An excited University of Pretoria (UP) student, Tebogo Nkosi, was the UP Museums’ first visitor earlier this month following over 300 days of lockdown, much to the delight of the Museums’ team after they reopened their doors on 1 February 2021.
“Let me tell you! It was such an amazing experience! I enjoyed walking through the galleries. I didn't know that the museum had so much more about Mapungubwe than what the Javett-UP gallery already has. I honestly didn't know that there were animal and human figurines. Clay? Is it clay?” said an excited Nkosi, who is studying anthropology and archaeology as well as environmental sciences in the Faculty of Humanities.
“The Mapungubwe Gallery had a calmer environment as I could relate to it more,” she added.
Apart from the very popular Mapungubwe Collection, UP also houses unique collections, art, heritage and archives.
“Tebogo was such an enthusiastic and open-minded student visitor. It was such a pleasure to introduce her to our collections and we are elated that our first visitor after closure is a student,” said Nicole Hoffmann, the UP Museums’ Interpretive Officer, adding that the team had anticipated that the first visitor would be a student.
“After the tour and discussion, she [Nkosi] forged better connections with what she had studied in archaeology and appreciates the museum displays much more,” said Hoffmann.
While the University remains in lockdown level 3 and under stringent COVID-19 regulations, visits to the museums are currently by appointment with reduced opening hours.
To celebrate the occasion of the first visit, the UP Museums gifted the student a special package of Mapungubwe Collection museum publications by Dr Sian Tiley-Nel, not only as a useful resource for her further studies in archaeology, but also to mark one of her first memorable experiences of 2021.
“It was such an enjoyable experience! But I'm definitely coming back,” said Nkosi, whose visit has since been followed by more student visitors and booked tours.
For further information on the UP Museums and how to make a booking please email: [email protected] or visit The UP Museums page.