What would you do if in the middle of the night you see a light in your bedroom? Cry, Shout or run away? I am not a superstitious person but what happened to me on that hot September night nearly changed my life. It was during September school holidays and I was advised not to come to Johannesburg, as there was fresh black on black violence between township and Hostel dwellers. Fortunately my mum was in Matatiele with me at that time. One night we went to sleep as usual and that was my first night at home. In the middle of the night whilst my eyes were still closed I could feel that there was something strange in the house when I opened my eyes I saw big bright light. Initially I thought it was a car out side just passing, but there was no sound. The light was so close I could easily touch it; I didn’t know what to do because I was definitely sure I personally locked all the doors of this three-roomed house. As the dogs bark outside my thought were taking me to where I have never been before. I thought way be there were thieves who did not know that my mum was not alone that night, but when the light went off there was I could see clearly that there was no one behind it. I began to panic but I remained silence hoping that it will go away. I switched on my Radio hoping to scare this away if it is some spook or something. Nothing changed really as the light kept switching on for a minute or two and off for few seconds again until I dosed off.
In the morning my mum woke up first and came to me looking very worried and ask me “what happened last night” I told her nothing happened. What she had seen was a shock to her system. My clothes that I wore the previous night were scattered all over the place the main door was opened and there was no sign of forced entry yet the lock was still in the locked position even though the door was open and food had been eaten. That was the only time I realised the extent of what happened. I was so scared I was not going to sleep in that house with no assurance that I will sleep peacefully. . (Maybe the door was opened by magic or something I was not sure but what I was sure of was that I needed help A.S.A.P) I had nowhere to go “ this is my home”, but there was no guarantee that what happened last night wouldn’t happen again. We prayed that morning but I knew that God was along term solution and I needed answers soon. We went to a Sangoma (a traditional healer in South African terms) who told us witchdoctors were trying to scare me so that I could run away and never return. I was so vulnerable everything he said made sense.
For a second opinion we went to another songoma who told us the Spook was my late brother and he is in the yard we simply cant see him during the day but by the sunset we will see him again. I freaked out…The third sangoma told us it was my late brother he was now what is called in Zulu “Umkhovu” (Sethotsela inSesotho) a person whom you all believe is dead when actually he is still alive (a lot of bull in actual fact). I am not sure how true is that but people in the rural areas seem to believe that a lot and it made sense to me at that time. I have heard of all this but I never thought it could be happening to me. Then we were told there was a guy in izingolweni in Kwazulu Natal who specialises in these cases, he is not a Sangoma but the leader of one of these charismatic churches that are popping up everywhere. The same day that evening we left for Izingolweni I was not going to sleep in that house again never. It was a two and half trip that felt like a year. When we reached the area it was very misty and the place was very rural.
Everyone knew the Preacher called Sandile. He was so young probably in his early thirties. People came from as far as Northern Transvaal now Limpopo and Gauteng. There was no place to sleep people depended on the generosity of people from the village. It was a relief for me because at last I could sleep if I find the place to sleep of course. I needed help but the kind of help this preacher was offering was scary. He agreed with what the Sangomas and promised to bring my brother back from the dead. I liked my big brother but a thought of talking to him after identifying him in the morgue and buried him was unreal. We spent a week and my mom was asked to come again with clothes for him. I went strait to boarding school, I told my dad about my ordeal and subsequent reaction, he thought we were losing it but he gave us support none the less.
Now that there were no spooks following me I wanted out. I was raised as a Catholic boy and my mother was a Sunday school teacher…seeing my mother believing this s..t broke my heart, but it was the only hope she had of seeing her son again. I was not looking forward to that instead it gave me creeps. When I finished my exams I came strait to Jozi hoping never to set my foot in Matatiele again. Up to today my brother never came back from the dead and that will never happened, but when you are desperate you believe anything that comes your way. For some strange reason or my memory is too short I still don’t believe in African magic, I still visit Matatiele after all it is my home … but I still haven’t figure out what happened that fateful night.