District Six Museum – The Incidental Daddy

This week, the Incidental Daddy is recommending a look at the rich and rather emotional history that has formed and influenced many of the people of Cape Town, with a visit to the District Six Museum on Buitenkant Street.

A collection of street names at the museum A collection of street names at the museum

This incredible museum was established in December 1994 and works with the memories of those that were subject to forced removals from the area. As an introduction: District Six was originally founded in 1867, a mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants, and was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port.

Interestingly enough, up until the 1970s, District Six was home to almost a tenth of the city of Cape Town’s population. Then in 1965, the apartheid government declared District Six “white” and more than 60 000 people were forcibly uprooted and relocated onto the barren plains of the Cape Flats, and their houses flattened by bulldozers. In this process, over a century of history, community life and certain solidarity among the people were lost.

One of the tour guides offering insight into the area and its history One of the tour guides offering insight into the area and its history

A visit to the museum offers a place for reflection with displays of personal items, exhibitions and memories collected. It tells stories of individuals whose lives were forever altered by a government that didn’t believe in equality, and probably felt threatened by the fun, love, music, vibe and sense of togetherness that this fabulously integrated area was renowned for.

I’d recommend that you book a tour with one of the ex residents, it truly does bring to live the wonder and sadness that is District Six.

Fabulously reconstructed hairdresser's station showing the era and atmosphere Fabulously reconstructed hairdresser's station showing the era and atmosphere

Opening hours: 09h00 to 14h00 on Mondays; 09h00 to 16h00 on Tuesdays to Saturdays. Sunday visits are by appointment only.

In additional there is a coffee shop and a fabulous dedicated book shop to support too.

Once visited and learnt, straight back to the Daddy for time-out on at the Sky Bar and a drink to the wonderful vibrant people that make up the timeless memory of District Six.

I’m having one on them right now ...

District Six Museum, 25A Buitenkant Street, Cape Town. 

Old apartheid sign in the District Six Museum Old apartheid sign in the District Six Museum

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