29 July 2011

Take a learner to work day

By: Sinovuyo Falakahla and Zongezile Matshoba

Take a learner to work day is not a day that’s well known to many. It’s a day whereby professional working class citizens host a student in their day to day job and facilitates them in their day to day doings in hope that the learner too will one day aspire to take on that profession.

The initiative, by the Eastern Cape Department of Education, in association with Scifest Africa, is in celebration of the National Science Week, a countrywide celebration of science initiated in 2000 by the Department of Science and Technology.

In line with the 2011 theme, "The Role of Science in Economic Development", one of the activities planned for the NSW 2011 Programme in Grahamstown was a Take a Learner to Work Day.

In the town, a number of grade 11 students from various schools around the town got together for this day at the Department of Education and got assigned to the various working environments. Five of these learners visited the Albany Museum for this day. The tasks and jobs they were all assigned to, varied. One student, Thulani Mshiywa from Khutliso High who is an aspiring accountant got to sit down with Khanyiswa Mhlekwa, the State Accountant from the museum and got to witness what her job entailed and got to work hand in hand with her. After the experience this is what he had to say:

“I found today interesting as I got to apply what I have learnt at school to the work I was being given which made it more practical”.

Anathi Siwela, a learner from Nstika High School visited the Archeology Department and got to work along side two very professional people Dr. Binneman and Celeste Booth. Dr. Binneman has been in the game for over 30 years. With his visit to the department Siwela found that learning the history of the transformation and the evolving of what was then compared to what is now very interesting. Although he is still not clear about what he wants to do at tertiary level, he thinks that having a scientific background as a stepping stone.

Amongst the learners were two very enthusiastic boys, Amangile Mfundisi and Siluvuyo Singaphi from Nombulelo Senior Secondary School who visited the History Department, under the guidance of Fleur Way-Jones, the History Museum curator. The two boys are aspiring historians and pilot who found they visit worthwhile. They learnt about environmental conservation and the preservation of historical objects and how the change in temperature can affect them. Very high temperature melts and creates molding on the surface of the objects. They all eagerly wore protective clothing to prevent the oiliness of their hands from damaging the material and had check lists for both security and conservation purposes.

The objective of the whole initiative was for the guest to learn more about the vision and mission of the organisation, the roles and tasks of the various staff members, the training required to follow a career in the relevant field, as well as to experience a typical day in workplace and perhaps even gain some practical experience.

The whole day had been greatly anticipated by all the students and it proved to be both and educational and interesting experience by far.

Sinovuyo Falakahla is a grade 11 learner from Mary Waters High School. She was with the Communications and Marketing Department learning how to write a press release and take pictures.

"As I myself not only got exposed to new and exciting things but also learnt that there’s more to life than what meets the eye as I would have never thought I'd be writing my first article".

26 July 2011

Museum Friends on a Talk on Heritage

Dr Rose Boswell will be the main speaker on this year's 157th Annual General Meeting of the Friends of the Museum. This will take place this Wednesday, the 27 July 2011 at Rennie Wing Hall of the Albany Museum in Somerset Street.

Her topic is entiltled "The Influence of Heritage, Memory and Identity in the African Museum".

Dr Boswell is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Head of Anthropology Department, and Deputy Dean of the Humanities faculty at Rhodes University.

She has done anthropological fieldwork on heritage, identity, gender and diversity management in South Africa, Mauritius, Madagascar, Seychelles and Zanzibar. She is author of three books and several academic articles.

She is also a mother of three lovely children.

All interested people are welcomed. Membership forms are still available to anyone interested in being a member of the Friends of the Albany Museum.

23 July 2011

Friends of the Museum - 157TH Annual General Meeting


Wednesday, 27 July 2011 @ 17h00


Rennie Wing Hall, Albany Natural Science Museum, Somerset Street.


All fully paid-up members and anyone interested in becoming a member of the Friends of the Albany Museum is invited.

Only fully paid-up members are eligible to vote. Nomination forms are available to nominate two subscribers to represent the Friends of the Museum on the Board of Trustees of the Albany Museum.

Membership joining forms are available at the Albany Natural Science Museum.


Please visit us at Somerset Street, Grahamstown.

Altenatively, call 046 - 622 2312, or contact:
Ms Vovo Mabutya / Zongezile Matshoba at albanymuseum@ru.ac.za

22 July 2011

Youth jubilant of Mandela Camp

By: Zongezile Matshoba

They went, they saw, and they were impressed. Gcobisa Mjele, a learner at Mary Waters High School and Nolubabalo Ralo from Ntsika High School poured out their hearts during the belated Mandela Day organised by Albany Museum at Zintle Farm School recently.

This was their first community outreach as part of youth empowered by the Mandela Youth Camp that they attended at the Nelson Mandela Museum in Umthatha during the winter school holiday. The camp had over 45 learners from all over South Africa.

“It taught us about the struggles that former State President Nelson Mandela endured … and Mandela values,” Mjele said.

She added that “There were enriching and inspirational presentations on different cultures and uniqueness by the nine provinces”.

That the programme was organised by a museum did not shy away from a topic about museums and heritage. They learnt about the purposes of the museums, museum careers and job opportunities.

Ralo said: “We were taught about what heritage defines, things of the past, museums and monuments”.

Other popular topics were the school uniform issue, where many agreed that it is still important for identity and representation.

Interestingly, Ralo said, they also debated popular technology like Mixit, and its impact on learning and teaching, especially sentence construction during examinations.
The groups were involved in electives like fine art, photography and craft. The works were presented in a gala dinner.

The two said they would never forget such an opportunity and are grateful that Albany Museum chose them.

"To be where Mandela was grew, and to be taught to follow on his footsteps and continue his legacy is an honour that we will cherish forever," they said in unison.

Museum's Mandela Day in Pics

Pics by: Zongezile Matshoba and Michelle Morgan

The call for the Mandela Day touched Albany Museum once again.

Albany Museum team, led by Mobile Museum Services, went out in numbers.

Collected goods from Grahamstonians, individuals and businesses, including Rhodes University, were packed and delivered.

Teachers, learners and parents could not wait for the Museum to leave before seeing what was inside those bags.

Moving speeches about accepting change and making a difference were delivered.

Learners also shared their experience of benefitting in the name of Dr Nelson Mandela.
Some went to the Nelson Mandela Museum's Mandela Youth Camp in Umthatha, while others went to the Robben Island Museum's Isivivane Spring School in the Western Cape.

Little ones were not forgotten as snacks and kiddies clothes were handed out.

There were joys and jubilations as all were happy and unable to hide all the excitement.

Donations, Support pours for Mandela Day

By: Zongezile Matshoba

One would have been forgiven to think that Nozipho Madinda, the Albany Museum Mobile Services Officer is participating in the Grahamstown Tourism Amazing Chase, or in one of the infamous treasure hunt shows. Similar to a marathon runner, she went up and down Grahamstown, covering reasonable kilometers, with the Mandela Day name tag, and the Grahamstown community cheered and cherished her endeavours.

“I have to quickly dash to City Fashions, Diamond, Fruit and Veg, and then to Pick n Pay,” cried Madinda in high gasp as she was finalizing the collection of donations for the Mandela Day on Friday, 22 July 2011 at Zintle Farm School in Manley Flats.

Surprisingly, she came back complaining that the Museum van could not start when she left Kingswood College. She had to ask the learners to push it, and then she kick-started it.

“We must ask for a donation for a new van during the next Mandela Day,” she joked to Heine Kohl, the Museum's Maintenance Department Supervisor.

The afternoon was all the same. The Museum telephone kept on ringing, asking for her while she answered her cellphone. She had a very short lunch, eating just for ten minutes while standing. She had another appointment with High-Tech Security company.

The Museum staff did not disappoint either, in particular the retired Entomologist, Dr Sarah Gess. She went out to buy four soccer balls for the four schools. Rhodes University Community Engagement delivered its own bag of donations.

The last part of the afternoon saw her giving orders to Museum staff that was helping her divide and label the donations for the four farm schools.

When everybody else was knocking off, another call from Kodak came in. In desperation, she dashed out once again.

Grahamstonians must be really proud of reacting positively whenever the Museum calls for their support.

18 July 2011

Yello, Mandela Day!

By: Zongezile Matshoba

The Museum will this year bring a bright yellow Mandela Day for the farm communities. Four farm schools, Manley Flats, Zintle, Martindale and Wilson’s Party will once again be visited on the 22 July 2011 to celebrate Mandela Day, thanks to Statistic South Africa that donated the yellow 2011 census rulers, water bottles and caps.

The farm communities are one of the most deprived and sometimes neglected communities. Census ensures that every country’s citizen counts, so are the farm communities. The climax of the event will be accompanied by a short address and cultural activities.

Albany Museum is also showcasing for the last time the Dear Mr Mandela…Dear Mrs Parks: Children’s Letters, Global Lessons Exhibition for all those who missed it previously.

Nozipho Madinda, the Mobile Museum Services Officer is also working around the clock to collect as many more donations as possible. An appeal is being made to the Makana Community, businesses, non-governmental organisations and individuals to be part of the Museum’s initiative and extend helping hands.

Mandela Day is a call to everyone to spend only 67 minutes and help make a difference. It celebrates the 67 years that Dr Nelson Mandela, the legendary former State President of South Africa, spent fighting for a better life for all.

The Mandela Day on 18 July, as proposed by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, and declared by the United Nations, coincides with Mandela's birthday. The Albany Museum, together with the rest of the world will once again celebrate the legacy of the legendary former State President who was politically active for 67 years.

04 July 2011

What’s On @ AM – 2011 NAF

By: Zongezile Matshoba

Albany Museum is abuzz with the 2011 National Arts Festival exhibitions. Exhibitors, artists and visitors have ignored the on and off cold weather to come and see for themselves some of the best creativities that are on offer.

The museum complex always offers prime space to some outstanding exhibitions at Natural Science Museum, History Museum, Observatory Museum, Fort Selwyn and Provost.

The following artists are accommodated at Albany History Museum:

Eastern Cape Department of Sports, Recreation, Arts and Culture (DSRAC) is presenting A Century of Fallen EC Visual Artists at History Museum Foyer
Johannesburg Art Gallery has Allan Crump: A fearless Vision at the Standard Bank Gallery
Caversham Centre is exhibiting People, Prints and Process at the Grahamstown Gallery
ILAM is showcasing For Future Generation at the Transformation Gallery.

At the Albany Observatory Museum diamond room, there is the Stamps Exhibition by the South African Post Office.

The Albany Natural Science Museum has the following artists:
Zingisa Nkosinkulu presenting Beyond Synergy at the Green Gallery B
Mathias Chirambo with Sacred Spaces at the Green Gallery A
Sonnett Olls is using the Museum’s Rennie Wing Hall to exhibit A Silent Witness
Brett-Anne Moolman is exhibiting the State of Being at the foyer next to the Blue Planet Gallery Michael Selekane is showcasing Ifa Lethu at the main foyer
Daniela Novela is at the Education Room with Three Primary Colours
Johann Badenhorst’s (on)duidelik is at the Cube Gallery just below the Green Gallery
Gordon Legg has Open Spaces at the Coffee Shop
Fanizani Akuna, Elvis Mavura and Richard Mteki are at the Gazebo with Contemporary Shona Sculptures

The Museum is opened daily from 09h00 to 17h00 for the 11 days of the AMAZ!NG festival which runs from the 30 June to 10 July.

Artists interested in booking for an exhibition venue must contact the Museum’s Exhibition Officer, Thabang Tshobeni.

For more about the exhibitions and the arts festival, please visit the:
National Arts Festival