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The Hummer Guy – An example of ukuthwala

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Ukuthwala is a Nguni word that means to carry something using traditional medicines (imuthi), occultic knowledge, and a familiar, a man-made or conjured spirit. Examples of familiars include,

  • Umamlambo, a familiar that looks like a snake, typically used by women to gain wealth. The term is also used to describe a mermaid or a seductive woman. According to Zulu mythology, umamlambo is a river goddess that is usually depicted as a large snake-like creature. It has been described as a fortune snake that helps someone acquire power, riches, and status in a short period of time.  
  • Ichithi, a familiar that looks like a snake, typically used by men to gain wealth.

The aim of ukuthwala is to gain influence, riches and or power. However, the gains granted come at a terrible cost to the individual doing the practice and their loved ones. A poorly documented case of ukuthwala is that of the infamous Hummer Guy.

The infamous Hummer Guy was a black male either in his late 20s or early 30s that drove a yellow Hummer H2. He drove around the various townships in Johannesburg in the early to mid-2000s. At the time, the newly launched Hummer SUV was a very popular sports utility truck.

The Hummer Guy used to pick up women and girls from the different townships. One of the women that he picked up, went on Mixit, a popular social networking site in the mid to late 2000s, and made a post about The Hummer Guy. She told a horror tale about a guy who picks up women, takes them shopping, and sleeps with them, infecting them with worms. The woman told how the guy had worms in his genitals that he infects the women with. After sleeping with the women, the guy gives them a bag full of money. The money was for her to buy diapers to cover her genital area and a liver to feed the worms. If not fed, the worms eat the internal organs.

The story of the hummer guy was first brought to the public’s attention via a MXIT post. After that post, the story spread like wildfire and more victims came out. Young women became fearful of any males driving a Hummer.

Even though many people coming out saying they were victimized by the Hummer Guy. He was never caught or brought to justice. As a result, many people think that he was unreal. New24 even published an article on the 30th of September 2008 refuting the claim of “The Hummer Guy” and calling him a myth. 

You can further explore the concept of ukuthwala, by accessing What is ukuthwala?, Khutso Sethuntso, Isilwane, Isilwane – Familiar, Formication and Amakhubalo

Safety precaution:

The use of traditional medicine in prescribed dosages will yield good results. Misuse and abuse may lead to complications. To learn about correct dosage, consult a traditional healer or a herbalist. You can also visit or email: to learn more about traditional medicine.

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