The National Museum is fortunate to count among its long-time friends and supporters the Belgian poet, Bruno Neuville. Bruno’s association with the Museum started in 2007 when he was still a Communications Management lecturer at Thomas More University College (then Katholieke Hogeschool) in Mechelen, Belgium. For almost a decade Bruno’s Communications Management students visited Bloemfontein every year to complete a three-month academic course at the Central University of Technology (CUT); an internship at an NGO; and practical oral history training at the National Museum.
Image: The cover of Hendrik Snyders’s new book on the history of sevens rugby in South Africa. (Source: Naledi)
Ever thought history was ‘dead’? Well, think again! A new book on the history of sevens rugby in South Africa will convince any history skeptic that the subject is far from boring. Dr Hendrik Snyders, head of the National Museum’s History Department and a specialist sport historian, wrote the long-awaited book that contains all the elements of a fast-paced and exciting sevens rugby match.
Charlotte Maxeke’s Bloemfontein links and their significance to women
In commemoration of the birth of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke 150 years ago, the National Department of Sport, Arts and Culture has named 2021 The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke. During the official launch in April 2021, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, reminded South Africans that Charlotte was the only female delegate who had attended the founding of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC; later renamed the African National Congress or ANC) in Bloemfontein in 1912.
An official photograph of the group known as the ‘Twelve Disciples of Nelson Mandela’. Peter Swartz is standing in the back row, third from the left (Photo source: National Museum).
He was one of Nelson Mandela’s so-called ‘12 disciples’; he was born and bred in Heidedal; and an informal township (‘Peter Swart’) in Mangaung was named after him. Say the name ‘Peter Swartz’ today and some people might have heard of him but, sadly, few really know who this mostly ‘unknown’ figure and ‘lost disciple’ of South Africa’s liberation history really is. The reason for this unfortunate situation is that much of Peter’s life history is obscure; it remains hidden in the grey areas of South Africa’s struggle history. Fortunately, Peter’s sacrifices are neither hidden nor lost. His important contribution to South Africa’s liberation history has cemented his name as one of the country’s great struggle veterans who fought for basic human rights for all South Africans.
December 11, 2020 marks the centenary of the death of well-known South African writer and women’s rights advocate, Olive Schreiner. She passed away on December 11, 1920 at the relatively young age of 65. Schreiner may be described as a “rebel with many causes” who felt herself severely restricted by the conventions of the Victorian age.