HomeEditorial CommentWe all have ancestors

We all have ancestors


THE fastest way to shock fellow Africans is to tell them that you don’t believe in God.

You get all sorts of comments, your blackness questioned, outrage or even an outburst, but in life you are as good as the nonsense you tolerate. I don’t subscribe to nonsense.

I’m not interested in the Israelites and their Jewish ways. I’m not interested in their “promised land.” I’m not interested in the Romans and their Catholic ways.

I’m not interested in the Arabs and their Muslim ways. The best I can do is to have a working knowledge and cultural appreciation of their ways.

What kind of a book is the Bible that people spend all their lives attempting to master and yet seem to be failing dismally?

Degrees, masters and PhD’s have more books and volumes in content, but after a few years you get capped for them. Anyway, part of my belief is to leave the Bible and God to those whom it works for. Likewise, I demand the same of believers – to leave to me what works for me.

Last year, I enjoyed Shaka Sisulu’s Ancestors in all aspects of my life in the Mail&Guardian newspaper. I was quite taken by his view on ancestors because I’d recently come to a similar understanding on how they work.

I could hardly believe that he had the guts to write about it because ancestors are an invisible thread in African society that nobody wants to talk about.

The debate about Christianity – or any other imported religion – versus ancestors isn’t about how the white colonialists declared Bantu beliefs to be savage.

The discrepancy is actually about how to reach God without human intervention in the form of a traditional healer, isangoma or inyanga.

Every religion has its prophets. The problem with Bantu beliefs is our inability to reconcile the fact that our traditional healers are the same people who offer cleansing and wickedness all the same time!

It is a cold war of spiritual fixation that the same people you queue, chat and laugh with at the healer’s benches could either be there for a healing or a killing!

Admitting to believing in ancestors is thus scary because of that and as such, most Bantu people go far and wide or under cover of the night to find the healer that will do their bidding at a price.

Our zangomas, inyangas and most of their clients are disgusting and a disgrace! For thousands of years they have put our ancestors to disrepute. It’s shameful and despicable.

Sisulu argued that our ancestors are the same people they were when they were alive. My late grandmother, the lead figure in my family, never went to traditional healers and wasn’t much of a Christian herself.

So for me being non religious and believing in ancestors is a voluntary act that has no requirements, conditions, rituals or worship other than being my absolute self! Besides, I’d need a Kardashian for help in keeping up if there were obligations and sacraments.

I only have to remember her, remember what she used to tell me and feel the good energy she used to live by.

Everything is energy and energy is never lost. That is how I’ve come to know that my ancestors are powerful and appreciating them took a lesson in grace. We all have ancestors and it’s all up to you to figure yourself out.

If your religion sanctions the shooting, abducting or beheading of other people’s children, it has no grace. If your religion calls other people’s children infidels, sodomites, fornicators and castaways, it has no grace.

If your religion manipulates spirits of the dead to manufacture lightning, strokes, death and destruction, it has no grace. Karma is a bad bitch.

The biggest mistake each race has made is to make it seem as if their version of ubuntu is better than that of others.

Essentially, it is the bad behaviour that has put their religions into disrepute as a result of believing everything prophets say. What if the prophets were wrong about some things? They were or are only but human.

Sonny Jermain writes in his personal capacity. This is an excerpt from his upcoming book “I Deserve to Be: Selfworth is a Silent Killer” that is due end of year.

Recent Posts

Stories you will enjoy

Recommended reading