January 16, 2023

‘My calling is nothing new' ?" Phelo Bala on being a sangoma

Phelo Bala has gone from being a gospel singer to now a sangoma

He accepted the calling eight years ago. But when Phelo Bala uploaded a picture wearing his sangoma gear on Thursday, South Africans were shocked that the singer and songwriter was now a sangoma. Many criticised him saying that, "Almost every celebrity has a calling to be a sangoma and it has become fashionable.' Speaking to ZiMoja, Phelo says his calling is nothing new."I've never hidden my gift. My calling is nothing new,' he says. "I have countless times spoken about it and shared my journey, the hardships, and what it means to me.'


Had he been given a choice; Phelo says he would have chosen not to be a sangoma. "It's not something you wake up to one morning and decide to pursue. It's not a joke, it's real life. I don't think If I had a choice, I would choose to be a sangoma.' Phelo says many people make jokes about people faking their calling. "Why would anyone fake something so challenging and demanding? Having this gift means you have to deal with yourself, your mental wellness and go on these intense programmes to understand what you have. So, I doubt being a sangoma can ever be a fashion statement.'


The youngest of the singing Bala Brothers and former Joyous Celebration member accepted his calling around 2014. "I was in Gqeberha for a funeral and after the funeral proceedings, I started to almost lose my mind, Phelo says. "I didn't understand some of the things I was saying. I woke up the next day and some parts of my body were not working, and I was in a way. hallucinating. I was then taken for a consultation and that is when I found out about my calling,' he adds. "That is when everything started for me. It was a shock, but it kind of made sense.' Since then, he has had to learn a few things about his gift. "I've had to learn some things and understand that it is a gift and not a curse. It has not been easy. I needed to know myself, my culture, and my creator.'


Phelo recently opened up about leaving Johannesburg and going back home to Uitenhage to find himself and get time off the hustle and bustle of the big city. "Johannesburg can be very taxing emotionally and I need to be home to gather myself, where I am loved and there is no judgement.' He also had some tasks to complete in his journey of being a healer. "There were some things that needed my attention concerning my calling. Those things needed me to go back. It has not been easy, but every day I am fighting.' Phelo says he has also been working on new music due for release this year. "Being at home has helped me to find my purpose and my passion. I never stopped writing music.This year I plan to release a few songs before dropping a full project.'



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