Location: Freedom Park, //hapo Museum.
“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” –
I recently took a trip to Freedom Park, //hapo Museum in Pretoria which is about an hour drive away from Sandton, Johannesburg. The architecture of the place is nothing short of genius – every single corner had a character of its own expressing itself in materials and landscaping. Such designs reignite my passion for architecture, it all feels so fluid and.. perfect, just as nature is.
I mean, I visited the Museum and it inspired me to add sketches to this post! To me, this is enough evidence of why it’s so important to feed your mind and soul with experiences that move you to be a better version of yourself.
And what better way to enrich your mind and soul by learning about your history as an African?
The stories I read on the displays inside the museum were phenomenal to say the least. With objects collected from ancient times and distant lands all over the African continent, the realization that history was a few feet from my grasp left me with goose pimples the whole time I was inside. I picked up a few interesting facts about African history, from Ancient Ghana, Timbuktu/ Mali to Egypt when it was known as Nubia. And most of all, the struggle for freedom in South Africa has left me humbled. Spaces like these are so important as they remind us of our history, and make us realize how important it is to always treat each other with love and dignity.
Also, am I not killing these photos?! I’ve never experimented as much with black and white photography until this post.
Once I was done with the displays inside the museum, a walk around the grounds revealed gorgeous vistas of Pretoria. The building is just as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside.
I posted on my Insta stories that this is the best museum I’ve been to so far. It’s not just about the physical space but the stories the building carried inside it, I think it’s a must visit for anyone traveling to Pretoria.
This post came up a little late for my ‘Saturday Shenanigans’ series but hey, it’s a BIG improvement from how irregular my posts used to be yes?
(Shameless plug: You can read the first post here).
I first heard about The African Heritage House through an instameet I regretted having missed thanks to so many amazing pictures my favourite Instagrammers posted shortly after. It would have been the perfect occasion to go, because after that it just seemed too far a place to visit. Like I’d have to go out of my way, to MLOLONGO. But once you’ve been working in Syokimau for a month, that’s home base. It’s basically all Machakos county past the airport. And trust me, the trip is WELL WORTH IT.
I visited the house this past Saturday, and it took me about twenty minutes to get there on matatu from South C, and about ten minutes to walk to the house. I haven’t factored in the ten minutes I strayed onto the stunning neighbouring property only to realize I was in the wrong compound!
If you’re using public transport, alight at Solomon Primary School and cross the road. You will see a signboard that reads ‘Alan Donovan’. The house is about 300 metres along this path. I’ve linked the Google Earth pin here for your reference.
I went with my little brother and my friend Magy and we decided to get a tour for 1000 Ksh. per person (inclusive of a beverage of your choice). Our guide’s name was Femi, and he walked us around while playing, on radio, an audio recording in Alan’s voice describing the history and design of the house-museum . I highly recommend this to anyone who goes, the history is just as endearing as the house itself.
You can spend the night at the museum if you wish, but they also serve meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinners on the rooftop or at the pool house). I hope you enjoy the pictures more than my writing! I’m trying something new with the layout of my pictures. I draw inspiration from many sources but my greatest influence has to be Alice Gao (she is hands down my favourite blogger and photographer) and I aspire to tell stories through my pictures like she does! This particular post seems a little ‘busy’ so it could probably change in the next few days.
Toodles! (Remember when this word was a ‘thing’ because of a lady presenter on KTN? I forget her name, I was probably 12 :-D)