Gogo Ekhaya Esima: Traditional South African Healing


How can seeing visions and hearing voices be transformed into a spiritual gift for healing? What does the initiation ordeal into becoming a shaman involve? Gogo Ekhaya Esima was diagnosed with psychosis and confined in psychiatric hospitals before she became an initiated Sangoma healer in the Zulu tradition of South Africa. Today she is a certified Peer Recovery Specialist in mental health, a trauma survivor, and a spiritual teacher and was recently featured in the film Crazywisewww.sangomahealing.com


  1. Thanks to you both for supplying us with this podcast.

    Even here on MIA, there is still talk (and the language) of “mental health” and of “diagnoses,” etc.

    It is time for this to end, and though I have spoken to Mr. Whitaker about rejecting this medical language, and have in fact called for a world conference for us all to get on the same page and begin to speak a unified language that calls it all what it is — spiritual emergence — I have so far been unsuccessful in garnering any support. I keep trying and trying and trying to get people to come together and create a new language, but to no avail.

    I understand fully that Mr. Whitaker is dealing with a situation where the language is controlled by psychiatry and Big Pharma, and that in order to successfully communicate with most people, that he has to allow medicalized language, just to bring people in. But at the same time, this is killing us. We have to update the language now, or we will never succeed.

    The power of the psychiatric/pharmaceutical establishment is that they control the dialogue. They all speak the same language — “mental illness”, “chemical imbalance”, etc. In this way they control the media, the advertising, and the public dialogue. Until we unify and begin to speak an alternate language that is consistent, rhetorically powerful, and related to what real people experience, we will fail. You, Mr. Hall, have written quite recently about how we can’t succeed until we reform campaign donations. The other half of this is to stop speaking THEIR language — to change the way that the situation is discussed, and so change the paradigm in people’s heads.

    Thanks for this podcast. It is what I personally relate to, and it is the direction that our movement needs to move in.

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