an entourage of spirits, a man of deep and profound love, laughter and wisdom.
Educated in the western traditions of what was then colonial-era, Rhodesia, Mandaza was called by the ancestors to the old ways and taught the exceptional art and craft of being a true healer. He has the skill to look into an individuals’ heart, even if he has not met them before, and thereby awaken the process of initiation that removes the obstacles between the initiate and the spirits.
People come to Mandaza from all over southern Africa to receive healing and initiation. He does not charge for his services.
In Africa people try to offer a donation in return for his healing work, but he works with the poorest of the poor, who have sometimes walked great distances to be with him, and it is more likely that he will have to feed them than that they will be able to pay him.
Between Mandaza and Simakuhle, his wife, they have many children and a large kinship network and community that are dependent upon them for food and spiritual nourishment.
The challenges to this work are considerable. Starvation is a persisting and deepening reality in Zimbabwe, as in much of Africa. Over half the country is already living with daily hunger. Drought and political instability have left Zimbabwe in shambles. The HIV and AIDS rate is one of the highest in the world. Basic food items are traded on the black market and there is irregular access to basic items, including gasoline and cement. Hundreds of thousands of people are homeless and without means of support.
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