Goat to hear both sides…

I’m going to say something, you just have to take my word for it and not ask me for receipts. Here it is: in isiZulu, it’s said that children are whatever their father is, ethnically and culturally speaking. So, by this reasoning, it would mean that my kids are English, culturally, and ethnically Caucasian. Except that they’re not, really, because black mum –Ā  and white supremacy don’t play that. I’m totally fine with this, because as far as I have observed, my husband’s culture is rugby and stuff. I don’t know what English people did with their mediums, seers and healers, but there seems to be a serious lack in the spiritual ceremonies and rituals department.


We haven’t done any specific rituals or ceremonies for our children because it is the responsibility of the father to do the rituals of imbheleko to introduce his child to his family and ancestors. Since alliancepartner is English, there is no corresponding ritual that we know of. It’s not such a big deal because, as the mother, my ancestors will have a stronger influence in their lives, anyway, with or without goat offerings.


It’s a known but often overlooked fact that the most influential ancestral guides in a person’s life are the ones on their mother’s side. Seems kind of obvious, because we grow inside of, and come through our mothers, so we are born with the grancestor squad already having our backs. The mere fact that fathers have to invite their mancestors to participate in the lives of their children, is quite telling of the role and influence of paternal ancestors.

Many people who grow up having never met their dads or have dads who have not played an active role in their lives, and not done any cultural rites for them, are told that their lives are a mess/will be a mess because they haven’t been introduced to their father’s ancestors. How are complete ancestral strangers gonna have so much influence over your life and mess it up while the ancestors of your mother and her people just sit there and watch? Like? Bruh?


Anyway, if we are keeping it strictly 100 emoji, the lives of black people are most likely to be horrible because of how colonialism and Apartheid subjugated and continue to ruin black people in every possible way imaginable; rather than that some mancestors and grancestors are mad at you because your dad didn’t introduce you to them. I mean…

I’m not saying that paternal ancestors are not important, I’m simply saying that their role and influence is often overstated, while the spiritual and energetic role of mothers is made invisible, once again. SMH.

As a mum, I’m allowed to burn impepho for my children, and I do, often. And if things go a bit otherwise for them, I am allowed to take them to my family to do whatever dlozi related thing is necessary for their health and to make sure they flourish. I, as Zulu mum, have every right to play a central role in all my children’s life rites, it is my place. I don’t care about the colonial tinted patriarchal remixes of our culture that have distorted our ways and erased the VIP role of womyn in spiritual ceremonies and practices. Sure, our culture has its gendered aspects, cool, not denying; but whenever I hear people saying womyn have no place commenting on cultural practices, especially those that affect the lives of children, I think “who birthed these people?! Whose soul enveloped these children?”

Patriarchy. Must be nice.

5 thoughts on “Goat to hear both sides…

  1. emperorlefs says:

    Ngiyavuma Makhosi!

    You know, a conversation I had with my mother(Mary Maloso Mokebe) about lineages comes to my mind after reading this blog post. She’s a nurse and she was telling me about what maternal influences can constitute in medicals terms. When a woman bears twins, or a child may have a particular illness etc, in most cases they are inherited from the mother’s side. She found this to be very interesting and I broke it down to her.

    Even when using DNA, one is most likely re-trace his/her ancestry using the Mother’s DNA as opposed to the father’s. Why is this? It is because a woman’s bloodline never changes. Should my mother divorce and mary again, and I perhaps even change my surname take the one belonging to my new dad, her side of the family will always remain mine, no matter what. Whether a single mother, or married or whatever, you will always know your mother, and she will know hers, so on and so forth. I remember reading something about BaPedi in pre-colonial times, and its said gore the mother’s lineage was most important than the father’s. You would always be asked who your mom is and stuff, and not who your dad is.

    With that said, the paternal lineage is not always true. The men we call our father’s may actually be not, be it through our mother’s divorcing and marrying again, or he unknowingly nursing another man’s seed etc etc. The bloodline is not pure, interrupted in some parts. Its just like back then when a man couldn’t produce kids and they’d send him on an errand so his brother could impregnate his wife. Wa bona? Yes they are brothers, one blood but when shit hits the fan and iThongo lithi kuwe “we will see you on “Utatakho on ch 161” what must happen? Altough they are brothers, the ancestors may not handle them the same and perhaps one of them was picked to have a healer/shaman/seer/sangoma in his lineage thus influencing how iThongo treat his descendants. Its perculiar. Imagine looking for your father cos your thangs aren’t doing the biznes, and your ancestors need to werk but wathol’ukuthi naye akazi neks! Weeeeh!

    Even with “bo ngaka/ubungoma”, the gift is mostly inherited from the mother’s side of the family, whether inherited by a man or woman. My malome, Alfred Mokebe has a daughter, Cisky, who is a sangoma. Our grandmother, Mrs Mantlholle Francinah Matjila-Mokebe had the gift, and so did Cisky’s maternal grandmother.

    Its interesting. I know my mother’s ancestors, communicate with them and stuff even if I’m not “really their’s” but yet her brothers have to go through the whole introducing their kids to the dlozis and other things. I have 8(girls and boys) cousins who have come looking for their dads, my malome’s cos izinto ziyabheda and they were told to go home and be one with their ancestors. One of them was even taken to look for his dad by iStep-father sakhe. Things like this, it seems, happen when the bloodline is pure I suppose? From the son, to the father, father’s father njalor njalor? My mom and her siblings have been told that the Mokebe name is powerful, that it came from a High place and must be treated with respect and care.

    On a lighter note I feel your blog post affirms that men need to do better in some respect. Yes the paternal lineage is over-emphasised, but its because of mediocrity. The assumption that just knowing your dad, using his surname(that’s if its even really his) and introducing you to BaDimo is enough, As opposed to him teaching you the ways of your clan, teaching you the history of the names you bare, who BaDimo ba gago are, what they want from you, and how to communicate with them, continues to put strain on some.

    Love your blog by the way! ā¤


    Liked by 1 person

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