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Who

Anél Hamersma is an award-winning performer and speaker with a background in television presenting and educational theatre interventions.

 

In 2001 she was initiated as a sangoma into the Ngonyama Lodge based in Botswana. One of the roles of the sangoma is to connect people to the soul. Through the use of her training as a performer Anél translates this knowledge into encounters with the Self that are both accessible and practical.


These encounters draw on a variety of different modalities including principles from the Slow Movement, nature, music, art, performance, wabi sabi, improvisation, educational theatre and indigenous practices.

 

Combined they deliver an exhilarating experience - out of the constraints of urban living and back into the leafy green depths of the soul.

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“Ah, not to be cut off,
Not through the slightest partition
Shut out from the law of the stars.
The inner - what is it?
If not the intensified sky,
Hurled through with birds and deep
With the winds of homecoming.”

 

 

Rainer Maria Rilke
 

Singing the soul into Being

The Long and the Short of it

In 2001 I parted the broekie-lace curtains of my Afrikaanse Boer heritage and eloped with my ancestors to become a sangoma.

 

I wondered excitedly:

What might I find in Botswana? And what was this 'thwasa' business anyway?

 

What I found was something unexpected.

It was another way of life; one that was 'ensouled'.

In his book 'Care of the Soul' Thomas Moore says:

 

"Soul is not a thing, but a quality or dimension of experiencing life and ourselves. It has to do with depth, value, genuineness, heart and personal substance."

 

The soul thrums in moments of abandon.

When you're dancing, or laughing, or really letting go in one way or another, the doors fly open and soul comes bouncing out, shaking its behind.

It has a wild quality, natural and other. 

 

This soul business was totally foreign to me... And somehow terribly familiar?

What a marvelous upgrade to life!

Now I could move towards a direction that had nothing to do with winning, or the nagging perfectionism that had plagued me. Success meant something totally different now.

 

It was a healing balm for my weary soul.

 

But when I moved back to Cape Town soul felt overwhelmed and slowly slithered away into the cement cracks of the city.

 

At that point I began exploring ways to cultivate and incorporate this thing called 'soulfulness' into my modern, city-based world. 

For 99% of our race’s history being ensouled was our primary way of engaging with the world. 

 

Now, as we increasingly communicate through screens and the speed of technological breakthroughs double daily,  re-membering our own inner sense of humanness in an increasingly inhuman world may very well mean the difference between our survival and extinction.

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