African Philosophy of Mutwa: African Contribution To The Philosophy of Ideas
By Mocholoko (Dr), Zulumathabo Zulu © 2019
I have been working on this project of African origin of philosophy for quite some time. The initial project was Basotho Origin of Philosophy inspired by the book The Sacred Knowledge of the Desert: African Philosophical Transcendence which is about the philosophical constructs of the Basotho and as a sequel to Basotho Origin of Mathematics which was inspired by Sesotho Dictionary of Mathematics. Another intellectual activity, as part of this philosophical project, is Numerical Logic of the Basotho. After a number of expeditions to pay a deserved tribute to Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa in Northern Cape, there was an epiphany that producing a new knowledge about the philosophical underpinnings of Credo Mutwa would be the most fitting veneration of his life considering the most erudite and selfless contributions he has made in building four African indigenous museums of cultural knowledge in four provinces of Azania (South Africa); writing books about indigenous African knowledge; healing people through his Sangoma profession, among numerous things he has done and the only payback he received was to be beaten by a youth mob to near death; to lose his wife and to become a fugitive in his homeland after escaping death. He ended up living under extremely difficult conditions. Last year in 2018, I submitted nomination papers to the President of the Republic Dr. Cyril Ramaphosa for Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa and his beloved wife Kedisaletse Mutwa to be nominated for Mapungubwe Presidential Award. Nothing came out of that not even an acknowledgement. My heart sank when I saw Credo Mutwa being neglected in his homeland in this way in spite of the enomous sacrifices he had made and the extreme suffering he had endured for the benefit of Azania and her people as confirmed by his stellar works building upon the intellectual achievements of the erudite African ancients who have gone before us.
Nevertheless, life must go on and as a humble tribute on my part I then decided to write a scholarly paper that will honour his memory for a life well lived. In a convoluted way, these are the social forces that have prompted me to take the path less travelled to write about the philosophy of Credo Mutwa. In writing about this, it is my hope that this monumental work will produce many spinoffs for the African scholars out there who are engaged in the indefatigable struggle to decolonize the education system that embeds; abets and promotes the superiority of Western ideas and morality with respect to the unassailable canon of WASP (White AngloSaxon Protestant) and Eurocentricity.
Many have taken from Credo Mutwa without giving back and when his health deteriorated they abandoned him. This is a humble way of giving back to him. May the gods of the cosmos preserve and enhance his health and wellbeing.
Without further ado, an abstract of African Philosophy of Mutwa: African Contribution To The Philosophy of Ideas.
When Azania (South Africa) was subjected to a rapid fire of a succession of alien colonial contacts namely (1) Vasco da Gama in 1497; (2) Jan van Riebeeck in 1652 and (3) the British Colonial Administration in 1806, the advent of colonization and enslavement had pronounced a new epoch of irreversible colonial conquest backed by military expeditions; Christian proselytism and mission schools under the ECC (Euro Christian Colonial) framework. The aftermath of colonial conquest, under the ECC system, had marked a destruction trail of the African way of life to be supplanted by a Eurocentric way of life bringing to an end the African ways of knowing. Moreover, the heterothermic temperament of the architects of foreign occupation proved to be a death blow to the airflow with respect to African Civilisation so that it was no longer possible for an African to chart an independent path as an unassignable architect of destiny making it hard to conceptualise about reality in an authentically African way.
Philosophical Model Developed Herein. Artwork Credit: Z. Zulu.
The incumbent solution to the vacuum space resulting from the destruction of African indigenous knowledge systems in reference to African epistemologies; ontologies and axiologies was to subsume the vestigial elements of the surviving African systems under the greater framework of the new Eurocentric officialdom, a neocolonialist strategy that persists to this day in modern university institutions as confirmed by the historicity of #FeesMustFall movement. The problem with subsumption is that it promotes the superiority of Western and foreign ideas and their related axiological and ontological principles over the indigenous African ideas effectively inculcating a sense of subjugation in the mind of a methodologically disenfranchised African Native. A new radical solution is needed to wrest the African out of the shackles of subliminal mind control under the White Establishment and the ECC system. Enter the African philosophy of Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa whose novel approach is comprised by the three taxa of philosophical principles, namely (1) the seeking; (2) the transcendence and (3) the essence. It is the synergistic taxa of these philosophical principles that enable us to conceptualise about the African Philosophy of Mutwa using the methodology of literature review; long distance expeditions and ethnographic observations.
As a philosophical contribution to the strategic knowledge of science with a utilization of Africanist ideas from a unique theoretical framework of Africography comprised by five knowledge domains, namely (1) Nalane (cosmology); (2) Nkareteng (metaphysics); (3) Lewasene (metascience); (4) Nahanosene (philosophy) and (5) Lesisakutlo (instinctive grasp of destiny), we show the African Philosophy of Mutwa as a set of dialectical ideas inspired by and rooted in the indigenous African cultural systems. This radical paradigm shift should find erudite expression germane to modern university research institutions on the premise that these revolutionary scholarly ideas are pregnant with the exorcist potentiality to assist the African mind to vigorously shake off the prehensile grip of the ECC canon and for the African to retake Yena’s role as the inalienable architect of the sacrosanct destiny of Yena. Dialectically, it is argued herein that the new knowledge produced with respect to the African Philosophy of Mutwa is the necessary genesis that contributes novel ideas that are congruent with modern scholarship in the invocation of the African origin of philosophy for the survival benefit of those coming after us.
4 thoughts on “African Philosophy of Mutwa”
Wonderful reflection on African philosophy
No words to describe the awesomeness of the works of Mcholoko (Dr) Zulumathabo Zulu
Yet another gift by a great visionary to his people! Thank you! 🙏🏾
Dear sister Deveshni Naidu,
Your comments are appreciated and we are greatly honoured by your presence! Absolutely, the living legend Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa is the greatest gift that has ever been bestowed upon by the beneficent ancients of Mother Afrika. He traverses four generations from 1921 to 2019. His intimate knowledge of the motives of the missionaries; the colonizers and the architects of the White establishment is existential to our ability to shake off the vestiges of colonial chains so that we can retake our inalienable role as the unbought and the unsold architects of our sacrosanct destiny. In this way, we can resist the polymorphic forms of the hegemonic tentacles.
Siyabonga ka khulu!