President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sorrow at the passing of renowned traditional healer, prophet, author and cultural historian Credo Mutwa at the age of 98.

In a statement, Ramaphosa says South Africa has lost one of its most ardent champions of African cultural heritage preservation.

Ramaphosa says Mutwa dedicated his life to fighting ignorance of African customs, saying he leaves behind a vast body of work that will be studied for years to come.

The President says Mutwa is regarded by his followers and supporters as a prophet and diviner who predicted a number of domestic and international events such as the 1976 Soweto Uprisings, Chris Hani’s 1993 assassination and the conflict between the United States and Iran.

Ramaphosa has lauded Mutwa’s cultural activism and his many accolades including the Department of Arts and Culture’s Usiba Award. He has called on all South Africans to acquaint themselves with Mutwa’s work, which is preserved by the foundation that bears his name.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) has described as immeasurable traditional healer and sanusi or Zulu sangoma Credo Mutwa’s contribution to the African continent and the world. The ANC says Mutwa will also be respected for his role in advocating the use of traditional medicine.

The ANC has sent its condolences to the family of Mutwa. He was born in KwaZulu-Natal, then known as Zululand, in 1921.

The video below provides more insight into Mutwa’s life: 

 

His other name VuzamaZulu came after his initiation as a sangoma, it means Awakener of the Zulu people. His childhood was spent criss-crossing many provinces with his father – Ziko Shezi who was a farm labourer.

Shezi was also a carpenter, who taught his son the skill, which he later used in his art. His exposure to African art, at a curio shop where he worked, sparked his love for art.

Mutwa returned to KwaZulu-Natal after an absence of 30-years where he underwent purification and sangoma initiation

As a sangoma, he travelled extensively across the globe imparting traditional knowledge.

This is what he had to say about his travels.

“All I do know is that the black man of Africa does not know his greatness, does not understand how important he is to humanity at large. What my heart is appealing for and I know that appeal won’t be heard is that the black man should know how great he really is.”