1. Who is Maurice Shirinda?
Maurice Shirinda was born in 1975, Malamulele district at a village called Mulamula in Limpopo. I had a very happy childhood, I used to herd family livestock, together with my friends. I matriculated in 1996 at Photani high school and started working for the University of Pretoria as a security officer in 2008. In September 2012 I joined UP Museums as a Museum Assistant.
2. Tell us about your job.
I am responsible for three UP museums, namely: Mapungubwe Museum; World of Ceramics Museum; and Edoardo Villa Museum. Also, my day-to-day job involves assisting the museum curators who run all the museums. Our department has a main art storage based in Groenkloof that I am responsible for, and I’m also involved in the facility and security aspect. My main job is to handle all artworks. Staff come to us to select their favourite artwork and I assist with delivering it to them, then collect those they do not need anymore. I ensure all our artworks are stored according to the museum standard.
3. What do you enjoy most about your job and why?
Meeting and interacting with different people, especially artists when they are exhibiting, plus I get to travel all the campuses to assist with artwork. I also enjoy the challenges that come from working with different artists. My job requires physical and mental strength.
4. What is the least favourite part of your job?
Honestly, I enjoy everything about my work, however, sometimes I get to deal with staff members who are indecisive. The collecting and delivering of artworks can be a bit tiring but I am not complaining.
5. What would be your top suggestion for making UP an even better place to work?
Our institution needs to improve on security; female students have recently expressed how unsafe they feel around our campuses. Students who use library facilities are finding it hard to stick around till late when studying. UP is a very nice environment so everyone needs to feel safe, including staff.
6. If you were not a Museum Assistant, what else would you have liked to be?
I would have loved to become a police officer, mainly because I grew up in a village and saw a lot of domestic violence.
7. Tell us about who Maurice is away from work?
I enjoy spending time with family, listening to gospel music and watching wrestling and soccer on TV.
8. What are your goals for the next five years?
I would like to become a curator at one of the museums since I work with art and I see and learn the day-to-day aspect of the job.
9. Is there a favourite piece of advice you have received in life that you would like to share?
Let us respect and love one another, regardless of race and nationality.