Polokwane Art Museum: Home of South Africa’s Art

Polokwane is regarded as the home of art in South Africa, boasting of the highest number of public sculptures in the country and home to more than a thousand collections of amazing sculptures, painting and portraits.

And there is no better place to tell this story and see this works of art than the iconic Polokwane Art Museum, located in Polokwane.

Sculptors and artists make most of the artworks found in the museum in and around the city, as well as those from far away including Johannesburg and Pretoria.

While most of the artwork are modern creations compared to other artefacts in other museums which are ancient with some lasting over a hundred years, sculptures and artworks in the museum still have telling histories behind them, mostly centred on tradition and culture.

Of the artworks that abound in the museum, traditional Venda, Pedi and Tsonga craft dominate and are showcased to visiting tourists, with tour guides on standby to give historical account and meaning of each painting, sculpture or piece of art.

More exciting, the museum also puts on sale small pieces of artworks made by local craftsmen enabling visiting tourists to take home some of the craftworks after paying a small fee.

Inside Johannesburg: The Mandela House

Johannesburg is home to many wonderful and incredible attractions; from amazing parks to wildlife reserves and museums, but perhaps the most standout of all these attractions is the Mandela House also known as the Mandela National Museum, located in Orlando West, on the Vilakazi Street.

The one-storey brisk house was originally built in 1945 and occupied by the former South African president and freedom fighter between 1946 and 1962 when he moved out following a series of attacks on his life in the building which left the brisk house ridden with bullets.

After successfully fighting the apartheid system and gaining his independence to lead the country into a new era of democracy in 1994, Mandela decided to donate the house to the state and did so officially in 1997, three years into his presidency.

Mandela National Museum
Mandela National Museum

The house was then converted into a museum which houses the records, letters, pictures and personal belongings of Nelson Mandela especially during the period when he lived in the house and was a leading political figure in the fight against apartheid.

More interesting, unlike most museums where artefacts had to be brought in from elsewhere, exhibitions within the Mandela House Museum such as furniture, citations, letters, and personal belongings were not brought in from elsewhere but were items that Mandela himself had placed in the house before its conversion into a museum.

Today, the facility is among the most visited tourist attractions in South Africa, with a visitor population that exceeds a million annually, a feat which made the United Nation recognize the house as a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Touring Johannesburg: The Must-Visit Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum, located in Johannesburg, is arguably the most historic and iconic museums in Johannesburg and South Africa as a whole. The museum which was established after the fall of the infamous apartheid system in 1992, preserves memories of the horrific events that took place during the apartheid era especially in relation to the treatment of Black South Africans and the incarceration of Black political leaders like Nelson Mandela.

Inside the historic museum, tourists can find graphics portraying the apartheid era and how life generally was back in the days. Also there are hundreds of artefacts and replicated monuments from the apartheid era on full display in the museum with the most popular being the segregation entrance which sort to portray how blacks and whites were racially segregated in South Africa, with Blacks having to enter certain places using different entrance from that of the whites.

Apartheid Museum
Apartheid Museum

The Museum was originally built in 2001 by the South African government under the leadership of Nelson Mandela to remind South Africans of the atrocities of the past and the need to never go back to such a period but rather live in harmony and unity as one people with equal rights and freedom irrespective of race or culture.

As a museum dedicated to the preserving the history of South Africa’s past and teaching people the need not to revisit that dark era, the Apartheid Museum occasionally holds festive events in the course of the year to mark and celebrate the end of apartheid.

The Museum is opened to people of all races and people from all cultural background including non-South Africans who wish to visit the facility to learn a bit about the apartheid history of the Rainbow Nation.

Tourists who intend to visit the museum are advised to make an early reservation, at least a day to the visit in order to get the best experience as the facility is one of the busiest attractions Johannesburg.

Anglo-Boer War Museum: Remembering a brutal war

Once upon a time a brutal territorial war was fought between the indigenous people of South Africa referred to as Boers and the British army who had been sent to the southern African territory to conquer the land and make it a British colony.

The war took the lives of thousands of soldiers and occurred several times between 1880 and the roughly 1902 until the indigenous people (Boers) conceded defeat and reluctantly accepted indirect British rule over their lands. While the British may have won the last war, the Boers were victorious in most of the previous wars and managed to keep their independence until 1902.

Many historians regard the war as one of the most brutal wars in the era of civilisation, estimated to have taken more than 75,000 lives, including 22000 British soldiers and over 30,000 Boers including children and women.

With the war being over, apartheid a thing of the past, the state of South Africa decided to establish a museum solely dedicated to the Anglo Boers War of the 19th century. It was this idea that led to the creation and establishment of the iconic Anglo-Boers War Museum in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The Museum offers tourists and visitors an opportunity to get up close with some of the historical artefacts such as weapons, shackles, and other tool that were used by soldiers on both sides during the infamous wars.

More importantly, Anglo Boer War Museum serves as a learning centre where people can visit and learn more about the Anglo-Boer war, understanding what brought about the war and why it had to take so many lives to come to an end.

While it is a museum and mainly visited by tourists, it has also become an academic centre where historians and academicians go to carry out further research regarding the Anglo-Boer wars.

For the lovers of history, this museum offers an ideal opportunity to learn and increase your knowledge base, this time on one of the most famous wars fought in the history of man in the era of civilisation.