Mbali Creazzo is a medicine woman, teacher, healer, creative artist and cowrie shell diviner. She gave Cami Walker, author of 29 Gifts, the challenge that the book is based on.
EB: I understand you were born in South Africa, where were you born?
EB: When did you leave and why?
EB: Do you visit South Africa often?
EB: What did you do while in London with regards to your studies?
EB: Can you tell us a bit about your background and your family?
EB: How do your parents feel about this?
EB: And the rest of your family – do they still live in London?
EB: In the book you changed your name from Toni to Mbali – can you tell us a bit about the change?
EB: You suggested the 29 Gifts in 29 Days challenge to Cami Walker, did you do the challenge yourself?
EB: What was your favourite gift to give?
One of my favourite gifts to give is presence. We are living in a world of such high technology where people are distracted all the time and so what I learnt when I was teaching massage therapists to work in hospitals was to say to them, ‘The biggest gift you can give is presence and witnessing’. So when people are talking to me, for me it is really letting everything else go that is going on with me at that moment and just doing what we are doing right now. Which is making eye contact, which is really listening, people don’t tend to really listen – we hear but we are not really listening. So I think healing and presence is one of the greatest gift anyone of us can give.
It really opened up for me and showed me the flow through giving and receiving and especially when we give from a place of scarcity which is what happened with Cami. She was feeling completely depleted, she felt she had nothing to give anybody because she was so ill and to then find ‘what can I give’ it opens up something. There is an alchemy that happens, I call it alchemy or a magic that is happening that really allows flow, it takes us out of our scarcity and takes us to abundance. One of the gifts I gave was to a homeless person and I had just finished work and I was working with homeless people so the last thing I wanted to do that night was to give to somebody else cause I felt completely depleted. I went and I had to find this person, I gave her some food, it was about midnight – I went to find a restaurant. And something happened in that moment that I gave to this person. Everything that I had been worried about, because I was going through a hard time myself, everything just fell away and I realised how much I actually had. When we give to another, we realised how much we have. When I saw the homeless person when I gave her the food I realised wow, I have somewhere to live and I have so much. So it completely took me out of any self pity that I was going through.
EB: If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be and why?
Nelson Mandela, Tina Turner and my mother and father.
I am trained in the West African tradition of the Dagra people and so I am a diviner. I do readings, the Dagra people work with the foundation that our lives are interconnected to nature and with the natural world. The Cowrie Shell divination is a reading that helps people to understand where they are at this moment in time. It also helps people to understand what it is they are carrying, their ancestral legacies, that are impacting their lives and have impacted their life for years. And so once we do the reading, the person asks the question, and I will read. People come with a variety of issues, such as fertility problems, anger from past events and I read very much in the present moment, it is not about fortune telling its about reading where you are at this moment in time and what you need at this moment in time that will help to move you to the next place. It also reads around what is your purpose, your work in the world, what needs to happen in the next 3 months, as the readings happen every 3 months, to move you to the next stage of your life.
My greatest achievement in life is coming through what I call a modern day initiation, coming through a period of alcoholism, coming through a period of all the losses in my life and turning my life around. To be able to do the work I am doing now, my work is to work with others to guide people to find their divine medicine. To take all that has been presented, turn it all around so that I can help others. Its really not about me, it’s about the gift that I have been given to give out to others