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Women’s Month: Meet Sis Gugu, the spiritual healer helping Gen Z connect with their faith and spirituality

Durban – IOL continues to showcase amazing women doing amazing things. This time, we introduce you to Sis Gugu, a spiritual healer who is helping Gen Z connect with their faith and spirituality.

Real name Gogo Nobelungu, Sis Gugu grew up in the Catholic faith but was always drawn to African spirituality. Coming from a family of healers who practised in different lineages, Nobelungu eventually accepted her calling to use her gift of healing people across the world.

She is a clairvoyant who uses her gift to allow people to see future events and how they correlate with the past or present.

Explaining her work, Sis Gugu said there are different mediums of how people receive their information.

“In my case, my base will always be my ancestors who show me visions for people. I use water and a white candle to receive the visions,” she said.

While she now enjoys a major following across social media – she says being a content creator wasn’t always the goal.

Gogo Nobelungu – who also goes by Sis Gugu – is among those leveraging the power of digital to connect with other spiritual followers. Picture: Supplied

“If I’m honest, I wasn’t always ready to embrace the ‘content creator’ title. My online presence has really been a result of me just speaking my mind because I’m such an opinionated spirit. I already have a devoted following on Instagram but my followers were constantly asking me to jump on to YouTube, so it was a no brainer,” Sis Gugu said.

Her first YouTube video garnered over 20 000 views in less than a week – and was the driving force behind the leap into content creation.

“I think people resonated with the video because it gave them a real and personal insight into my spiritual journey. When it comes to talking about African spirituality, I always wanted to challenge what we were taught about traditional religion. It’s important to use my digital platform to have these honest conversations where we can interrogate everything and ask hard questions. That’s why it was critical to enter into a space like YouTube with its huge global reach; especially since I found out that many of the people who enjoy and consume my content live outside of South Africa,” she added.

Using her social media platforms, Nobelungu has amassed an audience of tens of thousands of followers. She says she has worked to find creative ways to engage with her audience, which keeps them coming back.

Gogo Nobelungu – who also goes by Sis Gugu – is among those leveraging the power of digital to connect with other spiritual followers. Picture: Supplied

“I like to create a safe space where there’s no judgement as I engage with people from all ages, religions and walks of life. This is super important with an often divisive topic like religion so a friendly and welcoming atmosphere gives my followers the freedom to speak freely. It’s been a bit of a learning curve, because I’m not really tech-savvy and the job also comes with its fair share of negative sentiment. I was always aware of the trolling that I would receive online and that is just a negative by-product of becoming a content creator. Instead of rising to the bait, I use these as teachable moments where I can confront them and challenge their criticism, whilst fostering more open debate,” she said.

Her platform is also giving her the opportunity to break down stereotypes and misconceptions about spirituality, and the people who practise it.

“There’s a common misconception that spirituality on the continent is somehow primitive or uncivilised, so we really need to unpick that colonial narrative. Whilst we have a lot of work to do, there’s small progress being made,” Sis Gugu said.

Breaking those stereotypes extends to her appearance too. Anyone who has stumbled on the Sis Gugu Instagram feed would be forgiven for thinking she is a fashion or beauty influencer.

She believes that she does not fit the “stereotypical”perception of what a spiritual healer looks like.

“When I started out, I was constantly attacked for my appearance and it created a broader essence of doubt in terms of my credibility. However, I am proud of my look and whether I wear coloured wigs, nails or lashes, I’m still able to resonate with my followers. It’s important for people to see me as more than a healer; I’m an ordinary person with real emotions and desires. My spirituality doesn’t take away from my style or my extravagant nature,” she said.

Nobelungu added that healers are being represented more and points to recent winner of “Big Brother Mzansi”, Mphowabadimo, who is a traditional healer as another person who has used their platform to share more about their spirituality which on its own is huge.

Perhaps this is part of a generational shift, as Gen Z, a generation which has grown up with social media and mobile connectivity, starts to make its voice heard.

“We know that there have been huge significant generational shifts and Gen Z is much more likely to question everything rather than follow in blind faith. They are becoming much more open-minded to finding a version of spirituality that works for them and often that means stumbling on to YouTube to find healers like me. I hope I can help them embrace and lead their own spirituality. Everyone is looking for a healer to guide them, but spirituality is not group work, it’s about individuality that comes from within and finding your own way,” Sis Gugu concluded.

IOL

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