Cape Town - The Cape Muslim and Slave Heritage Museum won the award for Preferred Heritage Destination at the Golden Shield Heritage Awards over the weekend.
The vision of the museum is to be a leading cultural institution to showcase and preserve the arts, history, politics, culture and rich heritage that Cape Muslims and their slave and indigenous ancestors contributed to South Africa and the world.
Museum curator and director Igshaan Higgins said the award was significant and meant a lot for the museum, which had been active only for a year.
“The award, and even the nomination, was great. I thought you had to be in operation for 10 years before something like this happens. It means a lot for Cape Town and the Castle (where the museum is based), that we are now the country’s preferred heritage destination,” he said.
The museum aims to tell the story of the Cape’s history from the position of indigenous people.
“There is a dialogue around the narrative of the Cape’s history and the myths surrounding it. Rather than accepting what is considered facts told by the colonisers, we want to examine these myths and tell the real truth, until South Africans are satisfied with the real history,” Higgins said.
“The museum narrates the unedited history through a display which is arranged chronologically starting with the Portuguese and Dutch interaction with the indigenous people of the Cape and weaving through colonialism, emancipation of slavery, imperialism, apartheid, pass laws, separate development, the tot system and many other challenges that South Africans experienced over the past 400 years,” he said.
The museum offers a rich learning experience and provides an opportunity for those of Khoi and slave heritage to learn about the history of the Cape.