African sangoma, spiritualist and cultural commentator, Credo Mutwa, is among South Africa’s more colourful and controversial traditional spiritual leaders. He is also a diviner, healer, artist and poet.
The Credo Mutwa Cultural Village in Jabavu represents an outpouring of Mutwa’s creative and spiritual vision from 1974 to 1986. After Mutwa abruptly abandoned his creative enterprise, the sculpture park fell into decline. It has since been restored to its full eccentric glory.
Situated in the Oppenheimer Gardens, the park contains a fantastical collection of Zulu warriors, chiefs, ‘tokoloshes’ (African imps), creation deities and aliens drawn from African art, cosmology and culture. Exotic representations of tribal homesteads – called Khayalendaba, the ‘place of stories’ – are believed to house ancestor spirits.
The Credo Mutwa Cultural Village is surrounded by gardens of indigenous plants and trees used in traditional African medicine. Steeped in folklore, prophecy and African mysticism, and the park is a must-visit for lovers of art, African culture and the esoteric. Entrance to the village is free.
Address: Cnr Ntsane and Majoeng streets in Central Western Jabavu, Soweto.