Credo Mutwa

Imfene, the one who looks like a man but who is not a man.

Listen to me, imfene, you dweller among the kranses

Listen to me, oh hairy one

Old man who wears a coat stolen from a white man’s farm!

Listen to me, oh long-tailed one

You of the red backside that alarms the women

ploughing in the mealiefields

Lord of all the thieves!

Lord of the most cunning!

Master of all guile

Imfene, you are the member of the Thusini tribe,

the people of bronze, who owing to their laziness,

were changed into your kind by the vengeful goddess

Imfene, your wisdom is great, as great as your nostrils

which looks like the flutes of Venda herd-boys.

Your eyes are red as the eyes of a wizard concocting

mysterious preparations in a cave.

Your tail is curved like a gentle caress placed upon

the shoulders of a maiden by deceitful lover.

Your eyes see very far away.

For they are sheltered under the cave which is your brow

You are ugly and beautiful, imfene

You are wise and far-seeing

You are the finisher of pumpkins in the cornfields and

the devourer of grain in our granaries.

You watch and laugh while women sweat in the fields,

planting groundnuts, for you know that you shall eat them

when the fools have gathered the harvest

For you are fed by the muscles of human beings

And in this world you fear neither king nor peasant,

neither warrior nor coward

You fear only ingwe, the leopard of the mountains.

Only he is you king

Only he is your equal

Around you a thousand fairy tales have been

woven by snuff-taking grandmothers

Around you a thousand songs have been

composed by young men heading bulls upon the mountainside.

You are imfene, the king of the desolate land

Where the drought has devoured the trees and

left nothing but empty branches

Your voice is still often heard, shouting at the

world from the mountainside

Imfene, bayede!

King is cunning!

Master of all guile!

I salute you!

About us

Khulisa Social Solutions is a non-profit company that helps vulnerable children, youth, and communities unlock their potential and develop skills toward a sustainable future.  It operates nationally, employs over 180 staff through 18 offices, and works in approximately 150 communities in collaboration with 350 NGO partners, impacting the lives of close to 200,000 people per annum. Khulisa partners with national and local government departments, schools, correctional facilities, community leaders, corporates, thought leaders, academic institutions, and private companies.

Khulisa’s internationally
acclaimed and locally rewarded best practice programmes deliver positive and measurable impact with the main focus on youth and community development.

Through their work towards peacebuilding and restorative justice, Khulisa has been recognised locally and internationally. Within the past year, Khulisa has been awarded the Best Social Solutions Not-for Profit 2023 at this years Global Excellence Awards.

Founder and managing director, Lesley Ann van Selm was also awarded CEO Today Africa Award for her leadership in the peacebuilding and restorative justice space.

For more information, contact

Lesley Ann Van Selm | 082 601 2299 |  |