IT WAS always my dream to meet the beloved and renowned Sanusi Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa – and I met him at one of the happiest moments in his life.

Muthwa (98) had just moved into his renovated house in November last year after living in a dilapidated house in Mogajaneng village in Kuruman, Northern Cape.

The Department of Arts and Culture had intervened and refurbished the house. Mutwa was over the moon.

“Bengiyini mina? What am I? I am nothing. You are the ones who are big.

“Thank you, very much.” he said.

A man of many talents, including being an author, sculptor and songwriter had been sick and spent most of his time in his bedroom. But on the day I was there, he was sitting in his lounge unassisted.

His wife, gogo Virginia, told the media that her husband surprised her when he woke up in middle of the night and sat up.

“I asked myself what was happening. It was like a miracle because ubaba is always sleeping in his room.”

Mutwa, unable to contain his joy, started singing his favourite song Masikhanye Isibani and everyone in the house joined in.

“Never neglect old people. Please continue to respect them,” said Mutwa, who then shared a few jokes.

Later, when I moved around his compound, I saw many of his artworks.

His daughter, Nozipho Mthethwa, told me her dad was hurt seeing his work neglected.

She said he was also angry that his Soweto house and the cultural village, which were burnt down during the 1976 uprising, had not been restored.