Located in the heart of Soweto, the Credo Mutwa Cultural Village is a museum-cum-outdoor exhibition of astounding sculptures and buildings created by African artist and traditional healer Credo Mutwa. The private collection of sculptures that he constructed from 1974 to 1986 juxtaposes African folklore and art with an increasingly Westernised society. This unique take on art and society as a huge drawpoint for tourists hunting for a more authentic experience and sets the village as one of the traditional attractions in Gauteng.
The Credo Mutwa cultural village is more than a museum, it is an outdoor experience steeped in tradition and African folklore. It is comprised of sculpture and buildings created by the African artist Credo Mutwa. Mutwa was also a traditional healer said to have the powers to predict the future, depicted in his statues believed to depict the AIDs epidemic. The village is located in the heart of and underwent a restoration project in 2006. A visit to the village is a journey through the life of this intriguing sangoma and his work in conservation, an exhibition of the role traditional African culture plays within the urban environment.
The garden of sculptures lies below the historic Oppenheimer Tower and is surrounded by landscaped gardens filled with indigenous plants, many of which are used in traditional medicine. It’s definitely one of the unique places to visit in Johannesburg.
While Mutwa’s cultural village documents African art, culture, folklore and architecture, it is also a journey into the mind of one of South Africa’s most intriguing cultural figures. Mutwa is one of Africa’s foremost sangomas (traditional healer). He leads a colourful life and firmly believes that aliens walk among us.
Mutwa is highly regarded as an artist, cultural commentator and, recently, for his work in conservation.