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Credo Mutwa’s Legacy Lives On

Article by: Emma Clayfield

Over a month ago South Africa was hit with the news of the passing of renowned Traditional healer, Author, Artist and Philosopher Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, who passed away at Kuruman Hospital in the Northern cape.

The death of one of South Africa’s greatest spiritual leaders and storytellers has taken the nation astern, as many citizens relied on his powers for guidance.

Mutwa was deeply revered for his predictions, mainly touching on global events that have shaped the current world we live in.

It is undeniable that memories of a man of his stature are not easily erasable and we are pushed to therefore remind ourselves of the legacy he has left behind.

Credo Mutwa Cultural Village

Inspired by the desire to preserve African cultures and practices, Credo Mutwa invested himself into establishing a museum in Soweto. The museum intended to exhibit Mutwa’s creations that depict and contrast African and Western cultures. The experience of one’s tour of the museum enables the ability to tap into the visions and thoughts that Credo had.

The museum also provides the ability to view the world in the healer’s perspective. It did not take long for his work to be fully recognised and further showcased in the province he spent the last days of his life in, namely Northern Cape.

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Dr Credo Mutwa Library and Museum

The National Lotteries Commission (NLC) has played a fundamental role in ensuring that Mutwa’s legacy lives on, by funding the construction and establishment of the Dr Credo Mutwa Library and Museum through its Proactive Funding Model. The NLC said in a statement, that it had conducted a study in line with section 2A (3) of the Lotteries Act 57 of 1997 as amended, which resulted in the approval for the funding of the construction of a Library and Museum in honour of Mr Credo Mutwa in Northern Cape Province, Kuruman.

The need to preserve and share Mutwa’s knowledge to successive generations, has probed the organisation to successfully cement itself as a fundamental component of preserving Mutwa’s legacy, as the museum and library will one day be deemed as one of African’s greatest heritage sites.

The National Lotteries Commission approved the funding for the following key items:

The construction of a new Library and Museum, operational cost (including free Wi-Fi to the public), appointment of the Librarian and a Curator.  

The project aimed at documenting and preserving the indigenous knowledge of the country and providing the community of Kuruman with access to valuable services such as free internet and library services.

The approved project for a Library and Museum was fully aligned to the 2017/18 Annual Strategic Funding areas that were published at the beginning of the financial year.

The NLC is actively involved in the process of obtaining Mutwa’s intellectual property for exhibition purposes to ensure that the purpose of the library and museum is maintained.

African Writings

Many of Mutwa’s writing focused on traditional Zulu folklore and legends.

He authored many publications dating as far back as 1964 with when he published Indaba, My Children which was later internationally recognised and acclaimed for the manner in which it told the stories of African culture.

The unapologetic style in which he portrayed the essence of culture filtered well into his final publications in the early 2000s.

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Mutwa was often described as a “human treasure” and has received many awards that have validated this. Some of his official praises include the South African Literary Awards’ (Sala) Lifetime Achievement Literary Award as well as the USIBA award presented by the Department of Arts & Culture.

Loosely translated, ‘Vusamazulu’ means ‘awakening the nations’ and his creations have undoubtedly lived up to his name. South Africans who knew him continue to honour and praise Mutwa’s contributions to the preservation of culture especially now that the icon and pioneer is no more.

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