Then I was taken to the most beautiful city I had ever seen, ‘The City of Golden Gates’. Among other things, my guide told me that in this city people never owned keys to these glorious gates but knew songs that could open and close them as they wished. She continued to say that, the gates were built by ancient gods who inhabited the city millions of years ago. The gods had invented the gates for men to remember them and in that way each gate represented a passageway to a deity’s heart.
My guide also said that, the elderly citizens who had mastered all songs, lived in their gods’ hearts and didn’t need to sing anymore but as they come close to every gate the gods opened for them.
Later on this day I arrived at the initiation school where people learned various songs. I spoke to a fellow student who had learned about 8000 songs and was preparing to graduate, he told me that he had been studying for 300 years. He further told me that at an advanced level his teachers visited him in dreams. Meaning, he didn’t have go to class but fall into deep sleep (ubuthongo) for a number of years to eventually wakes up and present new repertoires.
Still amazed by what I just heard, I went through to have my first class. Interestingly enough our teacher taught through silence and we had to respond in song, all in unison.