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 – 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.