Black Bull, Ancestors and Me - My Life as a Lesbian Sangoma

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Learn how to read digital books for free. My grandmother begged him to leave this woman but he refused. My grandmother died of a heart attack but I can't help thinking that she probably had a broken heart as well. After hearing about my grandmother's death, my grandfather was so stubborn he refused to collect her body, so her brothers buried her in Piet Retief as if she was a woman who had never married and never had children.

He died on the day I was born. He was a handsome man and a ladies' man like my grandfather. He had seven wives and many girlfriends. The story in the family is that he was poisoned.

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His throat started to swell after a jealous man gave him some bad fruit. His family took him to the hospital and to traditional healers but nothing helped. The infection spread from his throat to his chest and his skin turned grey. He also died on 7 December , my birthday. My father named me Beauty, after his mother.

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My grandmother didn't have a Zulu name. My mom gave me the name Zandile, which means "increase". She said, "I have given birth to a daughter instead of a son and two members of the family have died. The problems in the family have increased. She used to forget the dates when my brothers and sisters were born but she never forgot the date of my birthday because of all the deaths on that day.

When my father drove back to the hostel with my mother and me, a woman who was a prophet from the Church of Zion was waiting for us. My father was a member of the Zion church and he knew this woman.

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She spoke to my father and said: "Don't take this child to your father's house because if you take her there, she is going to die. I think I survived because my ancestors knew I had something to do for them. Maybe when I was still in my mother's womb they knew I had been chosen to be a healer and that is why I lived. When my father heard the prophet's warning, he paid attention because in that moment he knew that it was the ancestors speaking. My father asked the woman, "What shall I do? I grew up without knowing that I was a twin.

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It was a family secret. Long after my parents died I asked my aunt what happened when I was born. She didn't want to talk about it either.

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She said, "Nobody wants to open up that wound. She said my dead mother could not defend herself in the world of the living so it was not right to interfere in her business, but I had to know the truth so I begged her until she agreed to tell me what happened. There has always been secrecy and superstition in my family. Even when I was a young child my parents were full of thoughts and emotions that they never expressed. When you don't know what is going on inside people close to you it makes you nervous and you expect the worst to happen. After hearing the news about my twin brother, I started to think about how my life would be different if he had lived.

Maybe I wouldn't even be gay.

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I wished I could ask my mom, "If you could have made a choice, who would you have chosen? She told me my father hit her in her stomach. Sometimes when I feel sad and alone, I think that maybe my father didn't want me to live, although I know this is not true because he loved me when I was a baby. My father's problems with my mother were nothing to do with me or my brothers and sisters but he had a way of turning against all of us if he was angry with my mother. When I was a child growing up I always felt that a part of me was missing.

In December near my birthday, I start to become numb.

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It just happens. I become restless.

I can't feel anything because my body becomes so heavy. Now I know that this is because my twin brother is trying to get closer to me. His spirit was awake in me all these years and I never understood that before. I didn't know that I had another part of me that passed away. My brother loves to praise. If my twin brother's spirit is in me, I feel like praising.

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He is full of joy and energy. When I am dancing, if I am in a ceremony, he has his songs, his praises. When Nkunzi gives other ancestors in me a space, my brother will come and sing his praises. My mother's family welcomed us in KZN. My father waited three days before driving back to Johannesburg because he wanted to hold me in his arms.

Zulu men are not allowed to hold a baby until the umbilical cord has fallen out. My aunt says even when I was a baby I resembled my father and he was very proud. I was introduced to my mother's ancestors when I was one year and six months of age. I was nearly a teenager when I was introduced to my father's ancestors. My mother held me in her arms and my parents and elders from my mother's family took me to the family graveyard. Two chickens — a cock and a hen — were sacrificed for my male and female ancestors from my mother's family.

My uncle and an elderly relative spoke to the ancestors, informing them that I was a child of those parts and that my father was from the Nkabinde clan. My uncle called on the ancestors to open up the path in front of me and teach me the ways of my clan. Afterwards, a celebration was held.

A goat was slaughtered and a feast was prepared for my family and for neighbours from all around. A bracelet made from the goat's hair — isiphandla — was tied around my left wrist, the side for my mother. The Marrying Kind? Serwatka ISBN: Transgender Voices by Lori B. Rupp Call Number: Fiction The American People. Weekly Call Number: Report a problem. Subjects: Communications , Social Sciences. Tags: allies , ally , bi , bisexual , gay , homosexual , homosexuality , intersex , lesbian , lgbt , lgbtq , lgbtqi , queer , social science , trans , transexual , transsexual , women's studies.