The Mazisi Kunene Foundation and Kunene Museum was founded in 2007. The Museum, which was Prof Kunene’s home when living in South Africa, was donated by the Kunene Family and is endorsed by the Department of Arts and Culture, Museum Services. Set in a cul de sac in Glenwood, Durban, the Museum is close to most amenities and public forms of transport. Situated close to a number of schools in and around Glenwood, who visit from time to time, the Museum however receives visitors from rural and townships schools who journey there from quite a distance.
Based on an extensive Collection of more than 10 000 manuscripts that includes such epic writings as Anthem of the Decades-Inhlokomo Yeminyaka and Emperor Shaka the Great -UNodumehlezi KaMenzi. The Manuscript Collection also boasts poems, short stories, essays and nursery rhymes all written by Professor Mazisi Kunene in his native language, iSiZulu. Imbongi, poet, writer, father, academic, creative genius, Kunene sought to draw world-wide attention to iSiZulu culture, language and in particular, African cosmology and African-ness.
The Kunene Museum includes selected displays of his poems exhibited mostly in iSiZulu and English, with a few examples of other languages where his work was read and translated, emphasizing the deep respect and prominence given to Kunene’s work world-wide. Titles found entering each of the rooms hint at narratives within the life of Prof Kunene and his work. These exhibits are by no means an iteration of his entire oeuvre, but a substantial glimpse, nevertheless.
Currently, these pieces are kept in a space at the Museum which still requires an archive that is protected against elements such as humidity and mould, dust and insects, let alone the threat of incident, which could see this extensive body of work under threat. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with the University of KwaZulu Natal to digitize this fragile work for its longevity.
More details to follow shortly