Durban — A traditional healer from oThongathi in Durban has condemned the new trending cliff-jumping challenge known as #IndlondloYamanziChallenge following a concerning video of a young man who was seen jumping from a South Beach pier straight into the sea last Friday.
The young man appears to be having difficulty in the water and then the video cuts off.
The trend went viral on social media after numerous videos were shared by Sithembele “Indlondlo Yamanzi” Ndlovu, 24, on his TikTok social media page.
He grabbed the attention of social media users, who shared their concerns each time he posted himself performing the unusual ritual in dams, rivers and waterfalls.
According to a Daily News source who spoke on condition of anonymity, the young man seen in a video circulating on social media was contesting with other followers of the traditional healer who are joining the #IndlondloYamanziChallenge.
The video of a young man taken by another man who is believed to be his friend shows the young man pier-jumping into the sea. He is then seen trying to swim back to the shore but seems to have difficulty as he tries to paddle.
He is also seen floating while trying to paddle out of the sea while the man taking a video is also heard screaming and calling out his name after noticing that “his friend” who had pier-jumped needed help.
In the challenge, people are seen posting their images and videos while staging scenes in creepy rivers and dams, imitating Ndlovu.
Ndlovu told the Daily News that he was gifted for what he does and he never went to an initiation that is usually attended by traditional healers.
“People should understand that I don't dive into the river and dams for fun. I perform the ritual to connect with the most powerful gods of water. I don’t just wake up and decide to visit the dam, but I take orders from the spiritual beings that guide me,” said the traditional healer.
Ndlovu’s TikTok account has about 265.1k followers and two million likes by followers who view his content shared every day on his page.
In some of the videos, he is seen performing iladi, a ceremony done mostly for the ancestors which intends to ask for guidance or apology, in rivers and waterfalls.
For this type of ritual, Ndlovu uses yellow, blue and white candles, tripe, milk and a bottle of Coke while connecting to the dead and water gods.
Ndlovu said that he joined the traditional healing journey in January 2022 after obtaining his business management qualification at Thekwini College.
KwaZulu-Natal SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Robert Netshiunda said no inquest was opened regarding the pier-jumping incident.
KwaZulu-Natal Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson Siboniso Mngadi said the department is concerned about the number of drownings that have been recorded where people are swimming recklessly.
"We urge the parents to play their role in ensuring the safety of their children and strongly advise adults not to swim in areas where there are no lifeguards. We have lost so many lives in the incidents of drowning and we believe that those incidents could have been avoided if people adhered to the safety measures that we are communicating. The heavy rains are still expected in the province and the rivers and streams will remain overflowing, so we advise people to refrain from swimming or trying to cross overflowing rivers during this period," he said.
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