Mr Kenny Vusi Xaba, or fondly known as Baba Kenny or Shwabada arrived at the KZN Museum in 1999. He has been part of the many changes that have been made throughout the exhibition spaces. He has made a very direct mark on the Museum, as he has been responsible for most of the paint work in all the display spaces. He is a master of his craft, his ability to square off an area and paint with precision is a lost art and will leave big shoes to fill.
In a personal capacity, we are going to miss Kenny dearly, his upbeat personality, mischievous sense of humour, humility and impressive dance moves will leave an empty space in our department. We wish Kenny all the best in this new chapter in his life. I hope he is able to rest, stay healthy and spend lots of time with his grandchildren (and bring them in for visits at the Museum to show them all he has done).
There is a misconception that museums are static spaces, this couldn’t be more wrong, our institution is constantly changing and evolving. It is an odd space where we try to preserve the past and still make way for the future, change means new life and we wish Kenny well on this new change of life.
Today, as we say farewell to King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, we remember him and the line of Zulu Kings who came before him. We remember the great deeds of uShaka kaSenzangakhona and the civil strife between his half-brothers, Dingane kaSenzangakhona and Mpande kaSenzangakhona. We remember the poignant defiance of British Imperialism by Cetshwayo kaMpande. We remember the Bambatha Rebellion and the unjust treatment of Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo. We remember the role of Solomon Nkayishana ka Dinuzulu in the founding of Inkatha kaZulu as an organization to fight against the Native Affairs Bill of 1920. We remember Nyangayezizwe Cyprian Bhekuzulu kaNkayishana, the father of King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu. We remember King Zwelithini for his unwavering support of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum, his efforts in developing the youth, and his emphasis on the importance of tradition and heritage. The throne is empty for now. Hambe Kahle Ndabezitha!
Image: The chair of King Cetshwayo in the History Collection of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum Human Science Department. Photo taken by Chiara Singh 2021
In honour of His Majesty King Goodwill Zwelithini kaBhekuzulu, the KwaZulu-Natal Museum management has taken a decision to close the Museum to members of the public on Thursday 18 March 2021.
King Zwelithini has shown exemplary leadership in the promotion of our heritage. He supported the KZN Museum in two important projects that helped to promote the profile of the KZN Museum while raising awareness about the rich heritage of KwaZulu-Natal.
King Zwelithini cared for the wellness and upliftment of the youth by developing and supporting projects that promoted employment opportunities for young people and the development of rural areas.
The KZN Museum pays tribute to the many achievements that the King made during his almost 50-year reign. As a national heritage institution, the KZN Museum will continue to develop and promote programmes and projects that raise awareness about our heritage and promote nation building and social cohesion.