Museums are an essential part of understanding past civilizations as they house relics, materials and artifacts from time past.
Africa is a continent with a troubled past of slavery and colonization. Here are three museums in Africa that history and culture lovers ought to visit.
The Benin Empire was one of the oldest and most advanced and developed civilizations in Africa. Many years, before the arrival of missionaries and colonialists to Africa, the Benin people had made great advancements in artwork, architecture and agriculture.
The Benin City National Museum has a significant number of artifacts and relics from the old Benin Empire such as terracotta, bronze figures and cast iron pieces. The museum started from the Oba of Benin’s palace in 1940; however, the present structure of the museum today was officially open to the public in August 1973.
The Egyptian civilization is unarguably one of the most significant and most advanced ancient civilization. Ancient Egypt has played a significant role in modern day history, culture, architecture and technological advancements.
The museum, established as early as 1835 contains thousands of antiquities and relics of the glorious Egyptian empire of the past. The museum contains important pieces that depict Egyptian history and Pharaonic antiquities. Mummies, pharaoh’s masks made of solid gold, statues, masks and coffins are some of the priceless historic objects on display at the musuem.
The Apartheid period is one of the darkest periods in South Africa and the African continent as a whole. The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg illustrates apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa that is characterised by strife and struggle.
The museum depicts the horrors of racial discrimination that plagued South Africa since the 1940’s when the white minority elected into power controlled every aspect of life in South Africa, creating and enforcing laws that legitimized age long discrimination against blacks till 1994 when Nelson Mandela was elected president in a revolutionary election.
The museum shows a real reflection of what life was like for South Africans during these dark times. The entrance to the museum has two doors labeled ‘white’ and ‘nonwhite’.