Defining Umsamo and the South African Healers Association


An African Universal Wisdom, Spirit and Knowledge

Defining Umsamo

‘Umsamo’ is an Nguni term meaning a place in an Nguni hut where it is intrinsically believed that the ancestral spirits Ithongo or Amadlozi or Abaphansi or Izinyanya are seated.  These words in our African settings are used interchangeably. In English these are called Ancestors or ancestral spirits. Therefore the word ‘Umsamo’ is institution of Amadlozi/amathongo which is ancestors collectively.


Because Amathongo/amadlozi are just the same people who lived with us on earth, it is always believed that they, the gods, and all the cosmic forces must serve the interests of the living for their own peace and fulfillment. That is the reason why they are cared for, looked after and highly feared and respected.


One might say ‘umsamo’ is an African Metaphysics, if wanting to give it a philosophical explanation. Also one may look at ‘Umsamo’ at both Epistemological and Ontological level.  Such approaches will take ‘umsamo’ at a status of becoming a universal philosophy. ‘Umsamo’ is all universal wisdom that is there (Idwala laphakade).


Umsamo as a Philosophical Concept and its Epistemology

‘Umsamo’ is a cosmological, epistemological and ontological universal centre of African wisdom, metaphysics and natural Law of UBUNTU as it originated from NTU in ancient Egypt. In ancient Egypt, the Egyptian mystery schools, which produced Bona abakhulu BaseKhem organisation, was the essence of ‘Umsamo.’

‘Umsamo’ is the godly light; it is the godly law; it is the godly knowledge; it is the godly power that enables one to see beyond horizons. To be able to see beyond horizons means that one is now endowed with heavenly light and power to foresee and foretell. That power comes from God, Whom we AbeNguni call UMvelingqangi. Our ancestors are God’s angels.

 In ancient Egypt, Thoth Hermes was the father of ‘Umsamo’, for all knowledge that came from God was first transmitted to him, and then he would disseminate it to the entire world. The ancient Egyptian Mystery Schools, by law, had to use most of Hermes’ divine books. All ancient Egyptian learning centres had to use one of Hermes’ books, for he was the only source of ‘Umsamo’.

To be a proper African Uhlanya you must go through a thorough process of what ‘Umsamo’ is, and how it functions. Unlike now, it used to be a very lengthy process that would take a couple of years.

Therefore, ‘Umsamo,’ by origin, is an African phenomenon, and we have seen so many white shamans coming to Africa for training as African Uhlanya, and we haven’t seen or heard any African going to Europe to be trained as African Uhlanya. 

Therefore, epistemology is crucial and fundamental because it helps us to know how we think. Without some means of understanding how we acquire knowledge, how we rely upon our senses, and how we develop concepts in our minds, we have no coherent path for our thinking.

A sound epistemology is necessary for the existence of sound thinking and reasoning — this is why so much philosophical literature can involve seemingly arcane discussions about the nature of knowledge.

Because of its origin, ‘Umsamo’ is ontologically and cosmologically embedded in an African culture, which produces an African world view. As a universal law, ‘Umsamo’ is the law that is always in operation.

We are able to see now, with eyes made clear by knowledge, that everything is governed by universal law; that the infinite number of laws are but manifestations of the zone great law; the Law that is THE ALL. It is true indeed that not a sparrow drops unnoticed by the Mind of THE ALL – that even the hairs on our head are numbered – as the scriptures have said: There is nothing outside of Law; nothing that happens is contrary to it. That is ‘Umsamo.’