Thokoza Stocko – the slaying sangoma

Everson Luhanga

“Slay queen” or “stocko” are words that offend some women – but Reneilwe Mhlongo from Midrand is happy to be known by her community as a slaying sangoma.

She is often greeted by the words: “thokoza stocko,” instead of “thokoza gogo.”

Because of her beauty, many people – especially men – hit on her in the name of going for a consultation.

Reneilwe Mmamolatelo Mhlongo said being a sangoma does not stop her from living her life to the fullest. 

“I know some people have the stigma that sangomas are strange people or they should dress in a certain way, but that is not true,” she said. 

“I am a qualified sangoma but I dress beautifully and I slay the way I want,” she said.

“I look after my body and my soul while I heal people – and most of all I help and heal people.”

Known as gogo Mahlasela, her ancestral name, Gogo Stocko said she became a sangoma after many years of denying her calling and she didn’t want to thwasa, but after being sick for a long time, senior sangomas advised her to accept the gift. 

Two years ago, she embarked on the journey of becoming a sangoma. She graduated in July. 

“It was an amazing journey to become a sangoma,” she said.

“But one thing I didn’t lose was being a slaying woman.”

The 31-year-old mother of two said she receives many messages on her social media platforms. 

“Sometimes men ask me to go to them, pretending they need help while they just want to propose love to me. My ancestors pick up those kinds of men and I don’t let them come near my indumba,” she said.

“But I assist those who come for help and appreciate my beauty at the same time.”

She said the phrases thokoza stocko and the slaying sangoma do not offend her but she sees it as an appreciation of her beautiful body.

“I go to gym, I eat healthy foods and I look after myself,” she said.

She said she loves being adventurous and exploring new and better things in life. 

“I love being out and about. It fulfils my life,” she said. 

“I love my family and my two children are my weak point. I love them to bits. I would love to have more children – at least six!”

Gogo Stocko said life hasn’t been easy with Covid-19. But she said she appreciates the gift of life and the protection from her ancestors and God for her family.