Articles

Healing and Spirituality: The mganga figure between literature, myths and beliefs


Abstract


In  many parts of Africa, illness, health  and misfortune are considered human experiences influenced by spiritual entities, and therefore connected  to local beliefs and religion. Consequently, the concept of uganga (healing) reflects the total of knowledge, skills and practices based on theories, beliefs and experiences. The ‘conceptual reality’ can be transformed into imaginative and mnemonic reality through stories, narrations, representations and memories. In my paper, I will show the figures of three men who have been transformed into literary and/or media characters: the prophet-healer  Kinjeketile, the witchdoctor Nguvumali, and the “dreamy healer” Ambilikile Mwasapile a retired Lutheran pastor who became a public figure for his self-referential ability to cure diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Though they were different in chronology, history and destinies, they are still linked to the topic of the ‘healing’.

Keywords

Swahili; spirituality; healing; mganga

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13135/1825-263X/2872

References


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