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.
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Who to contact
Credo Mutwa Cultural Village
Tel: +27 (0)11 930-181