KwaZulu-Natal 'healer' claims 'muti' brings him up to R20,000 a day
Money talks - and walks, in the case of herbalist Michael Andile Dlamini.
Dlamini, 31, of Nongoma, KwaZulu-Natal, turns heads with his randela outfit - R100 and R200 notes pinned to his clothes. His new nickname is Mzimb'okhalimali (a body dripping with money).
With all the cash out in the open, it comes as no surprise that he is accompanied by bodyguards.
He has been raking it in since he began practising as a "healer" nine months ago. The money is tips from clients who believe in his muti, which includes Pincode, a herbal concoction to boost sex drive.
The father of seven caused a stir this week when he entered a Durban beachfront restaurant.
He claims that he makes between R15000 and R20000 a day from his herbal products, which include "blessed water" for R20; a herbal mixture that he claims cures high blood pressure, ulcers, meningitis, infertility, shingles and other problems for R200; and a R50 "lucky soap" to remove pimples and stretchmarks.
"The money I get from people who thank me for helping them gets pinned to my clothes. Wherever I go, people stare."
Dlamini has homes in Nongoma and Pongola and consults in open areas near parking lots and shopping centres.
On Thursday, he consulted with clients outside The Workshop mall in Durban, then moved on to Pinetown. On Friday he moved his wares to Pietermaritzburg.
His clients swear by him and his muti.
Siphelelisiwe Dlamini, 25, of Ulundi, said she first saw the healer in Ulundi, promoting his products. She bought a remedy for her mother, who has high blood pressure.
"That evening I decided to take some because I had never been able to menstruate. From that night, I have been able to menstruate. I still don't know how to thank him," she said.
Thembilihle Ntuli, 35, of Durban, went to Dlamini earlier this year to help her find a job and give her a remedy for the pimples on her face.
"I started using the soap and it cleared my pimples. A week after I took his medicine, I got a job as a merchandiser. I believe in him and I have been telling other people about how good his medicines work."
Dlamini employs several bodyguards, a person to pin the money onto his clothes, six people to help with the products as well as entertainers.
When he was 12, his ancestors spoke to him in his dreams, telling him which trees and plants to mix to make the remedies, he said.
He ignored this but had to leave school a few years later when he became seriously ill. At the time his family burnt impepho, a traditional herb used to communicate with the ancestors.
"I later felt well. In 2011, I started having the dreams again where my ancestors told me to go to the forest to get certain leaves and roots and mix them. After a burglary at my house in January, I went to a sangoma, who scolded me because I was not listening to the ancestors. I then started as a herbalist," said Dlamini.
Dlamini wants to complete his matric next year.