December 18, 2020

3 South African Celebs Who are Sangomas

There have been many a celeb in Mzansi who have answered a higher calling – specifically, the call from one’s ancestors to become a “sangoma”, or traditional healer.

Take a look at these three stars who have undergone the journey towards becoming a sangoma:

Phelo Bala

Bala is well-known for being the youngest member of the popular vocal trio, the Bala Brothers, who have produced hit songs such as “Nella Fantasia” and “Masibuyelane”. However, what you may not know about him is that he’s a fully-qualified sangoma.

The singer’s spiritual journey began in 2014, after he experienced physical changes where his body “stopped working.” Although a doctor diagnosed him with the flu, a subsequent visit to a sangoma made Bala realise that he was being beckoned to traditional healing.


Back in 2016, this Kwaito musician underwent a five-month spiritual quest to KwaZulu-Natal in order to become a sangoma. However, as he admitted in a previous interview with a local media outlet, the “Iyavaya” hitmaker did not intend to practise his calling.

L’Vovo explained: “I did it all for my [grandmother]. I don’t want to be a sangoma. I’m a musician, that’s all … I wouldn’t have ignored this spiritual calling as I respect my culture and my religion.”

Letoya Makhene

Makhene has been on the spiritual path for a long while – nearly 20 years, in fact!

In April 2019, the “Isidingo” actress posted a photo via Instagram of herself, then 19-years-old, wearing traditional sangoma attire while standing beside two fellow traditional healers.

In the caption, she proudly wrote: “I was 19 when I graduated from initiation school and while I’ve never been shy about who I am … it’s a part of myself that I’ve chosen to respect and treat with the utmost humility.”

Makhene soberly added: “Thing is when you’ve been on this journey like I have and endured what I have had to endure at initiation school … you know to tread carefully when it comes to the responsibilities that come with a gift as great as this.”

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