A man driving a black convertible Mercedes Benz recently left passers-by shocked after a video emerged showing him with a big snake hung on the windscreen, kissing it and caressing it.
Pastor and Sangoma Treasure Nkwabela, also known as Prophet Zibo Zibo, who is believed to be a traditional healer and also runs a church named New Beginnings Ministries, from the Eastern Cape, touched and kissed the snake, which seemed to be a bit restless.
People took out their phones to take pictures and videos.
In one of the videos, a pedestrian could be seen coming closer to the snake man.
He braved the snake and shook the snake man’s hand.
Social media users had a lot to say about the snake man.
Leboco said: “Most people buy pythons because they’re just interesting pets and easy to keep not because they are practising witchcraft.”
Thu Line said: “I don’t see a problem with having a snake. I would also buy it just to scare criminals.”
Mthoko said: “Everyone can have a snake. You buy it and tame it just like any other animal.”
But izangoma were angered by the snake ride.
Sangoma Skhunisivuthemanzini Mkhize said the snake could be a pet or the man could be a snake handler.
“Inyoka yamadlozi is classified. It should not be displayed in the street for all to see,” he said.
He said izangoma have inyoka yamadlozi, but not many people know about it.
“Those izangoma trained underwater. When you graduate, you come back with your snake also called abadala.
“Your snake will be your protector. It stays in the indumba, but won’t be seen by clients. When it dies, it is then hung at the altar,” he said.
He said while the snake protected the traditional healer, it also gave them strength to heal people.
Sangoma Jabulani Mthimunye said people have changed the old ways.
“Things that used to be respected are no longer respected. Maybe that’s why we suffer like this,” he said.
Cultural expert Mtimande Ngwenya said it was time people went back to their roots.
“It’s important to do things the way they were done before. Older people had reasons for doing things that way. We are angering the ancestors by doing as we please,” he said.
Sometimes the man is seen in church and recently he celebrated Easter like any other christian.