A sangoma is an African spiritual leader, similar to a pastor, but not as concerned with making money, as many South African pastors are. To become a true sangoma you will need to be called, and ignoring this calling can be detrimental to you. Sangoma training is unlike any other training – there are no sangoma schools or colleges, you will need to find a sangoma to train you. The training will take many months and will involve, amongst other things, spell making, herbalist training, study of African tradition and culture, and isangoma rituals and magic.
A sangoma is not a witch doctor, although many westerners and mlungus think so. Witchcraft is practiced by the umthakathi, healing on the other hand is done by iNyanga. The isangomas primary role is to find out the cause of the “sickness”. This is not sickness as westerners know or understand it – all sickness according to African cuture has an external cause – bewitchment by a witch (umthakathi), evil spirits in your life (Imimova emibi), or the ancestors themselves (amadlozi), calling for sacrifice to the spirits.
Do not think that sangoma training is easy – do not think that you do not need intelligence, and do not think that you will make lots of money by becoming a sangoma. Be prepared to serve your people, or your village. Be prepared to deal with the spirit world (sometimes dangerous and scary), and most of all – be prepared to work on the side of good – a very difficult thing in the modern world. Find a respected and admired sangoma to train under – make sure he or she is not just an amateur spell maker, weaving love spells and revenge spells, or a small witch, as many so called healers are today. If they call themselves “doctor” or “professor” then they are likely fake sangomas, or witch doctors.