Credo Mutwa, celebrated South African traditional healer and author of several books, died following a period of ill health on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. He was 98 years old.
Mutwa, whose full name is Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa, was a sangoma who dedicated his life and writings to the preservation of African cultural practices and mythology. His first book, Indaba, My Children (1964), is a collection of African myths and legends, and was begun as a response to injustices against Africans and their culture. The book was a critical and commercial success, selling over a quarter of a million copies in South Africa alone.
Mutwa’s other works include Zulu Shaman: Dreams, Prophecies, and Mysteries (previously published as The Song of Stars: The Lore of a Zulu Shaman), a book that shares his personal experiences as a sangoma and offers insight into Zulu cosmology, as well as a graphic novel, The Tree of Life Trilogy, based on a tale in Indaba, My Children.
Mutwa was honored with a South African Literary Awards Lifetime Achievement Literary Award in 2017, and a USIBA award, presented by the South African Department of Arts and Culture, in 2018.
Rest in peace, Credo Mutwa!