our mission

All over Africa, traditional healers and their ancient knowledge of nature and spirituality are disappearing fast. It is our mission to record and preserve their knowledge and ceremonies, before they disappear forever.

Each African people has its own unique spiritual rituals and we are creating a continually growing library of short films which documents and preserves them. The Spirits of Africa project centres on a website and a Youtube channel where the films can be viewed.


picture from our Venda film

The project is intended to safeguard this spiritual heritage for Africans of future generations and also to make it available to all others in the west and elsewhere in search of their spiritual roots.

The films are also available for television, festivals, museums and so on. They have already been shown in the Rubin Museum of Art (New York City), at the Culture Unplugged film festival (USA/India), the Africa Museum (Netherlands) and other venues.


picture from our San film

Every one who is interested in the project is invited to participate, either in the form of a donation or as an active member. All donors become part owners of the project and its library and can participate in one or more of the film expeditions that Spirits of Africa will organise in the years to come.

The Spirits of Africa project was founded by filmmaker and author Ton van der Lee, who comes from the Netherlands but has lived and worked in Africa for many years. He is a long time film producer, has directed a number of full length documentaries for television about Africa and published eight books about the continent.


picture from our Tswana film

Our first expeditions in 2011, 2012 and 2013 have been completed succesfully and the films can be viewed via this website or directly on our Youtube Channel.

If you want more information, please email to: ton@tonvanderlee.nl or go to www.tonvanderlee.nl

Courtesy San photography: Jeffrey Barbee


picture from our Zulu film