In this day and age, the current generation finds it hard to uphold their cultural beliefs at the same time serving their religious “gods” as it is supposed culture and religion can’t be married.
Culture doesn’t really have a universal description but we can agree that it refers to the collective knowledge existing in the people of a society.
Religion is the relationship of every individual to the spiritual things they have regarded as holy and worthy of their highest reverence.
It is also considered as the means that brings comfort to the people whenever they deal with the truth of life and death and anything in between.
As complicated as it sounds, celebrated poet Lerato “Nqindi” Ndlovu, a being who received an ancestral calling at a young age to be a culturalist and conserve it, also doubles up as a Christian.
He is a devoted member of the Apostolic Church in Zion where he serves as a deacon.
In as much as one can find it hard to balance both, Nqindi doesn’t have any issues striking a balance between these two.
He says culture and religion are slightly the same as they both are related to a “spirit.”
“All that I know is that being a traditionalist (culturalist) is a gift from God, the same as being a Christian, because all of these aspects have a connection with the spirit either amadlozi (ancestral spirits) or the Holy Ghost.
“At the end of the day it goes down to one on what to choose because some are born with an ancestral spirit which they can’t run away from, at the same time manage to be a Christian, just like me.
“When I am supposed to go to church I go, and when I have to dance amantshomane I dance.
“Even if people look at me and judge my actions, I am not moved because only God knows the duty I have to fulfil on earth and He is the one Who guides me,” said Nqindi.
As a herbalist, Nqindi has managed to heal a lot of people through the use of herbs. He also claims he can heal different kinds of cancer as well as healing the mentally challenged.
“When it comes to culture, I can say it’s an inborn thing. The poems that I recite are spiritual and they have a connection to my ancestors.
“Here in my homestead, I host traditional feasts and slaughter a beast for people to eat, drink traditional beer and dance.
“My homestead is strong such that it’s protected by both my ancestors and God.
“I am not a Sangoma but I am a herbalist. I have a gift of healing people; I have treated cancer which was affecting many people as well as helping the mad to fight their mental illness.
“I have a gift of dreaming concoctions of medicine and then go to the wilderness to find those herbs.
“Even in our church, our Archbishop Malungisa Ncube is a herbalist. When we are praying for someone at church, we look at what is best for us to solve the person’s problems.
“If there is a need, we supplement prayers with herbs,” said Nqindi.
The poet asked for adults to teach young people on cultural preservation so as to guide them in protecting their calling, that of helping other people.