The US-based School of Theology and Projects and the Mhlabuhlangene School of African Medicine has conferred an Honorary doctorate in African Medicine to prominent South African traditional healer Dr Sylvester Hlati.

Hlati, who is also the president of the SADC traditional medicine practitioners association, has been honoured for his work in advancing the use of traditional medicine over the last 40 years.

A custodian of culture and African medicine, Hlati has been practicing since 1980. His work has seen him traversing the globe to promote African medicine.

The 69-year-old Mozambican-born bones-thrower is also known for his unwavering philanthropic work. He has trained hundreds of young herbalists and traditional healers over the years.

“I am so proud I never thought this day would come when started educating and teaching our colleagues traditional healers to move away from the old manner and practice in a way that would be accepted by everybody. I never thought I would be recognised in this manner. I’m short of words but I am happy for all that the universities have done for me really it is long overdue because I have done so much in society. I have done so much here in Venda in Mpumalanga and Gauteng. I have done lots of things,” says Traditional healer Dr Sylvester Hlati.

The Colleges say they had gathered an enormous amount of data on Hlati’s work before honouring him.

“His impact is not here in South Africa only but even out of the country. We heard some people took with team and I sent some people to come and verify his impact because he has been doing a lot of work here in the community, even in our field of African medicine. So that’s what prompted us to assess him, to him this recognition in our institution,” says the Mhlabuhlangene School of African Medicine Chancellor Calvin Tshabalala.

Meanwhile, over 20 traditional healers received their bachelor’s degrees in African medicine.