General News

The KZN Museum celebrated national "Clean Up Week" by visiting Ebumnandini in Mpophomeni to run a clean up campaign in that area. After cleaning up the litter in the area the community was educated about the importance of preserving our environment and the importance of maintaining a clean and a healthy environment. The KZN Museum staff collaborated with a group called the "Friends for life’’ community group on this project.

To celebrate National Arbour Week the KwaZulu-Natal Museum visited the Nkabibi Primary School (Elandskop), Vumuthando Primary School (Swayimane), Nyambayi Primary School (Richmond) and Mzimba Primary School (Dlokwakhe) and planted 4 trees in each school – orange tree, Aloe Africana, Water Berry and apricot tree.

Read more: Arbour Day

The KwaZulu–Natal Museum runs an Educator's Workshop twice a year. Recently, the Museum, in collaboration with the Department of Education, hosted an Educator's Workshop on subject of Heritage. The aim was to assist Educators in the subject of heritage that they teach at schools.

Read more: Educator's Workshop

Members of the recently-formed Ngoba Wilderness Group (NWG), from the amaNgwane Traditional Authority Area near Bergville, visited the Museum on 26 April on the invitation of the Museum’s Department of Human Sciences. The visit was arranged so that the members of the NWG could see firsthand what the Museum does and how it is linked to natural and cultural resources.

Read more: Ngoba Wilderness Group visits the Museum

Members of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum's Department of Human Sciences, Jeremy Hollmann and Nkululeko Sibetha, attended the presentation of certificates of participation to learners, held in March 2012, at six schools in the amaNgwane Traditional Authority Area and in the amaZizi Traditional Authority Area.

Read more: Environmental and Cultural Awareness Programmes  

In March this year the KwaZulu-Natal Museum hosted three guides (Raymond Mweli, Norman Ngcobo, and Derrick Zuma) and the manager of the Kamberg Rock Art Centre, Mr Rafael Sicelo Mnikathi, to a refresher course in the presentation of the rock art of Waterfall Shelter and Game Pass Shelter. AMAFA, the heritage agency of KwaZulu-Natal, requested the Department of Human Sciences from KZN Museum to provide this training, which was intended to refresh the training of the Kamberg guides by reinforcing their understanding and by providing new information.

The group was taken on a tour of the rock art displays and watched a couple of short films about the removal of graffiti from rock art and the work of community rock art monitoring groups in the province. The Museum’s curator of rock art, Jeremy Hollmann, then made a presentation on the Kamberg rock art. The presentation covered the history of the Drakensberg Bushmen, important details of the paintings, frequently asked questions as well as appropriate behaviour at rock art sites and customer care. The guides were also provided with a set of notes and photographs so that they could retain the information and refer to it in future. During the presentation the guides also had an opportunity to ask questions and to discuss any problems concerning their work as guides. The day concluded with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Archaeology Storeroom by Human Sciences Department Technical Assistant, Nkululeko Sibetha, who showed them the pieces of rock art that are part of the KZN Museum’s collection.

To follow up on this training the Museum’s Department of Human Sciences will carry out an evaluation of the guides’ performance by accompanying the guides to the rock art sites at Kamberg and observing how well the guides have integrated their training into their work. Certificates of participation will then be presented. 

KwaZulu-Natal Museum Information Officer, Thulani Ngubane discusses the famous ‘Elephant Man’ rock art panel, removed in 1947 with Kamberg Rock Art Centre guides Raymond Mweli, Norman Ngcobo, and Derrick Zuma while rock art specialist Jeremy Hollmann looks on. The Kamberg guides recently attended a day-long Rock Art Refresher Course at the Museum.

The KwaZulu-Natal Museum hosted a Wellness Day on the 4 April and offered free blood pressure, glucose and cholesterol testing. The event included a talk by wellness experts from the Midlands Medical Centre. The Museum is extremely grateful to the Midlands Medical Centre, St Annes Hospital, Bonitas Medical Aid and PMB Laboratories for services rendered. Gratitude also goes to Albany Bakery for sponsoring bread, Mabongi Mtshali for sponsoring the zuchini muffins, Protea Imperial Hotel for sponsoring refreshments and Val Pillay from Bonitas Medical Aid for her personal contribution towards refreshments. 

The KwaZulu-Natal Museum commemorated South African Library Week which runs from the 19-23 March. The theme this year is 'Develop at your Library'. Learners who visited the Museum library were treated to an interactive presentation by the Museum's Chief Librarian - Velisiwe Dlomo-Mtshare, Assistant Librarian - Sbongile Jali and Library Assistant - Sandile Khanyezi. The learners had an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge about libraries and were educated on proper library etiquette, how to care for books and how to research information. They also participated in a fun quiz and won lovely prizes. All the visiting learners were awarded gift hampers which included Museum bookmarks, pens, rulers and other goodies. The KwaZulu-Natal Museum boasts an impressive research library, and also runs a very busy internet café and learners resource library, which is also open on weekends and holidays.
more pictures are available on the Museum's Facebook page

This week is South African Library Week and the 2012 theme is “Develop @ your Library”. As part of these celebrations, the KwaZulu-Natal Museum Library will be visited by FET students, primary and high school learners all week, where they will learn all about our Museum library and the services we have to offer. Chief Librarian Velisiwe Dlomo has an exciting tour planned.
The KwaZulu-Natal Museum in Jabu Ndlovu Street is gearing up for it’s Winter School holiday programme with an exciting line up for the kids, including the ever popular Night at the Museum Sleepover.

Here is the programme.

SCHOOL HOLIDAY PROGRAMME 27 June 2011 to 1 July 2011 from 9:00 - 12:00 each day at a cost of R 30 per day

27 June --- Art of Decoupage
28 June --- Make your own diorama 
29 June --- Make your own fridge Magnets & Glow in the Dark Bat Mobile
30 June --- Make your own picture frame
01 July  --- Treasure Hunt/Storytelling

NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM Sleepover - 8 July 2011 - R 90 per child, including light meals & cost of activities

In celebration of International Museum's Week visit the KwaZulu-Natal Museum for a Storytelling session with Dr Gcina Hlope, renowned author, actress & award-winning South African poet, entitled Moonlight Magic from the book called ‘Our Story Magic’, on Saturday, 28 May 2011, starting at 10h00 in the Main Mammal Hall. Regular museum entry fees apply.

On behalf of the Council of this Museum, one of the largest natural- and cultural-history museums in South Africa, it is with great pleasure that I notify you of a change of its name from Natal Museum to KwaZulu-Natal Museum. The new name was officially gazetted by the previous Minister of Arts & Culture, the Honourable Ms. Lulu Xingwana, MP, in 2010, but its announcement has been delayed for logistical reasons.

Read more: Museum Name Change

A few years ago archaeologists found a cache of  about 5000 glass beads from a small pit in an Iron Age layer at Sibudu Cave near Tongaat. The bead strings incorporated brownish-red, blue-green, blue and other colours of glass beads, some copper beads and also two perforated Conus ebraeus shells. There was also a necklace of ostrich-eggshell disc-beads interspersed with blue glass beads. Sixteen of the glass beads were chemically analysed at the Field Museum, Chicago.

Read more: Glass Beads

 Museums in South Africa celebrate International Museum’s Day on the 25 May 2011. The KwaZulu-Natal Museum has an exciting programme lined for that week. The programme includes talks & tours by various experts in the relevant fields.

Archaeologist Gavin Whitelaw from the KwaZulu-Natal Museum will be doing a public talk on this day at 1pm on Glass Beads. Entrance to the museum and for the talk on the 25 May will be free.

Read more: Museum Week

The Natal Museum is hosting a photographic exhibition called Umhlaba Wami, or "My World" in Zulu featuring the work of children orphaned by Aids, from Pietermaritzburg township communities, a programme coordinated by the Thandanani Children’s Foundation. 

Read more: Temporary Exhibition - Umhlaba Wami

The LOERIE Award travelling exhibition will be on display at the Natal Museum from the 16 - 28 May 2009.

The travelling exhibition showcases the best of all aspects of brand communication - visiting major centres as well as schools and colleges. Marketers, agencies and consumers are afforded the opportunity to view all the winning work, while up-and-coming creatives are given lots of inspiration to produce their own award-winning work. 

Visit their website for more information about the Loerie Awards.


Seminar Series


HOME AFFAIRS, a GALA travelling exhibition, initially launched at the Apartheid Museum (opened by the Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Ntombazana Botha and Chief Justice Pius Langa). The aim of the exhibition is to educate the public about same-sex relationships and other non-conventional relationships using the lens of family diversity. It is on display at the Natal Museum until February 2009.   
























Natal Museum Director, Luthando Maphasa at the official opening, pictured with Anthony Waldhausen of the Pietermaritzburg Gay & Lesbian Association (GALA)































An entrancing exhibition of creative beadwork by artists Ceaser Mkhize and Thafa Dlamini, on display in the Main Mammal Hall of the Natal Museum, until February 2009.

Interview with KwaMashu, Durban, beadwork artist Caeser Mkhize conducted by Mthokozisi Phungula, at the Natal Museum, Pietermaritzburg, during November 2008

 I began by asking Caeser questions which were prepared for the interview. When Caeser responded he ended up answering questions which I was still to ask him. As he was providing a detailed account I decided to let him talk without having to answer specific questions. Here is his story:


Read more: Isiphethu Beadwork Exhibition

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