Iziko Museum invites public to Heritage Week

Iziko Museums of South Africa Chief Executive Officer Rooksana Omar (L) with Ms Hannelie van Wyk.
The Iziko Museum has urged all South Africans to visit their institutions during their week-long cultural programme this Heritage Month.

Iziko Museums of South Africa chief executive officer Rooksana Omar said this year’s theme honoured the legacy of Tata Madiba who would have turned 100 years.

“As a people we have the right to seek our histories. As a people we also have a responsibility to discover these spaces and share our knowledge of what we see. As we know heritage week enables access to these spaces,” she said.

She also took a moment to speak about the tragedy that happened in Brazil.

“While we celebrate our heritage and our history, I think about the catastrophe and loss suffered by the people of Brazil as a result of the fire that devastated the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. It is a travesty that 200 years of a nation’s heritage, history both natural and cultural has gone up in flames. We extend our heartfelt commiserations to them from the Iziko Museums of South Africa.”

Ms Omar said the splendor and diversity of South Africa’s artistic and cultural heritage must be appreciated by all.

“Against this backdrop of what happened in Brazil, I want to urge all South Africans to honour our nation’s heritage as it is to be treasured and celebrated from our rock art, our fossil remains, our artworks, sculptures, objects and arts effects to our landscapes and sites such as the Liberation Route, the Vredefort Dome, the Cape floral region, Mapungubwe, Robben Island among others.”

Iziko Museums of South Africa’s director of education Hilton Arnold also urged the public to take advantage of the services that they will be offering.

“It’s a rare opportunity for one to connect with his heritage. Our programme kicks off on Monday September 24 until Sunday September 30. However throughout the month of September we are commemorating Heritage. We invite families to our institutions. We’ll have activities for everyone including young children.”

Mr Arnold said they’ve included the youth in their commemorations.

“We’ll have a special discussion on Heritage Day around the Mandela/Sisulu centenary. Within the South African museum we have the iMadiba exhibition. We’ve invited youth groups and schools to join in an discussion around commemorating the lives of important South Africans, the contributions that they’ve made as far as reconciliation and peace is concerned. We invite the public to listen to these discussions on Heritage Day.”

On Heritage Day, there will be guided tours at the Bo Kaap Museum. Iziko is also offering guided tours and historical walks at the Castle of Good Hope which will be free on Heritage Day. Groot Constantia will also have free guided tours on the same day.