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Published By Gwenith Kikkawa on December 18th, 2008 in Circle Stories From The Heart
Mandaza Augustine Kandemwa is a nganga, a Bantu shaman or medicine man, in the Shona and Ndebele traditions of Zimbabwe. He carries with great heart the Central African tradition of healing and peacemaking. Mandaza regularly travels North America providing an opportunity for people to gather to experience an indigenous understanding of the interrelatedness of healing, peacemaking and community.
People come to Mandaza from all over southern Africa to receive healing and initiation. He does not charge for his services. In Africa people try to offer a donation in return for his healing work, but he works with the poorest of the poor, who have sometimes walked great distances to be with him, and it is more likely that he will have to feed them than that they will not be able to pay him. Between Mandaza and Simakuhle, his wife, they have many children and a large kinship network and community that are dependent upon them for food and spiritual nourishment.
A former anti-apartheid activist from Zimbabwe, Mandaza is one of the truly exceptional men of our time, a warm and generous teacher and healer with magnificent gifts and an entourage of spirits, a man of deep and profound love, laughter and wisdom. Educated in the western traditions of what was then colonial-era, Rhodesia, Mandaza was called by the ancestors to the old ways and taught the exceptional art and craft of being a true healer. He has the skill to look into an individuals’ heart, even if he has not met them before, and thereby awaken the process of initiation that removes the obstacles between the initiate and the spirits.
Mandaza taught about peace-making and offered his healing services at Northern Edge Algonquin in August of 2008. He sat down for an interview to talk about his beliefs in this video. Some of the participants of the program also shared their experiences in this video.
“Tatenda” http://www.ihcenter.org/groups/tatenda.html – is a non-profit organization committed to supporting and sustaining traditional healers and their communities in Africa (was previously the Nanga Project). This is the project supporting Mandaza’s work, his family and the community around him in Zimbabwe as well as to fostering exchange between different indigenous healers and western culture. When visiting communities in North America, the core group coordinating Tatenda (all on a volunteer basis) encourage and support donations to the Tatenda Project to support Mandaza and his Daré in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.