Hallo to all you beautiful people!
I recently had the privilege to meet one of Africa's beloved sons, Zulu
shaman, African visionary and artist Baba Credo Mutwa, author of Indaba,
My Children. I had the chance to talk to him about labyrinths. In 2003
I did a talk at the Labyrinth Society's Annual Conference in Baltimore,
USA, about South African labyrinths and I did a lot of research on labyrinths
possibly used by the indigenous peoples of Southern Africa. I didn't
get a lot of information and knew then I had to talk to Baba Credo, but
I couldn't get hold of him as his telephone number was unlisted.
Big was my excitement when his eyes lit up as he started to reminisce
about the days that they used the “chunga-chunga”, especially
on Sundays in Salisbury; now Harare, Zimbabwe. He talked about the people
drumming and dancing around the labyrinth that was built with plants
and how they used it to call their ancestors, Grandmother Wisdom, the
God spirits of the earth and the God within. He chuckled when he remembered
how they sometimes licked payoti to go in a deeper trance and how they
had to be extra careful that the police don't catch them!
He also talked about planting a “chunga-chunga” with marog
(a type of green leafy vegetable) in the old cattlekraal on top of an
ox's blood. “I remember that marog tasted much better than the
rest!” Bare feet children walked the labyrinth and rested in the
middle. One must walk the labyrinth bare feet as the power (of the earth)
comes up into your feet, explains Baba Credo, and always drink a little
bit of water when you have finished walking it.
One of his wise sayings he uttered during the course of our stay, was: “We
are all postmen here to deliver post. Some of us has just put the bicycle
on the corner and fell asleep.”
MP's Manana Tlake (left) and Wendy Matsemela
(right) with me at the St. George's Cathedral labyrinth
in Cape Town, South Africa.
Earlier this year I facilitated a labyrinth walk with Members of Parliament
of the South African government. It was part of a well-being week, organized
by Johann Kotzé (see Links)
and will be done regularly. Unfortunately most MP's were still in Johannesburg
for a funeral, but the walk for
those who participated was profound.
I had the chance to mention my dream of building or painting a labyrinth
at all the schools in South Africa. I have just finished building one
at Jan Kriel School, a school for children with special educational needs.
The school's therapists are ecstatic about the possibilities of the
labyrinth to help the children. I also had the chance to talk to a group
of school psychologists and they too are very exited about the possibilities
and solutions a labyrinth can offer, not only in therapy, but also as
a means to combat violence, crime, conflict and behavioural problems
as well as trauma issues, depression and drug addictions.
May we all walk together on the path of our souls!