“I have the gift of reading bones to foretell the future”

Reading bones, performing exorcisms and encounters with the paranormal are things Bronwyn Saayman, a white sangoma from Hartbeespoort, takes in her stride on a daily basis. She says that she has been blessed to have been living in Hartbeespoort for six years. “I find Hartbeespoort spiritually rich in energy.”

Referring to herself as a sangoma first and foremost, Bronwyn tells that some of her foreign clientele call her a witchdoctor, associates in the industry call each other traditional healers and they are also referred to as traditional doctors.

Regardless of what sangomas are called, they all undergo the same training called Twasa. This is a process of being trained by a master sangoma. Various aspects, such as learning ancient rituals, healing techniques and how to protect yourself from harmful entities and energies, are covered during this apprenticeship.

Bronwyn did her Twasa under the mentorship of Makhosi Mahlatini in a squatter camp in Soweto. “During Twasa, which can take up to five years to complete, you are taught how to harness your gifts,” Brownwyn explains. “We have specific tests we perform and we are taught how to communicate with the spirit world. Each of us specialises in a certain field. I was chosen to have the gift of reading bones which foretell the future, diagnose past situations and blockages as well as pass on messages from spirits to the living.” Due to her already being very spiritually advanced, Bronwyn’s Twasa took just six months.

The usual initiation for sangomas after the completion of Twasa is to slaughter a goat and drink its blood. “I have pet goats and have never liked the idea of slaughter, and because it is not my culture to do so, my teacher deemed this unnecessary for me.”

Bronwyn says that, on this journey, she found that her life purpose was the removal of black magic, demons and performing exorcisms. The bones she uses, are a collection of standard objects most of us use that she has gathered over the past ten years. Your basics are bought at the main sangoma market in central Johannesburg.

“Throwing bones is a process in which you shake a basket then throw the bones down and they are placed by the ancestors in such a fashion that you can read them. Each bone has a meaning and so does the way it lands and in a consultation each placement is explained to the client. I knew since I was a child that I was different and our home was always haunted by the paranormal.” Bronwyn says this gift runs in both her parents’ bloodlines. She has been doing this for 10 years.

Bronwyn warns that black magic is effective regardless of race or religion. She says that she remains religiously neutral and says her gift is available to all. “I have even had referrals from priests in the past when they were unable to remove demons. Being a healer is draining in itself as you are responsible for fixing other people’s lives and take their emotional energy upon yourself which depletes your energies.”

Bronwyn says exorcisms are the most damaging to the body and mind. “I am often asked if I believe in God. I follow the Babalonian belief that earth, trees, rivers, mountains, clouds and sky are all God. Yes there is a higher power no doubt.”


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