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Free Activities for all at Iziko this Heritage Weekend


Packed programme of events celebrate our rich cultural heritage

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Heritage Month has brought a full programme to Iziko Museums of South Africa for their annual in_herit FESTIVAL culminating in a packed Heritage weekend (Friday 23 and Saturday 24 September) in which the diversity of South African culture and its natural environment will be explored. 

Entrance to the Iziko South African Museum, Slave Lodge, Bo-Kaap Museum, Groot Constantia Manor House and Castle of Good Hope will be *Free on 24 September.

Event highlights include a tour and artist walkabout of the exhibition PLOT: Critical Zones, by Jeannette Unite and a public discussion by world renowned artist Zakes Mda. There will be live music from jazz icon Mama Sylvia Ncediwe Mdunyelwa, indigenous games for all to enjoy, drum majorettes and plenty of exciting activities for children, teens and adults that explore space, science, edible insects, honeybees and more. 

The programme is concentrated at the Iziko South African Musuem located at the Company Gardens with some events at the Iziko Slave Lodge (within walking distance) and Friday’s event taking place in the Central Library.

All the activities are free and access to all museums is *free on Heritage Day (24 September). *This does not however include the Planetarium and Digital Dome, or any of the museums usually closed on a Saturday, as well as those closed for maintenance and repairs. The Iziko South African National Gallery is temporarily closed as part of the ISANG Revitalisation project. Entrance to the Iziko Planetarium and Digital Dome, is R60 for adults and R30 for children.

All the details of the in-herit FESTIVAL

Friday, 23 September 

Conservation of Legacy Through Story Telling’symposium will take place on the 23rd September from 10h00 till 12h00 at the Cape Town Library. Featuring poets and film makers such as Elias Nel, Dr Kosi, Busisiwe Velabavuye Pikini, Nadine Cloete, Modiegi Njeyiyana, Sandiso Makhebe and Riaan Baartman the panel explores the various ways in which language could be preserved. This activity is a collaborative venture between Iziko Museums of South Africa, Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Pan South African Language Board, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Afrikaanse Taalraad, Western Cape Language Committee, Indigenous Language Action Forum among other partners. Book your space via

Saturday, 23 September 

At the Slave Lodge, jazz music icon, Mama Sylvia Ncediwe Mdunyelwa, who has played alongside the likes of Ngucakana brothers, Ezra and Duke Ngcukana, Winston Mankunku, Nick Carter, Merton Barrow, will perform a live concert from 11h00-12h00. From 11h00-13h00 at the same venue, curator Lynn Abraham will conduct a walkabout of the exhibition Exploration of Aluta Continua, Singing Freedom and Red in the Rainbow

From 11h00-11h30 in the Exhibition Hall at Iziko South African Museum (ISAM), visitors will be able to enjoy a tour of the exhibition PLOT by EARTH artist, Jeanette Unite. Created with mined material and spanning across more than 30 countries, this showcase examines how Earth is owned, measured, divided, and allocated by title deeds and legal rights over land and resources. Entrance is free but book your space via Quicket.  Against the magnificent backdrop of the ISAM Whale Well, the Eerste River South Drum Majorettes will perform at 11h30-11h45. Between 09h00 and

15h00 the significance of South Africa’s national marine species such as the national fish, the Galjoen, will be explained. Visitors will be invited to write the common name of marine animals in their native language and there will be elements of interest such as early vs modern diving equipment, microscopes to show different marine structures that cannot be examined with the naked eye and an exploration of animal communication.

In the Iziko South African Museum (ISAM) at The Gathering space between 10h00 and 12h00, exhibits include the evolutionary progress of facial bones in different animals (Karoo Paleontological Collection) as well as fascinating display highlighting how these bones have evolved from a common ancestor in different animals. Visitors can also discover beautiful displays of rocks, minerals and shells. Exhibits of reptiles, amphibians and insects will be displayed and visitors will also be invited to contribute common names for them in any language. 

Bees are in the spotlight, along with some honey sampling, and the kids will be able to colour in the South African flag – correctly coloured flags win a lollipop! Learn more about edible insects too. Bevil Spence will host a drumming session in the Rock Art Gallery from 10h00-11h00. 

Head to The Discovery Room at ISAM between 10h00 and 14h00, to view the South African coat of arms as introduced on Freedom Day 27 April 2000. Participants will be taken through the Rock Art Display to explore and discuss the significance and symbolism behind our coat of arms. This session is aimed at teens around 12-16 years.  In close collaboration with the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Iziko Museums of South Africa invites the public to participate in the indigenous games that will be presented on this day. Indigenous games have the potential to revive and activate cultural sport and recreational activities that were used to build societies in the past and which may help to alleviate the social ills of today. Join the fun from 11h00-12h00 at the ISAM Amphitheatre.

From 13h00-14h30, esteemed novelist, poet and playwright Zakes Mda will present apublic talk in the T.H. Barry Lecture Hall at ISAM. Born in 1948, in Herschel in the Eastern Cape, Mda has won major local and international literary awards for his novels and plays. The talk is also free but to avoid disappointment, book your space via Quicket. 

The Accidental Astronauts will play at 10:30 and 11am.  Children aged 5-12 will enjoy the adventures of Sy and Annie and their dog Armstrong as they embark on an unexpected journey into space.

At 12:00, teens and adults can see Phantom of the Universe; a showcase and exciting exploration of dark matter from the Big Bang to its anticipated discovery at the Large Hadron Collider, while learning how scientists around the world are collaborating to track down the constituents of dark matter. At 13h30 the Infinity Express takes the audience on an exciting journey of discovery, from the search of the solar system to the mapping of the universe.

Throughout September 

At the Learning Centre – Groot Constantia,Iziko has partnered with the Koena Art Institute to present a month-long educational showcase Dans laat die stof staan! – Celebrating the Riel in Art.  The exhibit celebrates and preserves Khoe and San heritage and identity, representing artists of Khoena heritage. The exhibition is open until 30 September. 

Visitors not able to make it to the museums in person can check in online to see the works of artist C Hunter, who has been commissioned by researchers to interpret paleontological evidence to create images of our past environment. 

For more information on the in_herit FESTIVAL, please contact Dr Wandile Goozen Kasibe on 021 481 3804/13 or email and find the programme online at /events/in_herit-festival-events-programme-2022/

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