Giants are people like you and me:
Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa was born on 21 July 1921 in Zululand, Natal (now Kwa-Zulu-Natal).
He sadly passed away on 25 March 2020.
When he was a year old, a younger brother of Mutwa’s father came to ask his grandfather permission to take him away. He was taken to his father’s home in the south of Natal on the bank of the Umkumazi River.
While growing up he discovered that he had prophetic powers, as well as an artistic inclination evident in his drawings and sculptures. His stepmother did not like this and tried to suppress his artistic talent.
In 1935 he found a major building job which took the family to the Transvaal (now Gauteng) and at the age of 14 Mutwa started to attend school.
He attended different schools off and on and in 1937 was violently attacked by a gang of mineworkers, which caused him to be ill for a long time.
When White doctors failed to cure him, his uncle came and took him back to his mother’s village where his grandfather brought him back to health.
He began questioning his Catholic upbringing with those who had taught him that people like his grandfather were ungodly savages and heathens.
At this point, his grandfather told him that his illness was, in fact, a sacred illness that beckoned him to become a “shaman” or healer.
He was initiated and became a Sangoma. When his father and stepmother heard about this, he was told never to set foot in their house again.
Mutwa’s travels began right after this. Having no home to go back to, he left for Swaziland and developed a love for travel for it gave him an opportunity to gain knowledge and to search for the truth about his people.
During his travels, he gained experience that only those who walk the path of an African healer could experience. He listened to stories told by storytellers that dated back to the remotest of times.
Gradually he came under the impression that Africa was changing and that the culture of his people would soon be forgotten.
Mutwa sought a way to preserve this disappearing culture and friends advised him to write books about it.
After several failed attempts to find money from banks and donor organisations, he finally succeeded in 1975 to establish a living museum right in the heart of Soweto, Kwa-Khaya Lendaba.
He was severely criticised by many Black people who misunderstood his intentions and accused him of “glamorising the Soweto ghetto”.
In the 1976 youth uprising parts of the cultural village was burnt down by militant youths.
During a strike in 1980, striking workers burnt down parts of Kwa-Khaya Lendaba. He left the area soon after this incident.
Mutwa was revered for his predictions of world events, including the destruction of New York’s World Trade Centre in 2001, the 1976 June 16 uprising, HIV, Chris Hani’s assassination, load shedding and the ousting of President Thabo Mbeki.
By the age of 91, Mutwa was living in Kuruman and had all but completely disappeared from the public eye.
During his lifetime he has written several books: “Indaba, my children” (1960), “Song of the Stars: The Lore of a Zulu Shaman” (1996), “Zulu Shaman: Dreams, Prophecies, and Mysteries” (2003) and “Woman of Four Paths: The Strange Story of a Black Woman in South Africa” (2007).
Courtesy of sahistory.org.
As you can see from the above, there will always be naysayers but if your path is the one you’re meant to walk, stay true to yourself and walk it.
Open your mind to the possibility that things aren’t often as they seem.
May his soul rest in peace.