Iziko CEO retires

  • Posted: Nov 8, 2010

After an eight year tenure with Iziko Museums of Cape Town, Professor HC (Jatti) Bredekamp has retired as the Chief Executive Officer. This prolific educator, historian, researcher, writer and leader was appointed as the first black CEO of the organisation in 2002. He shares some of his experiences, recalling being impressed by the collective professional expertise within the organisation and its supporting services.

During his term, Professor Bredekamp has been instrumental in securing government commitment and funding for the renovation and upgrade of the National Mutual Building, located on Church Square, which was officially launched as the Iziko Social History Centre during Heritage Week this year. Another achievement he treasures is the resuscitation of South African National Committee of ICOM at Iziko in October 2006. Very few museum workers today know about the suspension of ICOM-SA in the mid-1970’s, because of the UNESCO cultural boycott against apartheid. Despite attempts to re-establish the ICOM structure in South Africa after 1994, it only materialised in 2006 when Professor Bredekamp was asked by ICOM International to champion the cause from an Iziko perspective.

In his parting message, Professor Bredekamp draws from the Khoisan language’s collective call for the nation to unite in a common sense of belonging and national pride, encouraging Iziko staff, heritage workers and all South Africans to “hold onto the inspiring message of our new national motto: !ke e: /xarra //ke (people who are different joining together). This, together with our faith should remain the guiding light on our journey to make Iziko, our country, our continent and the heritage world a better place for all.”

IMAGE: Prof HC Bredekamp (by Carina Beyer, Iziko Photographer)

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