WHEN Alfred was 16, his late grandfather predicted that one day he would heal people with herbs.
But mlungu Alfred France told his grandpa that ubungoma and muthi were only for black people.
Now, years later, the prophecy is coming true!
The Pinetown-born mlungu said he became a male nurse but had to give it up as he kept falling sick.
“When I was young I saw shadows of people nobody could see. I heard voices and talked to them. My grandfather said it was because I had an ancestral gift for foretelling things, but I suppressed it,” said Alfred.
But the voices and shadows visited him more often.
“My white family thought I was mad and took me for mental examinations. Nothing wrong was found.”
Now Alfred is in stage two of his training with gobela Zama Mqadi at Nkampini, Umthwalume, KZN.
Alfred said he had to adjust to the lifestyle when he arrived at his gobela’s house last year.
“My grandfather visited me in a dream and said he was proud of me. He said, ‘This gobela is your mother who will guide you through the process’.”
When Alfred completes stage three he will graduate and practise as a sangoma.
Gobela Zama said she had never trained an mlungu before. “I was puzzled when he arrived. I phoned my own trainer, and he said I should go ahead.
“Things are working out. It’s hard to remember that Alfred is a white person. He adjusted well to our black lifestyle,” she said.
Zama said she wishes other races understood that ancestral calling was not a choice. “A person chosen by ancestors needs support,” she said.
Alfred’s brother, Ronald, said his family blends in with other races and lifestyles. “I have a black wife.
“Alfred is the older brother. He has to lead by example and listen to his calling and respect our ancestors.”