South African author and traditional healer Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa, 98, died on Wednesday.
South African author and traditional healer Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa, 98, died on Wednesday.

Celebrating the life of Credo Mutwa

By MPILETSO MOTUMI Time of article published Mar 26, 2020

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Healer, doctor, author and teacher were just some of the titles Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa was known as.

The 98-year-old died yesterday after a long illness.

Tributes and messages of condolences have been shared on social media platforms amid the frenzy of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mutwa, whose primary focus was on African mythology, was known for his prediction of future events which included Chris Hani’s assassination, the ousting of Thabo Mbeki as president, and the September 11 attacks.

His teachings were not always met with enthusiasm and his views on the political landscape of the country were seen as controversial.

In his books he explored folklore, mythology and encounters he had in both the physical and spiritual worlds.

The HIV/Aids activist was most popularly known for his book Indaba, my Children.

In 2018, he was rewarded for his indigenous wisdom with an Usiba Creative and Cultural Industries Award at its inaugural event. Mutwa was the lifetime achiever of our Golden Shield Heritage Awards in 2016.

He was honoured for his unprecedented contribution to African scholarship, literature, traditional medicine, prophecies, divinity and more which could all be collapsed into the term sanusi, meaning a diviner.

“We are happy that he could see the preservation of his legacy through the construction of a museum in his village just opposite to his home.

“What we hope to learn from his works and carry with us into the future as part of our heritage are his teachings about the importance of ubuntu.

“Most fundamentally to his contributions is his role in destigmatising African divinity and spirituality,” said advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa, chief executive of the National Heritage Council of South Africa.

Healer and analyst Aubrey Matshiqi said he was not surprised when he heard the news. “I had been waiting for the news for months because in my own spirit, uBaba was no longer with us. I had been sensing him as a spirit that was shuttling between here - the land of the living and the land of the ancestors in preparation for his journey.

“It is a moment that fills me with joy and sadness. I am joyful because he passes on to join abadala, his ancestors and the ancestors of this country at a time when the country was beginning to remember his greatness.”

Matshiqi said for a long time the country had forgotten about Mutwa’s greatness.

“People had forgotten about the greatness of abadala; those who were guiding him, those who were guiding the messages he was sharing with us, the country and the world.

“I am filled with joy that he leaves us at a time when we were beginning to remember who he is and his messages.

“He passes on amid this plague, Covid-19, on the eve of the lockdown of the country which means the lockdown is an opportunity for reflection, meditation, prayer.

“A moment during which we must remember him and remember what was said to us through him by abadala about our state of being and the state of the world and what we should do about it.”

Zindzi Mandela Foundation chief executive Mkhulu Nsingiza said the best way to celebrate Mutwa was through his teachings.

“We should do exactly what he was directing us as Africans to do, to rebuild the continent from colonial shackles.”

The African Transformation Movement (ATM) called Mutwa a man who was gifted.

“His work has touched the lives of many South Africans, both directly and indirectly.

“During his lifetime, Dr Mutwa has served South Africa courageously through the preservation of cultural heritage. He obtained land that he converted into a cultural village, where he showcased various African cultures and his own teachings.

“ATM remembers Dr Mutwa as a hero, and a stalwart of African originality in a heavily modernised world, where African talent is slowly becoming obsolete.”

Mutwa was the Lifetime Achiever of our Golden Shield Heritage Awards in 2016. He was honoured for his unprecedented contribution to African scholarship, literature, traditional medicine, prophecies, divinity and more which could all be collapsed into the term “Sanusi” meaning a diviner.

“We are happy that he could see the preservation of his legacy through the construction of a museum in his village just opposite to his home. What we hope to learn from his works and carry with us into the future as part of our heritage are his teachings about the importance of Ubuntu. Most fundamentally to his contributions is his role in destigmatising African divinity and spirituality,” said Advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa, chief executive of the National Heritage Council of South Africa.

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