An oasis of serenity

A connoisseur of healing arts, Mathapelo Mabaso blends sound alchemy with shamanic insights, crafting a wellness experience that harmoniously converges ancient African healing methods and contemporary wellness theories.

By Monalisa Molefe

Mathapelo’s tale began with a transformative experience in Lamu, Kenya, where her initial encounter with a sound bath marked a significant turning point in her life. This moment revealed the powerful influence of sound on the human body when it especially activated the energy centres that were, unbeknownst to her, underactive. Her quest to gain more understanding of this alternative healing method took her to Amsterdam, where she integrated practical traditional African sound methods with contemporary healing theories under the aegis of the esteemed Shift Meditation.

The future of medicine is not new age; it is instead a deep return to ancient wisdom.

The climax of her journey is the establishment of Nyiko Wellness Refinery, a haven where the old has been brought back to the modern and present. Nyiko means “Gift” in xiTsonga. Here, sound bath retreats for individuals, groups and corporate wellness activities combine African indigenous instruments – like the rain stick, uhadi, and mbira – along with Tibetan and crystal sound bowls. This combination not only pays homage to our African origins but also introduces a global perspective to the therapeutic effects of sound gifted back to the everyday being who is on an intentional mission to stay healthy in their mind body and soul.

At Nyiko, Mathapelo aims beyond mere relaxation; it’s an educational journey. She highlights the transformative effects of sound and its capacity to heal and renew our predominantly water-composed bodies. Emphasising the uniqueness of the healing journey, she encourages the incorporation of sound practices into everyday life, whether through the rhythmic sounds of a stone mortar and pestle in our home kitchens or the calming vibrations of meditative vocal humming.

Her approach is deeply rooted in the belief that everyone possesses the innate ability to heal themselves, fostering an era of peace and harmony.

We got to know Mathapelo a little bit more on a personal front with insight into her everyday essence.

Your personal definition of luxury

Luxury to me is the freedom to spend my time as I please, diving into passions and aiding in others’ self-healing.

Your life a decade ahead

In ten years, I hope to reflect on a life lived authentically, filled with achievements and happiness, mistakes included.

Your daily luxury ritual

I rise at 5 am to savour the sunrise with organic cacao in my garden, cherishing the quiet dawn before the bustling city of Joburg awakes.

Your transformative book recommendation

The Hidden Messages in Water by Dr Masaru Emoto really changed my perspective. I’ve always felt a deep connection to water, and this book shed light on its healing powers and how speaking positively can influence ourselves and our surroundings. It taught me the significance of sound and intention in our daily lives.

Your most impactful travel experience

I have a passion for exploring Africa, with my most memorable journey being to Rwanda. I made a point of visiting a place four hours from Kigali, near the border, from where you can see neighbouring countries like Congo and Uganda. What really struck me was learning about their principles and values of community and cleanliness, which made the trip incredibly impactful.

A special item with a story in your home

I picked up this decorative piece made of cowrie shells from a local shop, and it’s become so special to me. Friends say it’s a true reflection of my personality. My affinity for shells and the sea runs deep, and they resonate with me on a personal level, especially in my work as a healer.


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