“I was born in Lesotho. I’m the fourth child in my family. I’m the youngest and I have three older sisters. When I was born my father was bitten with a stick. It’s tradition and symbolizes the birth of a warrior in the family. My father was very happy to have a son after three daughters and called me Lebohang: It means “be thankful and grateful.” Here in Lesotho we believe names are very important: It can impact a person’s future and has a big influence on everyday life.
I lost my father to illness when I was nine years old. I was a child and didn’t really understand what happened, but saw women were crying. My grandmother told me that my father was in heaven. I remember the day of his funeral: It was snowing, cold and chilly wind was blowing. They buried him not so far from the village. When everyone left, I sat down near the grave and started crying. It was freezing but I didn’t feel physical pain. Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up and saw my grandmother. She brought me to our rondavels, gave me hot bohobe and motoho drinks and told me not to cry.
Even though I knew my father was in a better place, growing up without him was hard. I kept thinking about my father, trying to understand the reasons why he left me.
One night, I was seventeen years old, when I dreamed about my father. The dream was so real that I even felt his breath. He told me that he lived a happy life with ancestors and they were going to protect and guide me. He informed me that my ancestors wanted me to become a healer and help other people. That was my mission. I needed to sacrifice goats. I didn’t have any money, so I didn’t know what to do. I knew one wise man in the neighboring village named Teboho, who could speak with spirits. I went to his rondavels and asked for his advice. He told me to go to Johannesburg for work to make money to buy goats. I decided to give it a try.
I went to Johannesburg. I didn’t know anybody and I didn’t have a place to stay. So, I became homeless and slept on the streets. I was working any job I could find. I was eating less because I wanted to save money. Because of lack of food and sleep I lost lots of weight and always felt dizzy and drowsy. At one night someone saw me putting money in my shoe and robbed me. He took away all the money I saved. I decided to come back to Lesotho. Two days later I dreamed about my father again and he told me to not give up and the ancestors were watching and they would be guiding me. I decided to stay in Johannesburg until I had enough money to buy a goat for sacrifice.