Sylvia Mngxekeza; a mother, healer and actress living in Cape Town, South Africa.

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What does self-care and healing mean to you?   It means appreciating your ancestors and accepting their guidance in your life. It means taking care of yourself and following what is in your soul. 

How did you get into self-care and healing? I was born into it. As a child I was very sickly and doctors and ceremonies didn't help. I’d have strange dreams that came true, I saw things that other people didn't see. My family understood that I had a calling but I was stubborn. I tried to fight it, tried to avoid it because I wanted to live a normal life and be respected in society. I wanted to go to university and work. Even after being able to heal my sister's son, recovering money and solving people's problems I was still resistant! I thought being a healer would bring me down. Instead of focusing on healing I got married and worked various jobs, but my ancestors wouldn't let me be. They kept showing up in my dreams and put me in situations that revealed my true destiny.  Once I accepted my fate as a healer things in my life fell into place.

What are struggles in maintaining healing work and self-care? Money. Healing work doesn’t make anyone rich but I never go to bed without food. Also there are some people that will try to get in your way and block you and take you off of your path, but I always remember why I do this work and I think of the people I help and heal and that keeps me going. 

How do you share self-care and healing with others? I heal them, physically, mentally, spiritually. I pray over them, I share advice from the ancestors with them. I care for them. As a Sangoma l believe that l have been initiated to a higher level of sphere of knowledge cause when l prepare medicines l always feel my ancestors invisible bodies around me telling me what to do. I know what to do to heal them and that keeps me confident in myself and my work. It’s who I am, it’s what I was born to do.