This study focuses on African male refugees and asylum seekers in Pretoria/Tshwane, the capital city of South Africa. Beyond the motives for their displacements, refugees, carrying different kinds of disturbances into their ‘new home’, seek health and therapy, because the very condition of being refugees can be understood as a health-seeking condition. An ethnographic study was conducted to investigate the different means, therapies and cures used by refugees from other African countries in order to correct the fractions of their lives that have been disrupted on their journey to becoming refugees. The study found that these male refugees associated health with self-fulfilment or well-being and this couldn’t be achieved without removing the stumbling blocks that were in their ways. Being in a foreign country and having been through humiliation and other disturbances, the need to consult certain institutions became a necessity, thus challenging the ‘classic’ constructions of masculinity. Being far from home increased the level of vulnerability and the need thereof to seek help. Belief in a magico-religious system being part of African healing systems and part of the corollaries of globalisation, modernity and urbanism; explanations for various causes of misfortune and cures were found in consulting pastors, healers, diviners, astrologists. Some of those healers and religious leaders from other African countries, being refugees were also in search of well-being, thus triggering the creation of their new professions in the land of refuge. Copyright
Dissertation (Master of Arts)--University of Pretoria, 2012.