Sculptures at the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village. Sculptures at the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village.

The Credo Mutwa Cultural Village is located in the heart of Soweto. It consists of a remarkable collection of buildings and sculptures, which attempt to document African art, culture, folklore and architecture. The village is also a journey into the mind of one of South Africa’s most intriguing cultural figures.

Did you know?

Credo Mutwa now lives in Kuruman in the Northern Cape. He is building a new cultural village in nearby Orange Farm. 

Credo Mutwa is a controversial figure to say the least. He is one of Africa's foremost sangomas or traditional healers. He is also a firm believer that aliens walk among us, coming and going as they please. Despite his colourful life he is highly regarded as an artist, cultural commentator and recently for his work in conservation.

In 1974 Credo Mutwa, in an attempt to enlighten Africans to their own greatness as well as to protect their cultural heritage, began to fill a site in Soweto with sculptures of images and stories from African folklore. He continued this work on and off for 12 years, training other artists to help him complete his vision. In 1986 he abandoned the project, leaving everything to fall into a tragic state of neglect and disrepair. In 2006 a restoration project was undertaken under the guidance of Musa Ntanzi, a student of Mutwa.

This restored Sowetan cultural village is situated beneath the Oppenheimer Tower, another famous landmark which affords visitors a panoramic view of Soweto. The village consists of recreations of tribal homesteads and an exotic array of sculptures from Zulu chiefs and tokoloshes (African imps), to gods of creation and aliens.

The site is surrounded by gardens containing plants like the wild olive, aloe, plumbago and the canary creeper, which are used in traditional African medicine. The sangomas who live close to the area often come to the gardens to gather materials for their practices.

Entrance to the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village is free. Even though it is irregularly upgraded, the site is a must on any tour of Soweto - especially for lovers of art, African culture and the esoteric.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Credo Mutwa Cultural Village

Web: www.credomutwa.com

Tel:  +27 (0)11 930-181

How to get here

The Credo Mutwa Cultural Village lies next to the Oppenheimer Tower in the Jabavu section of Soweto.

Best time to visit

The village is open all year round, 06h00 to 18h00.

Tours to do

Tours to the Apartheid Museum and the Hector Pieterson Museum, as part of a day-long Soweto experience.

Get around

The best and most fruitful way to see Soweto is on one of the many available guided tours.

What will it cost

Entrance is free of charge.

Length of stay

The village can be comfortably explored in a morning.

Where to stay

Any hotel in Johannesburg, or why not try something different and stay in a B&B in Soweto?

What to eat

Ask your guide to take you to a good Soweto restaurant, like Wandie's.

What's happening

Soweto has a rich and colourful history. There are loads of tours and museums to explore.

Best buys

'Nelson Mandela cloth' at the stalls near the Hector Pieterson Museum.