Afrika Ikalafe Pluriversity for Land-Based Healing, Learning and Living
Afrika Ikalafe Pluriversity was first established as Senakangwedi Health and Healing in 2005. During this time, the organisation implemented its services through the individual work of its founder, Mmatshilo Motsei. After having collected a rich resource of knowledge, the founder began a process of institutionalising her work by registering Afrika Ikalafe Spiritual Health Institute.
Aptly called Afrika Ikalafe, which means Africa heal thyself, the organisation aims to challenge the prevailing victim mentality that obstructs people’s alignment with their authentic power. Afrika Ikalafe’s mission is go busetsa botho bathong. Translated into English, this means re-initiating humans back to humanity. This is based on the premise that colonisation and colonialism resulted in multi-generational physical, psychological, cultural, economic, and spiritual trauma. Healing is therefore an important part of remembering and learning.
Afrika Ikalafe Pluriversity’s mission is go busetsa botho bathong
[re-initiating humans back to humanity]
Many years later, in 2022, Mmatshilo Motsei returned to the land of her ancestors after having worked with different people across the world. Armed with knowledge accumulated from institutions founded on one way of knowing, the Western canon, Motsei was keenly aware that physical dispossession of land came with a loss of ecological, cultural, and spiritual knowledge. A return of land is therefore incomplete if it does not come with a reclamation of a pluri-verse of ideas, knowledges, and strategies.
It is in this light that Afrika Ikalafe Spiritual Health Institute changed its name to Afrika Ikalafe Pluriversity. Unlike a university which upholds Western knowing and excludes indigenous African knowledge, a pluriversity acknowledges multiple ways of knowing. By re-centering indigenous knowledge in the academy, a pluriversity foregrounds an urgent and critical need to heal communities from centuries of epistemicide.
Our intention is to initiate humans into humanity. An initiated person is one who is connected to her ancestral lineage and knowledge. In traditional societies, people were initiated into various stages of life by elders. From naming ceremonies to burial rites, individuals were initiated into interdependent co-existence. This expansive view of life was destroyed by colonialism.
Modern society handed over the role of initiation of humans to institutions which are founded on foreign values, knowledges, and philosophies. To fulfil the duty of initiating humans into humanity, Afrika Ikalafe Pluriversity works with diverse like-hearted individuals, institutions, and communities across the world. It is our view that healing is a critical element in the process of unlearning, remembering, learning and living.