Zabelo Hlabisa, who is also a graduate and a philanthropist, is challenging the stereotypes facing young traditional healers by practicing African spirituality and pursuing her modelling career. Pictures: Supplied
Zabelo Hlabisa, who is also a graduate and a philanthropist, is challenging the stereotypes facing young traditional healers by practicing African spirituality and pursuing her modelling career. Pictures: Supplied

International KZN model confronts stereotypes of African spiritual healers

By Harvest Thwala Time of article published Nov 15, 2021

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The life of a sangoma is often deemed to be sacred and characterised by spiritual practices only. However, 27-year-old Zabelo Hlabisa from Kwazulu-Natal is both a traditional healer and an international model.

in doing so, Hlabisa who is also a graduate and a philanthropist, is challenging the stereotypes of young traditional healers.

“I was fortunate enough that my ancestors did communicate with me, that I will live a normal life after going for initiation. It has helped me take things easy and I always knew that I have a calling so I was running away from it,” said Hlabisa.

Hlabisa who was been recently crowned the first Miss Cosmos South Africa 2021 entered two competitions after her initiation. She says despite her being discriminated against in the first competition after the initiation, she never gave up.

“I am a very proud spiritual healer, I’ve told myself that I’m gonna distance myself from any negativity. I was alone in the hardships of accepting my journey so no one will tell me otherwise.I have mastered a way of shifting my focus only to positive things rather than people’s opinions,” she said.

’I am a very proud spiritual healer, I’ve told myself that I’m gonna distance myself from any negativity.’

Hlabisa revealed that in the beginning of her modeling career in 2015 she was discriminated against for her traditional scars on her cheeks.

“I embrace anything African! I love anything that has to do with tradition, those who know me will tell you how much my culture means to me.”

According to Hlabisa her family, friends and the people who have been following her craft had embraced and accepted her.

“When you answer to your calling and do exactly what you have been called for despite the negative perception of African spirituality, there’s always a margin of people who will be accepting of you and your craft.”

Hlabisa who has been recently Crowned the first Miss Cosmos South Africa 2021.

Despite her new title as a traditional healer and the challenges she faces Hlabisa say she has no intention of quitting her modelling career.

“Do the work for the people who gave you the gift, but also remember that there is a life outside of being a healer. Respect the people and the universe. The world is too harsh, be kind and change. I for one am advocating for change and changing people’s lives, ” Hlabisa said.

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