Discover South Africa’s Spiritual World

TIME

From former male model and horse breeder to respected traditional healer, Chris Ntombemhlophe Reid left his life of excess and wealth to become one of the first white sangomas among the Pondoland people in South Africa.

Sangomas are spiritual healers who practice traditional forms of African medicine. However, they do not reject Western medication, often incorporating it into their practices.

Reid is one of 200,000 sangomas in South Africa. He was first initiated in 1997, and regularly gives consultations in Cape Town as well as around his homestead in the Transkei, a southeastern region of South Africa.

Before becoming a full-fledged sangoma, trainees, who are initiated in a spiritual ceremony, must go through a learning period when they are referred to as a “thwasa”. This process can last several years.

German photojournalist Corinna Kern was given unprecedented access to follow sangoma Reid to document his lifestyle and the initial ceremony…

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