Credo Mutwa Cultural Village, Johannesburg

4.1
#8 of 14 in Historic Sites in Johannesburg
Historic Site · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Most of the artifacts in the park were created by Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, who was born on 21 July 1921 in KwaZulu-Natal. A sangoma and high sanusi, or chosen one, Mutwa is well known and highly respected for his work in nature conservation and as an author of groundbreaking books on African mythology and spiritual beliefs.

He began work in the park in 1974, continuing for a decade before he left Johannesburg.

Mutwa used a combination of modern and traditional materials including stone, reed thatching, recycled metals and cement, and was helped by a team of assistants he trained. Foremost among his apprentices was traditional artist Musa Ntanzi, who produced a number of the sculptures and structures.

Parts of the cultural village were damaged during the 1976 Soweto Uprising and many of the structures and sculptures fell into disrepair. However, restoration began in 2005 and is proceeding rapidly, returning the site to its former glory.

Now a seasoned artist in his own right, Ntanzi has returned in his middle years to lead the restoration work at the site which he helped to create as a young man.

As visitors approach the Khayalendaba, or place of stories, they are met by an ominous notice board, warning, "all liars, fools, sceptics and atheists to keep out. A curse lasting seven years shall fall on all who destroy any part of this place; they will be unlucky in all they do, be hunted like beasts and finally die in agony in lonely places and the vultures of the sky shall eat their flesh," the sign reads.

It is populated by mythical figures from African cosmology, legendary African warriors and icons of African nationalism - all Mutwa's creations. The most captivating part of the park, the villages are home to Africa's distinguished ancestors. Through his art, Mutwa has redefined their role in the evolution of African history.

Indigenous god-figures like Nomkhubulwane, the female goddess worshipped by the Nguni people; and Mvelinqange, a male deity reputedly worshipped in the pre-colonial era, dwarf the other statues.

Next to the Zulu village is the Basotho village, complete with huts and kraals. It tells the story of shepherds playing morabaraba - a traditional African board game dating back thousands of years - while guarding their livestock from marauding leopards.

There is also the Arab village, constructed by Mutwa, with oriental architecture and a mosque occupying pride of place.

Prehistoric African mammals - presumably long extinct but reincarnated by Mutwa - include a three-horned beast called "triotribes" and a dragon-like creature called "titamogofaudon". Relics in the park include a fireplace once used by the prophet to manufacture spears, traditional jewellery and other ornaments.

The Credo Mutwa Cultural Village provides hours of education and entertainment for young and old alike, and is a "must-see" for locals and tourists.
For travelers who use our international travel planner, Johannesburg holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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Credo Mutwa Cultural Village reviews

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  • In Soweto, just visit the apartheid museum and the former house of Nelson Mandela. In the Mutwa cultural village, there is a historical tower from where you can see all the Soweto neighborhoods.  more »
  • A good place to relax and have a picnic if you so wish, also catch up on cultural aspects that the African population practices and put forward by the famous Credo Mutwa himself.  more »
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  • Great place to discover the African historical theology and mythology.
  • Very cool place to celebrate 🥂 parties weddings &stress reliever
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