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Mythic Medicine & KaZimba Ngoma


For the purpose of facilitating the embodiment of awareness, it is easy to understate the intrinsic value of physical practices, which with intent can easily become arts of presence.

Embodiment and awareness are related to each other by feeling.

Feeling provides a focus for awareness, one which can serve to anchor various qualities as a psychic resources available to the practitioner.

By feelings I do not mean emotion alone, I mean the actual physically felt sense that enables one to pinpoint where in the body it is being felt and also what it feels like. For example a ‘clenching’ in the chest or a ‘squidginess’ in the solar plexus.

KaZimba Ngoma practices:

  • Manyamas: animal forms/spirit

  • Sababu: storytelling, facilitation and council

With the use of the practices, this ‘felt sense expands. Especially with the morphing of consciousness that occurs by transforming the body through the imagination. For example if I imagine I am Zimba, the lion, I adopt the form, along with the intention and the behaviour. Then I become aware of the qualities of Zimba: strength, concentration and stealth etc.Taking a moment to notice the presence of physical feelings in my body in relation to those qualities, means that in order to access them, I can remember the feelings and return to presence in the felt awareness of the qualities.Naturally in order to do this effectively I have to learn the embodied movements of the Manyamas.

Next, by learning key stories of the Manyamas, based on their character, I can map these stories on to my own personal journeys.

This mapping is especially powerful in the Ngoma, the partnered dance, sparring engagement in which the story of the Manyama’s receives theatrical expression. Inside the dynamic tension of the Hatari Mahali (potent space), a circle of intentional awareness is held for participants by other people, who themselves are soon to take their own place as Manyamas within the circle. This reciprocal dramatisation of physical expression brings such a degree of intensity to the awareness of the players within the circle that is not unusual for revelation and insight to ensue. These can be imagined as gifts similar to those in the stories such as the ‘magic hen’ laying golden eggs or the ‘hunter’ that bursts into the hut and saves a certain little girl in a red hood from destruction. As such, the practice of KaZimba Ngoma and the use of stories to bring the awareness and insight of powerful presence to a persons consciousness is Mythic Medicine

“The rhythm is hot, the movement is live, images of ancient warriors and mighty animals fill the minds of the players: The wild fire of nature is alive in the heart of the city: in the soul KaZimba“

Manyamas & Mythic Medicine

Manyamas : the way of the African Spirit animal

Many indigenous peoples follow the Path of the power animals, recognising the potency, insight and creative resources that come from unravelling your story through their wisdom.

The African martial art of KaZimba Ngoma has many Manyamas (animal forms) and an artfully mindful way of embodying them, enabling participants to find their story within the form and experience Mythic Medicine in the fluidity of simple movements practiced in the Ngoma: the circle of transformation

Come and immerse yourself in the dimensional experience of you… Guided by performance storyteller and KaZimba Ngoma Ndugu (African Martial Arts practitioner) Olusola Adebiyi

Manyamas: Mythic Medicine through Story, breath and embodiment…


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