Museum Africa: Past and present

RICH HISTORY: Museum Africa is opposite the equally historical Mary Fitzgerald Square.

Museum Africa, which was formerly known as Africana Museum, was established in 1933 on the very same site, on the street that is now known as Lilian Ngoyi.

It began when the Johannesburg Public Library bought a large number of books and African cultural artefacts from a collector, John Gaspard Gubbins, and the museum underwent great expansion thereafter to accommodate it all.

Within the walls of Museum Africa, there is also the Geology Museum, the Bensusan Museum of Photography, and the Worker’s Museum which tells the stories of the mineworkers and migrants who came to South Africa from different parts of the world.

There are a number of long-term exhibitions at the museum including those of a social nature such as Cartoons in Context, which is made up of political cartoons dating back to 1700; Gandhi’s Johannesburg: The birthplace of Satyagraha, which includes buildings and other places associated with the struggle icon; and My Culture? which explores and maps almost 500 cultural groups in South Africa.

Museum Africa is open from Tuesday to Sunday each week and admission into the culturally rich venue is absolutely free.


Racine Edwardes

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