21 July 2016
A floor map depicting the expanse of District Six. Image: District Six Museum Facebook (http://bit.ly/29X48d6)
The District Six Museum on Buitenkant Street in Cape Town was one that I had often heard about but somehow had never found the time to visit. So a few weeks ago, when I found my weekend plans thwarted by Cape Town’s infamous sideways winter rain, I caught the red bus to the museum.
Although unassuming from the outside, the District Six Museum is housed in a beautiful church. Its walls tell the history of apartheid; both as it affected the country and District Six, specifically. After being founded in December 1994, the museum also took on the project of collecting and working with the memories and experiences of those who lived there.
Its most prominent exhibitions are those that tell the personal stories, and reflections of former residents. One such resident, Noor Ebrahim, took me on a guided tour of the museum. As an education officer at the museum, Noor gives various talks including helping to facilitate education programmes for school learners and a talk about his personal story called “My Pigeons Come Home”.
The District Six Museum is a hub of history, culture, and personality; much like the heritage it represents. It is a stop well worth making.
The District Six Museum is Stop 17 on the Cape Town Yellow Downtown Tour bus.
Tickets for the bus can be purchased online here.