Nokulinda Mkhize unpacks the essence of her first book, ‘Ancestory’



Published Sep 9, 2022


Johannesburg - Nokulinda Mkhize unpacks the significance of her first book, “Ancestory”, which provides a fundamental narrative of basic African cosmologies and makes them relevant for the present.

Mkhize, who has been practising as an isangoma (traditional healer) since 2008, says she draws wisdom from her family, community life, as well as her overall experience as an isangoma.

Speaking to “The Star”, she shared that the book was a response from her side to address the endless and challenging questions of “Who am I? Why am I here? How do I make my life work? Why are my things not working out?”

“I took the book as an opportunity to try and bring together what I have learnt in my community, my family and what I have learnt in my experiences as a sangoma,” shared Mkhize

The book is also packed with research from African writers and scholars which gives readers access to older sources of African history and thinking.

“ ‘Ancestory’ is written to be simple, straightforward and not intimidating because it is meant to serve as a starting point for considering the complexity of our past, while gaining intelligence and resilience from our indigenous knowledge to assist in building our future,” said Mkhize.

She said she aimed to “show that we must take up the responsibility of our social obligations as they arise because eldership is inevitable, and that intergenerational care is crucial to the survival and growth of our communities”.

“This is a roadmap of yesterday’s learnings for the journey into tomorrow.”

Mkhize said writing the book was not smooth sailing but she pushed through until it was done.

According to the author, the book draws on the timeless wisdom of African forms of knowing and integrated history, research and folklore, as well as centuries of cultural intelligence.

“ ‘Ancestory’ is also a critique and reflection on the challenges of modern existence and gives context to understand, heal and better honour various aspects of daily life, from health and wealth to relationships and spirit,” she said.

The Star

Related Topics: