Extended Biography

 
 

Colin was born in Harare Zimbabwe. At the time his parents were living in Ghantsi, a small settlement in the remote South Western Kalahari region of Botswana. During his childhood, Colin traveled extensively throughout Botswana with his father who at the time was the head of the Botswana Wildlife department. It was a time when much of the wealth of cultural diversity in Botswana was still intact and Colin began interacting with traditional cultures and learning from them at an early age. 


In 1975 Colin first visited the Tsodilo Hills which is a group of low granite, boulder strewn hills that rise, unexpectedly out of the otherwise vast, flat semi arid plains of North Western Botswana. The hills are host to several thousand Bushman rock art sites and are considered one of the most sacred places in Southern Africa. It was here that he had his first real introduction to traditional medicine when he was divined by an Mbukushu headman named Samtjao Mareka who lived with his extended family in a small traditional settlement near the hills. As is traditional for headman among the Mbukushu people, Samtjao is an initiated practitioner of traditional medicine. 


Colin returned to the hills several times over the remaining years before leaving to Study at the University of Cape Town at the age of twenty one. Samtjao was deeply knowledgeable about the traditions and practices of the traditional doctor and over the years he openly shared his knowledge with Colin and his brother Niall. The visits to Samtjao were strongly formative in Colin’s subsequent involvement and initiations into traditional African medicine. 


In 1974, Colin and his family moved to a farm situated twenty kilometers south of Botswana’s capitol, Gaborone. Throughout the remainder of their childhood Colin and Niall sought out traditional doctors from whom they learned about the practice of traditional medicine, divination and plant lore. During this time they went through several initiations to become traditional doctors and Koma mediums 


Colin graduated with a BA in fine art and psychology from the University of Cape Town in 1988. Subsequently he has informally studied courses in process oriented psychology, gestalt therapy and other human potential work. He became involved in running human potential programs between 1990 and 1999 


In 1994, after 16 years of training and initiation processes, Colin began practicing as a traditional doctor. In 2000 Colin was initiated as a Sangoma (spirit medium) under the tuition of Porogwane Kaote, a Sangoma and initiation master whose school is situated in the nearby village of Ramotswa 


At present Colin co-runs a traditional training school and initiation center for traditional doctors, sangomas and koma diviners. He also has a practice in Cape Town, South Africa, and London, England, from which he consults and runs programs based in the traditions of Southern Africa.