Traditional healers fight for recognition

HARARE - Traditional healers have called for society to embrace their profession, saying their mission was to free the nation from various ailments.

Traditional healers have since time immemorial been the source of indigenous medicine.

However, the advent of conventional methods of treatment coupled with the rise in Christianity has resulted in many people showing disdain toward traditional healers, better known as “n’anga ”.

The traditional healers also revealed that those who speak ill of them nicodemusly visit their surgeries for help.

Loriet Musanhu (Ambuya Musanhu) of Waterfalls, who has been in the profession for the past 21 years, said her mission was to ensure that the country was freed from various diseases through traditional medicine.
Ambuya Musanhu said the traditional healers are endowed with vital knowledge of medicinal herbs which has been passed from generation to generation.

“Firstly, I would like to thank the government for creating enabling legislation for us to operate,” Ambuya Musanhu tells the Daily News on Sunday.

“We are doing a tremendous job by curing the nation, but it’s only that we don’t go boasting about our job.

“I have so many testimonies about people who have been turned away at hospital suffering from cervical cancer, breast cancer, but I have cured them. Many people can testify today that I have done wonders in their lives,” she claimed.

The Daily News on Sunday could not independently verify these claims.

Another traditional practitioner, Josamu Makokotela (Sekuru Makokotela) of Budiriro in Harare, implored people not to look down upon traditional healers as their medicine has been scientifically proven to cure various diseases.

“I went to college to study traditional medicine, so it’s not like I am prescribing something that I don’t know,” Sekuru Makokotela said.

“Natural herbs can treat various diseases such as high blood pressure (BP), diabetes and cancer, but it’s just unfortunate that our society is not receptive to the use of herbs.”

Mutare-based healer Sekuru Casemore Darare said most people who say bad things about traditional healers, consult them under the cover of darkness.

Sekuru Darare said even some church pastors who call them names during the day visit their surgeries at night.

“We are there to save the people just like our forefathers used to do,” Sekuru Darare said.

“We accept anyone whether one is a Christian or not because we are Africans and there is always this traditional attachment with our ancestors.

“We don’t believe in castigating other religion or work that we do because we believe that everything has a calling.”

Dzivarasekwa Extension-based Mbuya Callister Magorimbo said traditional medicine offers an alternative which conventional medicine cannot provide.

Mbuya Magorimbo said she spent nine years studying the effectiveness of traditional medicine in the treatment of HIV and Aids and has also helped quite a lot of people suffering from cancer and diabetes.

Again the Daily News on Sunday could not independently verify these claims.

“I spent a lot of time doing research linking traditional medicine and HIV and I did that with the University of Zimbabwe,” said Mbuya Magorimbo.

“We have opened surgeries just like medical doctors so the picture that people have about us is a distorted one.”

Sekuru Lovemore Muparadzi, a senior traditional practitioner, said it was very worrisome that people from Europe and Asia were very much inclined towards traditional healers more than the locals.

He said most Zimbabweans were ignorant of the fact that some of the herbal products coming from Europe and Asia are actually local products which were only packaged outside the country.

“It’s sad that many of our people rubbish our work when foreigners respect us so much.

“We send traditional medicine via DHL to Europe to our clients there, but here people are shy to be associated with traditional healers,” said Sekuru Muparadzi.

George Kandiero, Zinatha director-general, said traditional healers play an important role in society even though their role was not recognised.

He said most people find it cheaper to consult traditional healers than go to conventional hospitals.
Kandiero said as Zinatha, they have encouraged every member to have a surgery to operate from and have implored them to be more hygienic.

He said the organisation is mulling establishing a big traditional clinic in Harare where traditional medicine will be on offer.

 

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