Criselda Kananda: 'Someone taught me that ubungoma is witchcraft and I believed them'
Media personality Criselda Kananda has encouraged black people to take back their power by unlearning the negative notions that they have been taught about African spirituality.
Criselda took to Instagram to share a proud moment that recently happened in her life when her niece came back from ukuthwasa. She got real about how she was “uncomfortable” with her niece's journey at some point and the reason.
“My gorgeous niece Nomonde Kananda came back home from ukuthwasa. I hate that I was at some point uncomfortable with the process. Someone taught me that ubungoma is witchcraft and I believed them,” she began.
Criselda shared that her perspective of African spirituality had changed dramatically since she began the journey of intentionally unlearning other things she had been taught about it, to embrace it better.
The media personality said listening to her niece share her experience and her journey made her proud and reminded her that as a black person she had been robbed of a knowledge system.
“Listening to her divinely connecting to our ancestral lineage made me feel so proud and robbed of a knowledge system that connects Africans to the divine. It is unfortunate that African traditional medicine through our indigenous systems were, and still are, equated with negative practices such as witchcraft,” she said.
Criselda then shared a few historical reasons why things are the way they are and why it is important for there to be an entire department whose purpose is solely to help discard the “distorted narratives” about African spirituality.
Read her full post below.
View this post on Instagram
My gorgeous niece @nomondekananda came back home from ukuthwasa. I hate that I was at some point uncomfortable with the process. Someone taught me that ubungoma is witchcraft and I believed them. Listening to her divinely connecting to our ancestral lineage made me feel so proud and robbed of a knowledge system that connects Africans to the Devine. It is unfortunate that African traditional medicine through our indigenous systems were, and still are, equated with negative practices such as witchcraft. Such notions could be traced to the first half of the last century, with white ethnographers documenting their observations in KwaZulu-Natal. Not asking the correct questions for clarity and understanding led them to pointing out that according to Europeans, ATM was deemed as 'superstitions', 'witchcraft', 'black magic', 'immoral' or 'illegal.' In anthropological literature on beliefs, Shanafelt noted that in the early days of armchair anthropology and comparative religion, researchers generally did not have qualms about labelling certain beliefs as superstitious or false. Now, today in 2020 I find myself stuck with these distorted narratives. We need an entire department to focus on Sense of identity. Singobani Sizalwa Ngobani Na? Thank you @gogodineo may you continue serving humanity in this purest of forms. #mkhulubhubesi✊🏾🇿🇦👏🏽👏🏽💞💞
Criselda has spoken about a similar matter in the past, expressing her worry that the generations to come may never know the truth about who they are.
In an older post on Instagram the media personality said that knowing and remembering where black people come from will help them navigate where they are going unapologetically and with conviction. She added that it was such knowledge that kept her forefathers grounded and incredibly wise.
“I just worry about our children. I don’t know if they are equipped or are they even interested in our indigenous wisdom. Strangers referred to our ways as dark, quackery and barbaric and we believed them and helped spread the lies.”