28 October 2011

Archaeology giant to rule the road

By: Zongezile Matshoba

The Museum’s Archaeology newly acquired Isuzu 4 x 4 has come at a right time with Celeste Booth, the Assistant Curator itching to traverse those unchallenged territories. The Archeology department is deeply involved in Stone Age and pre-colonial history research, rock art and is leading the environmental impact assessments in the Eastern Cape.

Just like a new born’s baby shower, a welcoming get together on Friday between the Museum and Kenrich GM Motors in Grahamstown welcomed the ongoing strong ties. The car dealer has been supplying the Museum with some of the fleet, while the rest came from Toyota. Champagne popped all over, snacks and drinks were in abundant, but presents were the only missing link. Why? It was not the birth of a baby, but that of a giant ready to race hundreds of kilometres.

Dr Billy de Klerk, Curator of Paleontology department thanked Dr Johan Binneman, the Curator and Head of the Museum’s Archaeology Department, for raising such funds all these years, thereby contributing to the depleting Albany Museum fleet.

Museums are non-profit in nature, and have to raise their own money to buy cars. They are not even furnished with government’s fleet that the various government departments enjoy provincially and nationally.

The bakkie is well branded with both the Museum and car dealer’s signage clearly visible even at a distance. The branding has been designed by Thabang Tshobeni, the Museum’s Exhibition Officer.

21 October 2011

Exhibitors - Apply Now!

All interested exhibitors are invited to apply for space to showcase their art works at Albany Museum during the 2012 National Arts Festival.

Space is limited, and it will be given on a first come, first serve basis. This is a sort after prime space with around 10 000 visitors visiting the Museum every year during the arts fest.

All applications must reach Albany Museum no later than 1st December 2011. No late applications will be accepted. Only successful applicants will be notified by 15 January 2012.

Artists also need to register separately with the festival office to be included in the NAF programme.

For the available spaces, rates, and to have the form e-mailed to you, please contact Mr Thabang Tshobeni - the Albany Museum Exhibitions Officer at:- T.Tshobeni@ru.ac.za OR 046 - 622 2312.

Tagging Albany Museum

by: Zongezile Matshoba

Albany Museum is making some waves on the net, with some tags featuring interesting links. The most recent one is the video posted by Lauren Haworth, a 4th year New Media Journalism student from Rhodes University. Haworth used the Museum for her project. She has been engaged with Nozipho Madinda of the Mobile Museum Services, and going out to get a first hand experience and capture live what the outreach programme. Getting Management for interviews is always a challenge, but Bongani Mgijima, the Museum’s Manager has been there to give Haworth all the necessary insight and support.

Watch it for yourself, and post your comments.

Alternatively, listen to what some learners say about their heritage, and how Albany Museum plays a crucial role in conserving and promoting Grahamstown and Eastern Cape heritage.

One must bear in mind that these are all young people, who opted to tackle heritage matters head on. That is an assurance that, for years to come, heritage and museum issues will continue to be guarded and passed on.

19 October 2011

Tourism Awareness - What's your role?

By: Zongezile Matshoba

The belated Tourism Awareness Campaign, which is a joint venture between Makana Tourism and Albany Museum kick-started in earnest from the 19 October and will run until 16 November this year. It was initially scheduled for the Heritage and Tourism Month that takes place in September every year.

Its aim is to encourage Makana Municipality individuals, friends, families, workers, students and visitors to learn more about Makana tourism attractions and other tourism products.

The campaign also has an educational outreach component. It aims to educate and expose the learners and community at large as to how tourism operates and what are its benefits.

Makana community invites everyone to actively participate instead of being an observer and spectator, as tourism is everyone’s business. This will help in furthering tourism development initiatives and the marketing of tourism in the local municipality.

Vuyani Njovane, the Makana Tourism Officer and the engine behind the campaign, will take the campaign to schools around Makana Municipality. He will be accompanied by some local tour guides, and the learners that attended the 2011 Robben Island Museum Spring School in Cape Town and the Nelson Mandela Museum Youth Camp in Qunu, Umthatha.

Radio Grahamstown FM Community Radio will also be playing a promotional advert for the duration of the campaign.

12 October 2011


On the 30 of September 2011, Ms Nozipho HoD Mobile Museum of Albany Museum and five learners Lelethu Mto of Khutlisso Daniels, Amanda Nyumka of Masakhane Farm school,Nkosiyabo Magwadi of Sakhingomso farm school, Nkcubeko Balani of Mary Water High and Zintle Mali of Masihlangane J.S.S travelled to Robben Island. They were attended the annual Spring School. The theme was ‘Conservation of tangible and intangible heritage of Robben Island’Explore, and, protect our Heritage.

The2011 spring school has attended by South African learners, the neighbouring states countries couldn’t come due to financial constraints. The spring school consisted of heritage workshop, umrabulo, knowledge hunt, electives and open day celebrations where we received certificates. Umrabulo is a Xhosa word it means to sip and in this case its symbolic is sipping from the cup of knowledge. We had ex-political prisoners who facilitated umrabulo. For the knowledge hunt we were divided into groups and given clues. These would help to lead us to uncover pieces of the history of Robben Island. Another activity called electives, there were four electives namely Radio, Print media, Photography and Video production. All the learners took part in different electives. The public relations and marketing officer of Albany Museum Mr Zongezile Matshoba was one of the facilitators and his elective was print media. He did a great job as a result the learners wrote different stories on a blog and face book.

It was amazing when one of my learners won a prize after she did manage to talk about her culture and her traditional outfit. When is it worn and by whom? Why is it important in our community and the way she conserve her culture and her traditional wear. The name of the learner is Amanda Nyumka of Masakhane farm school based in Hope Fountain near Grahamstown.

Robben Island is such a wonderful and peaceful place although it was a prison. Something that is very interesting it is a world heritage site. Spring school has an awesome experience and the new friends we made. We would like to thank the Robben Island management and staff for giving us this opportunity and the funding of the Spring School.
As museum practitioners and learners we should go back to schools and our communities and implement what we have learnt during the spring school.