National History Museum


Part of the new Batho exhibition.

The National Museum in Bloemfontein boasts a new permanent exhibition. On 6 December an exhibition focusing on the history of Bloemfontein’s oldest existing township, Batho, was opened amid huge public interest. The official opening was preceded by a ceremony that included song and dance. Students from a local dance academy performed a dance drama depicting the township jive era of the 1940s and 1950s, and a choir of elderly Batho residents sang the well-known song ‘Mangaung’.

Batho exhibition
Mrs Aria Motlolometsi and a young visitor at the Batho exhibition
The exhibition depicts the history of Batho in an interactive and visually exciting manner. Particularly striking is a realistic replica of a red brick house typical to Batho as well as a life-size projection of a short film shot in one of Batho’s streets. Visitors may also listen to sound clips from interviews conducted with Batho residents or read the transcribed text. This is possible thanks to audio-visual equipment sponsored by the Belgian and Flemish governments. Unique objects donated by Batho residents, such as an original pass book, are also on display.  

Furthermore, a temporary photographic exhibition, giving a unique view of Batho and its residents, is on display in the Museum’s foyer. Most of the photographs were taken by the well-known Belgian photographer Johan Voets.

For more information please contact Derek du Bruyn (051-4479609).