PHANSI means beneath, underneath or below .PHANSI MUSEUM is a hub of spiritual relevance, anthropological excellence, artistic influence and cultural wealth. Spiritually, Phansi is a place beneath us, beneath our dancing feet, beneath our tinkering drums, beneath our breath vibe, beneath our voices .It is the place below where our ancestral spirits live. The best collections are found at the basement location of museum , hence the name PHANSI.
Inside this cultural and spiritual haven located at 500 Esther Roberts Road in Umbilo you find the treasure of South African historical wealth, diverse artistic ornaments and a myriad of tribal /traditional handmade collections. The belly of the museum carries a myriad of utensils , materials for marriage rituals , ancestral hunting tools, dressings for kings and queens, drums ,pots and spears for and made by all South African tribes that include Sotho , Venda ,Zulu , Ndebele ,Tswana , Tsonga , Shangani and more- hunting spears , milking pots , bridal beads belts , millet beer drinking pots ,head gears for African traditional healers .( ceremonial attires and ritualistic dressings).
The day to day operations at the museum are led by Assistant Curator PHUMSILE NKOSI and her team , NKOSI has vast experience in preservation of South African culture and heritage . She is a professional museum curator who carries with her great passion in everything she does and says at the museum.NKOSI appreciates the diversity and the creativity that comes with working artists of different talents , genders , races , ages and backgrounds . The words underneath are a proof that PHUMZILE NKOSI has a complete sense of humanity and her passionate appreciation of African art ,heritage and spiritual creativity .
“PHANSI MUSEUM houses African treasures that need to be explored by every South Africans. During my entire tenure as the Assistant Curator, I have learnt more about the value of our African cultures and it is very important to restore the love and the pride of my culture which was lost due to waves of industrialisation.
I am inspired by PAUL MIKULA the Founder of PHANSI MUSEUM and HLENGIWE DUBE the famous beadier and weaver and many other artists”
The Founding Trustee of PHANSI MUSEUM Paul Mikula is not only talented but he also highly passionate about art and creativity . He talks about true art without fear and favour .He believes in originality and organic creativity. The creative giant in Paul Mikula suggests that a lot can be done in exposing South African artists , cultural and anthropological artefacts to the vast of South Africans and Africans who has since lost their artistic dignity and cultural pride .
The PUPPET COLLECTION in the museum is extraordinary ,each puppet has a dress code , colour , material and the design of clothing and jewellery indicate where the wearer originates from , their age, gender and social status in his or her community
The museum houses a myriad of bead work from southern African tribes of Xhosa, Zulu , Ndebele,Himba and Herero( NAMIBIA) .The Beadwork collection in the museum is a true symbol of African culture ,social identity , spiritual creativism and tradition .
Ukhamba or perfectly shaped beer pots are part of the museum collection. They are made by talent. Traditional is brewed beer is a ritual to honour and appease our ancestors , hence a respectful design and presentation through skilfully made beer pots.
The mesmerizing Museum collection includes Milk Pails ,Frank Jolles Collection and Telephone wire baskets , snuff containers ,tobacco pipes , clay pots , ceremonial attires and medicinal items dating back to the mid-19th century .
Besides craft , cultural artefacts and traditional collections , the museum also houses a library for research , cultural knowledge literary and historical understanding . Another fascinating activity is Guided Tours that are led by highly passionate , extremely traditional arts experts , tours are meant to educate , culturally insight and entertain guests . The bi-monthly PHANSI GOES PHEZULU GALLERY is mesmerizing with the sole intention to encourage direct community involvement and participation .The exhibitions touch on prejudice , myth ,collective memory , histories , customs and traditions .
The ambience at the museum is stunning , the overpowering aroma from the coffee shop , the ever smiling museum attendants , the human diversity: races , languages and cultures, the oily inviting smells of natural flora outdoors and poetry people balcony bathing in poetry and sunshine .
Website – https://phansi.com/
Compiled and Written by MBIZO CHIRASHA – is an internationally anthologized poet , literary arts project curator , creative humanist , arts activism catalyst , blogs publisher and a Writer in Residence . He is the Solidarity member of GAPA( Global Arts and Political Alliance),the African Partner of the International Human Rights Arts Festival, He is the Resident Coordinator of 100 Thousand Poets for Change- Global, the Founder of Girl Child Creativity Project(www.girlchildcreativity.blogspot.com) ,the Facilitator of the Creative Leadership and Artistic Training Project . Chirasha is the Editor of the Brave Voices Poetry Journal .Mbizo Chirasha is the Originator of the Zimbabwe We Want Poetry Campaign. He writes for the Tuck Magazine- the International Magazine on Arts Human Rights and Politics,(www.tuckmagazine.com/tag/poetry/mbizochirasha) (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mbizo_Chirasha,me.facebook.com/mbizochirasha)