About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

15 August 2016

Sophiatown: The Mix

Together with District Six, the forced removal and relocation of Sophiatown during Apartheid is well known. Sophiatown's cultural legacy remains highly influential, especially in music with stars such as Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela tracing their roots to Sophiatown. 

Given the rich history, it is sad that the museum celebrating Sophiatown is not as well known; and is actually a fairly recent addition. The Mix combines one of the few undemolished houses during 1955 and a new building to serve as a space for music and conferences.

The house belonged to Dr Alfred Xuma, an ex-President of the ANC and a medical doctor for the community; and traces the political and social forces of Sophiatown through photographs and artefacts (mainly belonging to Dr Xuma).

This is a simple museum that manages to effectively chronicle Sophiatown and the wider impact on South Africa. It is effectively hidden away in the suburbs of Johannesburg without the spotlight of Lilliesleaf or Apartheid Museum and lacks many of the draw cards of modern museums - the multimedia showcases; immersive and interactive displays and stunning architectural features. Sophiatown has an important place in South Africa's narative - and The Mix is an important part of telling that narrative. It is a must visit for that reason alone.