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“When a person dies as a result of being stabbed, it’s customary that it rains, rain that is a symbol of washing away the blood that was shed,” said my mother before I left to bid farewell to one young man who was allegedly stabbed to death.
Something so peculiar happened at the cemetery that was testament to the words of my mother. As they lowered the coffin, it started to drizzle. I immediately remembered my mother’s words.
The peculiarity of this occurrence was even more astonishing because of the timing of the rain. It started immediately when they lowered the coffin, and it stopped the instant they finished.
The skies were clear, then there was a quick formation of clouds that resulted in that drizzle and then things went back to normal. Surely that cannot be a coincidental rainfall?
So often, the elders talk to us about the interconnectedness of nature, i.e. weather, death and birth, yet we dispute most of the things they say to us.
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This experience reminded me so much about how we live up to our names, especially if the names carry negative connotations. For example, when a Dikeledi (tears) always finds herself crying, due to the pain and heartbreak that always follows her life. A similar fate will be suffered by someone named Sello (a cry) – always crying about various heartaches.
It is a simple case of living up to your name. I categorically mention that I have seen people with terrible names live up to their names . However, the opposite hardly happens. A person named Mofenyi (a victor) will lose most of the battles in his or her life.
All these things used to sound mysterious to me until I witnessed them. For a long time, I used to think elders enjoyed narrating stories that had to do with a lot of superstitions. I guess I was the proverbial “doubting Thomas” from the bible. I simply needed proof so that I could believe the things they were saying to me.
With maturation and growth, I am learning that we do live in a world of the natural and supernatural.
To this day, the mystery of rain has always been a part of my life. There is a family with the surname Tsheola, and a few people named Tsheola in my village. Tsheola is a Setswana name for the rain that falls after crop plantation. All my life, if anyone with the name or surname Tsheola passed on, whether it was in the rainy season or not, even if there was no rain predicted in our area, it would rain on the day of their burial.
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So, when my mother spoke with certainty that there would be rain that washes away the blood, and it did, I realised that we live in a world of supernatural powers. In this space and time of uncertainties we live in, we really need supernatural interventions.
Kabelo Chabalala is the founder and chairperson of the Young Men Movement (YMM), an organisation that focuses on the reconstruction of the socialisation of boys to create a new cohort of men.
Facebook: Kabelo Chabalala
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