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Judy Croome: Author on the Prowl

Judy Croome lives, writes and reads in Johannesburg, South Africa.  A novelist & poet, Judy loves cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, rainy days and cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) Visit Judy on www.judycroome.com or join her on Twitter @judy_croome

A Sangoma's Story

A Sangoma's Story: The calling of Elliot Ndlovu - Melanie Reeder I don’t usually buy biographies. I find them pedantic and so full of facts I’m reminded of my school history classes. With my interest in evolutionary astrology and alternative healing methods, this biography caught my eye.

Although I enjoyed the book, I found the first half – dealing with Elliot’s emotional, psychological and spiritual struggle to follow the calling of his ancestral spirits – exceptionally fascinating compared to the second half, which I found somewhat sad as I followed Elliot’s struggle against the corruptions and commercialisation that constantly test his spiritual gifts.

This is a well-written book (the first biography that I’ve ever finished reading from cover-to-cover!)and contains within it some wonderful insights into the life of a sangoma – the struggles and the rewards, the burdens and the blessings, of having the gift of clairvoyance and healing.

As a vegetarian, the descriptions of the ritualistic animal slaughters were harrowing. However, by the end of the book, I found myself less uncomfortable with the concept because it’s clear that the animals are perceived to die noble deaths, necessary deaths…unlike the senseless, needless slaughtering of animals in abattoirs that only feed the huge consumer demand of greedy humans.

Elliot Ndlovu’s progressive conservation views to safeguard the endangered traditional medicinal plants also made for absorbing reading.

After reading this book, I’m left with the image of a man who has been granted a precious gift from the gods, who is able to bridge the gap between traditional religions and Christianity and who, through his trials and tribulations as well as his successes, is a true proponent of the African concept of Ubuntu: that as individuals we all have great potential, but that potential cannot exist in a vacuum because we are all connected through the bond of our collective humanity.