Join us for HIGH TEA

Saturday, 26th November at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre located at 15 Buitenkant Street, Cape Town – for directions follow the following link:


RSVP: (for catering purposes)

A PRESS LAUNCH was held on Thursday, 17 NOVEMBER 2016

As we commemorate the 50th year since the declaration of District Six as a White Group Area in 1966, we also celebrate the launch of the District Six Museum’s Huis Kombuis Food and Memory Cookbook, a fitting tribute to the rich legacy of District Six. The launch marks an important moment for the Museum and those District Sixers who have contributed to making this recipe book over ten years. Replete with storytelling, craft and recipes, the book places a spotlight on the stories of ex-residents from the District and how food was often the connecting element between families and communities forcibly removed from District Six.

“The title, Huis Kombuis (directly translated from Afrikaans, means ’home kitchen’), was inspired by descriptions of kitchens in participants’ homes as being the heart of the home, its central social space. Here traditional recipes were brought to life in the rituals of cooking, eating and the sensory exchange at the kitchen table. Culinary rituals and home craft practices maintained and reinforced deep significances and connections with District Six as a place of home, family and community.”

Tina Smith, Curator, District Six Museum

The project participants – women and men from District Six – presented tasters of the recipes featured in the book.

Please contact Tina Smith for more information on the project: or 021 466 7200.

The book sells for R385 and is available at main bookstores and also at the Museum’s book shop.

To order books during the launch week at the special price of R285:


Welcome: Chrischené Julius  (Acting Director)

Guest Speaker: Nombulelo Mkefa, ex-Trustee of the District Six Museum

Project Introduction: Tina Smith (District Six Museum Curator )

Q & A: Panel discussion with participants

Signing of books




Huis Kombuis Food and Memory Cookbook

Publisher: District Six Museum and Quivertree Publishers

This is not a conventional cookbook. Rather, it is a story about food that is deeply rooted in the cultural practice and heritage that exists in the fragile memories of those who were forcibly displaced.

The recipes and biographies in the book comprise facets of a collective memory of District Six that unlock complex narratives about family histories and cultural life in the District. For many, the story of food is inseparable from the spirit of place and a sense of belonging.

Stories shared during the group and individual oral history research processes were arranged into themes, threading together stories relating to duties in the kitchen, rituals of daily life, a weekly menu, urban food foraging, shopping, Sunday family meals and festive dishes during Christmas, Labarang, Easter and New Year celebrations. These themes inspired the various chapters outlined in the book. There were many stories highlighting the importance of trust, respect and tolerance. Kanala, a word embodying a spirit of sharing and helping one another, gave expression to the spirit that characterised a close-knit community, its survival, resilience and humour. Storytellers remembered how their mothers and grandmothers cobbled together a living through home industries or working ‘in service’. Cooking, baking, sewing and mending skills were honed during these everyday domestic practices, and became a valuable resource as they re-imagined the ‘ordinary’ in District Six.

These valued memories and traditions served as inspiration for drawing, painting, creative writing and remembrances of traditional dishes such as bobotie, tripe and trotters, crayfish curry, smoorsnoek and cabbage bredie, oumens onder die kombers, doek poeding, pickled fish and many more. The hand-crafted recipe cloths featured in the book are creative expressions of an oral tradition that has been passed on and therefore may not always reflect accurate measurements or methods, which makes them unique pieces of memory work.

Stitching these fragile pieces of the past together has opened up fresh possibilities for making new layers of memories. These recipes carry collective memories. In the physical absence of District Six, through memories of time, space and movement, this reawakening of the participants’ sensory experiences has given weight to an emptiness that was once unfathomable. We are shown the richness of this abundant knowledge by a textural emporium of maps, stories, archival material, family photographs, anecdotes, recipes and hand-stitchery.

The emphasis of the cookbook is not on what was lost but rather on affirming rich, diverse cultural values that have kept the memory of District Six relevant. Through remembering and reviving these traditional cuisines we celebrate the lessons of solidarity and share a part of humanity that gave District Six its unique spirit of place.



District Six 50th Commemoration Print Exchange – Exhibition now on at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre


A collaboration of 50 artists commemorating 50 Years since District Six was declared a White Group Area in 1966. 60 000 people were forcibly removed.

Curated by Penny George from the Cape Peninsula University’s Service Design Department in collaboration with the District Six Museum and Hardground Printing Studio. Featuring new work by artists – Lionel Davis, Garth Erasmus, Jonathan Comerford, Kim Berman, Julie Brewis, Sipho Mdanda, Ayesha Price, Lesego Motsiri, Manfred Zylla, Donovan Ward, Tina Smith, Sophie Peters, Micah Chisholm, amongst others

Exhibition Open to the public: Wednesday, 9 November – Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Viewing: Monday – Saturday 09:00 – 16:00

Venue: District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, 15a Buitenkant Street


Please join a guided tour of the exhibition on Saturday 3 December 2016 at 12:00

Enquiries: Zahra Hendricks

Tel: 021 466 7200






23 November – 13 December 2016


Enquiries about the opening on Wednesday, 23 November at 17h30: Zahra Hendricks \ \ 021 4667200

Public Education Programme (PEP): Exhibition walk about and panel discussion featuring the curators and artists – Chandra Frank and Judith Westerveld (NL); Justin Davy, Tasneem Mononoke Wentzel and Toni Stuart (SA): Friday, 25th November at 17h30


15 Buitenkant Sreet, Cape Town //

Open Monday – Saturday, 09h00 – 16h00 // Free entry



District Six Museum and Framer Framed, a platform for arts & culture in Amsterdam, present a unique collaborative exhibition: Re(as)sisting Narratives, curated by Chandra Frank. The exhibition explores lingering legacies of colonialism between South Africa and the Netherlands through engaging with contemporary artists from both countries. Re(as)sisting Narratives is the result of a two-year project between three partners from both The Netherlands and South Africa: Framer Framed (NL), District Six Museum (SA) and Centre for Curating the Archive (SA).

The exhibition is on show in The Netherlands and South Africa, partly overlapping: at Framer Framed (Amsterdam) from 28 August – 27 November, at District Six Museum (Cape Town) from 23 November – 13 December.

Participating artists explore broader themes such as race, gender, memory, trauma and spatiality in their work. At District Six Museum, the exhibition features Burning Museum, Toni Stuart & Kurt Orderson and Judith Westerveld. At Framer Framed, the exhibition also includes Mohau Modisakeng, Athi-Patra Ruga and Mary Sibande. The artists in this show are connected by a shared interest in evoking and readdressing that what is left behind, that what is (in)visible, and a visual fusion of reality and fantasy to create new ways of being.


Framer Framed

Chandra Frank –

Burning Museum –

Toni Stuart

Kurt Ordeson –

Judith Westerveld –



Marlene Le Roux is the CEO at Artscape. As the leader of one of the major arts organisations in the city, she endeavors to close the divides that exist between communities, one of the legacies of apartheid. She has been innovative in the ways in which she has made theater accessible to people, and has even travelled fully-fledged productions to rural areas communities, as just one example of this.

In addition to her responsibilities as CEO of Artscape, Marlene also has a number of projects and platforms on which she is involved:

  • She is a motivational speaker and speaks out for the rights of women children and people living with disabilities. She is courageous in speaking out about these matters, and remains passionately committed to the causes which she  tackles;
  •  She has conceptualized and edited a book on women with disabilities called Look at Me,  published by Genugtig (2008). It is an essay and photographic volume;
  •  She compiled a book about the icons of Mitchell’s Plain entitled Place in the Sun. The idea behind this publication was to try and counter the negative stereotyping of people of colour, using Mitchell’s Plain as an example of a racially based suburb built during apartheid.

 Marlene has won a number of awards including:

  •  Stellenbosch University Alumnus of the Year – for Outstanding Contribution to Nation-Building
  • Western Cape University award for Achieving against the Odds
  • Shoprite /Checkers Woman of the Year Award in 1998 (Arts category)
  • Desmond Tutu Legendary Award, 2001
  • Chevalier des Ordres et des Lettres  (French Knighthood in the performing Arts 2002)
  • Woman of the World Award 2004
  • Western Cape Provincial Award, Arts & Culture 2004
  • The City of Cape Town Mayoral Gold Medal Award for Outstanding Contribution played in the Role of Enhancing Women, Youth and Disability issues
  • German Peace Award, 2012

 Join Marlene for supper as shares her story of activism, courage and hope on  Thursday 29 September, 18h00 at the District Six Museum Homecoming Centre, 15 Buitenkant Street. The main course is lamb curry and rice / roti, OR sugar bean curry. Sago pudding for dessert followed by koesisters, coffee and tea. You will also be served a welcome drink and samoosas on arrival.

 Pre-booking is essential! Call Zahra Hendricks on 021 4667200 or email

Please note that this is one of the few events hosted by the Museum for which there is an entrance fee, and this goes toward subsidising the free public events.



‘Transformation and Memorialisation’

co-hosted by District Six Museum and CPUT

Saturday 1 October, 10h00 – 13h00

Are you:

  • Astudent or staff member at CPUT;
  • A former or current resident of District Six;
  • Working in the area;
  • A member of one of the churches or mosques in the area;
  • A member of any District Six related organisation or club;
  • Interested in the future of District Six?

Join in the conversation, Saturday 1 October, 10h00–13h00

Amongst other things, we will discuss:

  • The woundedness of the past in the present
  •  Decolonising CPUT
  • Reimagining CPUT in District Six
  • District Six as a National Heritage Site
  • Collaborative research and project possibilities




‘Always There

Table Mountain & the People of District Six’

Saturday 1 October, 14h30



A new short film by STEPS Caretakers about District Sixers and their relationship to Table Mountain. This public screening is for all those involved in the research, interviewing and filming process and who gave of their time. There will be a Q&A afterwards. Open to all!

Koesisters and coffee for sale

There is no charge for this event.








Do you want to be part of a cutting edge heritage institution? Would you like to join a dynamic and creative staff team who are committed to telling the story of forced removals in Cape Town and South Africa, and exploring contemporary legacies? If you are passionate about these issues and if you have the following skills, you should consider coming to work for the District Six Museum.  

The following positions are available:


Purpose of job:                

To manage the audiovisual collection, as well as research and documentation as it pertains to the collection

Key responsibilities include:

Manage the audiovisual collection according to archival principles and processes Support the research and documentation function through good audiovisual management, field recording, documentation and other support. Oversee technical processes


A post-matric qualification or equivalent, in audio visual engineering or management At least 3 – 5 years experience of working in a similar environment Knowledge of relevant software and formats Computer literacy: Windows and/or Mac


Purpose of job:

To provide technical support to the Collections, Research and Documentation department, particularly to the audiovisual archive.

Key responsibilities include:

Digitising audio, video and photographic material from various formats Making public copies of audiovisual archival material Assisting with public access to the archive Maintaining audiovisual equipment Assisting with cataloguing and documentation of the collection Assisting with audiovisual set-ups and documentation at events and programmes   Requirements: A post-matric qualification or equivalent, in audio, video or photographic work At least three years experience of working in a similar environment Knowledge of relevant software Computer literacy: Windows and/or Mac

How to apply?

Submit CV with two written references for attention of Chrischené Julius, to, or hand deliver to the Museum at 25A Buitenkant Street, Cape Town. Please note that faxed applications will not be accepted.



Purpose of job:                                 

To monitor the general maintenance of the Museum’s buildings, to plan for and implement maintenance of the exhibitions, and to provide support to all Museum functions which impact on the buildings and exhibitions. This includes oversight of events.

Key responsibilities include:  

Monitoring routine building maintenance needs and reporting on these Implementing minor maintenance tasks Managing the workshop with all tools and equipment; Overseeing the implementation of events Conducting routine maintenance checks and reports on the exhibition, and implementing maintenance according to a planned schedule


Matric or equivalent NQF level Qualified in at least one trade Minimum of five years of experience or exposure in a technical trade Must be practically and technically inclined Must be meticulous and organised Must be available to work on some weekends, public holidays and evenings Basic computer literacy A code 8 driver’s licence would be an advantage

How to apply? Submit CV with two written references for attention of Nicky Ewers, to, or hand deliver to the Museum at 25A Buitenkant Street, Cape Town. Please note that faxed applications will not be accepted.

Closing date: 8 August 2016

June Supper Club with Lionel Davis

2016_06_30_Supper Club

‘From where I am sitting’: supper and conversation with Lionel Davis

Honouring his life and work in the month of his 80th birthday, we have invited Lionel Davis to be this month’s Supper Club storyteller on Thursday 30 June.

Lionel Davis has been a prolific producer of artworks over the past 40 years.  His contributions as an artist and arts activist and educator are integral to accounts of seminal art organisations such as the Community Arts Project (CAP), Vakalisa, the Thupelo Workshop and Greatmore Art Studio.

In 1964 Lionel was arrested and sentenced to seven years on Robben Island for committing acts of sabotage. It was during his prison years on the Island that he completed his Senior Certificate. After his release he was restricted under a banning order and house arrest until 1976. At the Evangelical Art and Craft Centre at Rorke’s Drift in 1980 he worked toward a Diploma in Fine Arts. His interest in art led him to complete a BA Fine Art degree with the University of Cape Town in 1994.

Lionel has contributed to literary magazines, books on education, poetry anthologies and calendars. He has produced cartoons for a children’s magazine and taught screen-printing at CAP. He participated in the Triangle Workshop in New York and the Thupelo Workshop in Johannesburg. In 1988 he was deeply involved in community-based children’s education. He has exhibited in Gaborone, Botswana and Pine Plains, New York, USA amongst other places. He has worked for the South African National Art Gallery as a part- time art educator and also as an education officer on Robben Island


About the District Six Museum’s Supper Clubs and ‘tafel conversations’

The phrase ‘gooi ‘n tafel’ is a familiar one to people from District Six and the Bo Kaap. It references the tables that were laid out by families  for Christmas Choirs on Christmas Eve and for ‘nagtroepe’ (Malay Choirs) at New Year.  Laden with seasonal fruit like watermelon as well as pastries and cakes, the tafels were celebratory – marking the festive season between the December to January period. The table is thus an evocative symbol for the District Six community. It represents coming together, sharing, breaking bread and storytelling around a common space.

Tables also reference the intimate family rituals around food, work and religion that were performed in District Six homes before destruction, on a daily basis.

The ‘Tafel Conversations and Supper Club’ concept emerged from a felt need to create opportunities for conversations of all kinds: enlightening, entertaining, philosophical, lyrical, visual or performative. It is intended to bring people together who might ordinarily not have met, and also create opportunities for friends to meet up with each other. It aims to contribute to a culture which encourages the expression of different points of view in a space which is contained and supportive.

 The 2016 iteration of the ‘Tafel Conversations’ is called ‘From where I am sitting.’ Guest storytellers will be invited to share their stories in whichever  way they wish, from where they are sitting: personally, professionally, socially, politically or from any other perspective that they might choose. Guests attending the session are invited to listen and to later engage in conversations with the storyteller and each other. Conversations continue over supper and dessert.

Seven Steps Club members (former residents of District Six) support the ‘Reclaim the City’ campaign

Submission by the Seven Steps Club of the District Six Museum

District Sixers understand exclusion. Like many other South Africans, they understand the impact of the loss of homes, and the struggle for decent  and dignified housing . District Sixers are acutely aware of their own struggle to be part of this city’s spatial planning thinking which has made them ever more sensitive to struggles of others in similar situations.

The Seven Steps Club of the District Six Museum is a gathering of former residents of the District, who gather at the Museum on a monthly basis. It is a space of healing and hope where discussions, storytelling, support actions and research ideas are engaged. It is also a place of reconnection. Underlying each monthly meeting is the awareness that we are still struggling to be a part of our city’s planning even though we have contributed so much to its character and growth. The townships where most of us live after being forced out of District Six under apartheid, have not been nurturing spaces, and we have struggled to raise our families and make a living in ways which are dignified and uplifting. The struggle to return to the vacant and traumatised land of District Six is part of our daily struggle, together with striving to build safe places of residences in the townships for those who will not return.

At our meeting on Tuesday 31 May 2016, we resolved that the struggle to stop the sale of Tafelberg land for private use, is part of our struggle. It is a struggle for the right to be heard, to expect due consideration for the daily suffering of poor citizens to uplift themselves and to be housed in ways which acknowledge our human rights. Many of our parents particularly our mothers worked ‘in service’. They endured the indignities of employers who thought of them as lesser beings. We are saddened that there are many who still endure such conditions even after apartheid has ended, and we add our voices to those who work in the Sea Point area, who are crying out for dignified homes. We also support the call for affordable housing for others who do not work in the area. Without such support from our government, those who are currently excluded because of affordability issues, will remain excluded and our city will continue to be as divided as it currently is.

We do not think it unreasonable to expect local government to utilise every opportunity to use land in a transformative way, and call for serious consideration of this to be given.

State-owned land is a precious commodity which is to be used for the benefit of all citizens.

THE SEVEN STEPS CLUB members of the District Six Museum

6 June 2016