The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture pays homage to the father of our heritage
We have just been informed that the late Sanusi, our spiritual elder, uBaba Credo Vusamazulu Mutwa, will be laid to rest on Saturday 4 April 2020. His final resting place will be in the Northern Cape, where he has been accorded a Provincial Special Official funeral.
On Wednesday 25 March, the spiritual lamp of ‘Afrika Borwa’ was dimmed but one thing is certain, the light that remains is sufficient to illuminate the whole of Africa and the world, for all of eternity, if we pay attention and learn from his teachings.
Born on 21 July 1921, uBaba Credo Mutwa was a vocal advocate in all spheres of life, health, art, culture and spiritual wellness.
He established a trust called ‘Vulinda Trust’ in 1999 to preserve traditional knowledge and to promote the use of traditional medicine. He researched plants for the purpose of healing, most popularly, a plant called ‘Unwele’, traditionally used as a well-being tonic, which has demonstrated anti-cancer activity through invitro studies.
uBaba Credo Mutwa did not only possess unmatched spiritual powers, he was also a visual artist, a cultural activist and a thought-leader. He rightfully earned his title of iSanusi (a diviner or prophet). He authored a seminal book ‘Indaba, My children’, that sold over 250, 000 copies.
From birth, uBaba Credo Mutwa was a traveller and a seeker of knowledge. He was born in Kwa-Zulu Natal, 98 years ago. He moved to live with his father in Johannesburg in his youth, when his biological mother passed away. He then moved back to live with his grandmother in Kwa-Zulu Natal when his calling to become a Traditional Healer surfaced. He also received training in Swaziland.
As a Traditional Healer, uBaba moved back to Gauteng and started a family while living in Soweto, where he established his model African Village. It was during this period that uBaba wrote his epic book, ‘Indaba, my children’, where he educated us on the way of life of African people, from the cradle to the grave. Thereafter, he moved from Soweto in 1976 and established another cultural village outside Mahikeng, in the North West. His final home was the Northern Cape.
The best way for us to honour and uplift his legacy was through various efforts initiated by the DSAC that upheld his integrity both personally and professionally, while he was still alive.
The Department of Sport, Arts and Culture celebrated him as a living legend through initiatives that would ensure that we share his teachings and uphold his personal and professional integrity, whilst he was still alive.
Annual lectures were scheduled to kick off from 20 March 2020 (dates that were set prior to the COVID-19 outbreak). These lectures were scheduled to take place across the country, in several provinces that formed a part of Baba Mutwa’s life journey.
His work finds resonance in the five domains of the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Namely, oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of our cultural heritage, performing arts, social practices concerning nature and the universe and traditional craftsmanship.
The department honours uBaba Mutwa as a spiritual leader who was committed to ensuring the preservation of our culture. Let us continue to uphold the values that he stood for by celebrating our heritage and preserving our identity.
His works will remain a gift to the nation for generations to come.
Ms Masechaba Ndlovu
Spokesperson: Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture
Mobile: 066 380 7408, Email: MasechabaN@dac.gov.za
Ms Zimasa Velaphi
Chief Director Communications and Marketing: Arts and Culture
Mobile: 072 172 8925, Email: ZimasaV@dac.gov.za
Chief Director Communications and Marketing: Sport and Recreation
Mobile: 082 992 0101, Email: Mickey@srsa.gov.za
ISSUED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF SPORT, ARTS AND CULTURE