And the winner is... Zulu Sangoma reveals all | sports | Hindustan Times
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And the winner is... Zulu Sangoma reveals all

sports Updated: Jun 11, 2010 09:49 IST

A Zulu Sangoma, after a night of dreams and consultations with the ancestors, looks into the future to see the winner of the 2010 World Cup.

The 70-year-old fortune teller, a cheerful lady called Constance, plays a critical role in Zulu culture, blessed with special powers to heal and divine the future.

But she was mighty hard to find.

A two-day search aided by street sellers and shop owners in the southern city of Port Elizabeth had produced nothing but a series of false dawns.

It appeared one needed a sangoma to find a sangoma.

Then a toothless lady of indeterminate age kneading dough on a pavement beside a taxi rank suggested trying a muthi herbal specialist off Govan Mbeki Road.

The shop, an Aladdin's cave of pills and potions and ointments, had a high counter behind which were two people.

One, a man, had his face painted in tribal warpaint.

The other, a woman, was Constance.

"You've made it," she smiled, as if she had been expecting the visit all the time.

After negotiating her fee, Constance opened a door into a storeroom packed with sacks of dried roots and animal hides hanging from a makeshift washing line.

Through a curtain at the back was her "office" -- with a frayed floral couch, more bags of herbs and plant extracts, and shelves crammed with somewhat incongruous tins of Jeyes Fluid household cleaner.

"I use all this to make my medicines," she said, easing her generous frame into a chair beside, which was a small table with incense and a yellow candle.

"When someone comes to me and wants me to help them with trouble in their life or look into the future, I get them to light this candle. That way I can see through them, I can see what the problem is," she explained.

"I help cure people who are mad or who have AIDS using 'muthi'."