Sanibonani. I'd like to start series of articles which look at the structure of families in our culture. It's part of what I think of as part of reclaiming our culture because I find that we don't really know our culture except what we are led to believe is our culture. My first topic focuses I the importance of your knowing your heritage passed down from your mother.
There is this mistaken belief that you are who you are exclusively because of your father's side of the family. This is not true. Who you are is the convergence of 2 branches (abakini nabakoMalume). As much as you may tend to resemble one side more than the other, your strengths and weaknesses, protection etc, can come from any one side or be a combination of the 2.
History tells us that inheritances in African culture were passed down by both parents. The inheritence from the father to the eldest and the inheritence from the other to the youngest.
No where do you see this importance of having a full history more than when someone has to undergo ukuthwasa or amagobongo. We need to have the 4 surnames of iThwasa in order to proceed.
These 4 surnames are the true branches of your being. They are your father's surnames (his father and his mother) and your mother's surnames (her father and mother). My mother is MaGumede, her mother, MaShange. My father's mother is MaYengwa, her mother is MaMajozi (although they know her as MaXulu).
As can be clearly seen, both your father and your mother's maternal sides a required in equal measure in the healing process.
So, complete your knowledge about your lineage. Uzophila! MAD-G