Blood is call­ing

The an­ces­tors don’t SMS or What­sapp, but that doesn’t stop them from send­ing Nosipho a mes­sage.

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Nosipho Xulu (Nom­pilo Ma­phu­mulo) is a mod­ern woman, but given her fam­ily’s his­tory, she knows all too well that cer­tain dreams are more than crazy brain car­toons. And on Wed­nes­day 17 Oc­to­ber, some­thing is dif­fer­ent in Nosipho’s night-time world. “She dreams of an old lady who is with her in the veld. All of a sud­den, she meets her there and she feels a con­nec­tion to her. When she wakes up, she feels that it’s some­thing that she should be pay­ing at­ten­tion to,” ex­plains Nom­pilo. Nosipho’s grow­ing ob­ses­sion with her dreams puts her at odds with her po­lice of­fi­cer lover Mondli (Them­binkosi Th­wala) as Nosipho seems to lose touch with re­al­ity on Mon­day 22 Oc­to­ber. “The dreams are get­ting weird for her and they are scar­ing her. Then she starts see­ing peo­ple from her dreams in the crowd when she was awake. The dreams start af­fect­ing her phys­i­cally. She feels shaken and then she starts sleep­walk­ing,” re­veals the ac­tress. But Nosipho isn’t go­ing cuckoo; she is be­ing called…

LOOK­ING FOR AN­SWERS

Nosipho’s doc­tor urges her to un­dergo treat­ment in a psy­chi­atric ward on Thurs­day 25 Oc­to­ber but she knows that it isn’t the an­swer she’s look­ing for. “She be­lieves that she isn’t crazy. She is scared but the power of her dreams con­vince her that it’s real. Her dreams feel real and when she sees the granny in a crowd, she feels that it’s real and that the mes­sages that she is get­ting from this woman are real,” says Nom­pilo. “There’s an in­ci­dent where her new step­mother MaMlambo (Gugu Gumede) says that she can sense some­thing un­set­tling when she sees Nosipho on Fri­day 26 Oc­to­ber. And when Nosipho makes con­tact with a san­goma on Mon­day 29 Oc­to­ber, she fi­nally gets an ex­pla­na­tion that feels right: the an­ces­tors are call­ing her to be­come a san­goma her­self.

ASKED & AN­SWERED

Ac­cept­ing as she is, Nosipho will still need to un­ravel some of her own mis­con­cep­tions about how fol­low­ing this mes­sage and be­com­ing a san­goma will change her life. “Af­ter the rit­ual is done, she is told by her san­goma guide that she will have to go back to her nor­mal life but that she must watch for signs that the an­ces­tors have a mes­sage for her, be­cause it will come to her in her dreams. It scares her but she knows that she can­not turn away from it,” ex­plains Nom­pilo. “There is a the­ory that be­ing a san­goma makes you crazy. And she wor­ries about how the whole com­mu­nity is go­ing to take it. How will this af­fect her job, how will it af­fect her re­la­tion­ship? She finds out that it’s not as dark as she thinks. You can live your life, a nor­mal life.” And for Nosipho, there is some­thing special about the trust and ac­cep­tance that the an­ces­tors are plac­ing in her. “She is the most in­no­cent per­son in the fam­ily. She is the only per­son who has no mur­ders on her hands – you know all the Xu­lus are cor­rupt. So she feels re­ally blessed that the an­ces­tors have cho­sen her. It feels like a gift has been passed to her,” says Nosipho.

A THORNY PATH

This is just the be­gin­ning of Nosipho’s jour­ney though and it’s go­ing to be fraught with en­e­mies around ev­ery corner. For starters, she is go­ing to be led into dan­ger­ous ter­ri­tory with an­ces­tral gravesites and land claims. “Nosipho gets sick, al­most to death, be­cause it takes so long. This is not child’s play,” hints Nom­pilo.

MEN­TAL IMAGE Nom­pilo has no idea what her char­ac­ter’s dream scenes will look like on­screen. “I don’t know what I was do­ing! I don’t know what they look like and I re­ally want to see now,” she laughs.

Nosipho’s dreams be­come more dis­turb­ing thanks to the ar­rival of an old woman.

Her guide leads Nosipho into the un­known.

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