The Robben Island Bible

The wonderful thing about history is that it provides the most fascinating stories – factual tales that are often more interesting and convoluted than the best spy novels! Himalaya House, still standing today at 165 Julius Nyerere Avenue, is where we begin today’s story, for it was here, in Durban’s first high-rise apartment block, that a number […]

Durban Bantu Social Centre: Then & Now

As the years go by the face of cities tend to change quite dramatically. Photos hung in pubs and in the foyers of hotels show what Durban’s beachfront used to look like, or how the Berea was covered in bush, instead of apartment buildings. Very few things remain the same, but if you take a look at photos of […]

The Bhambatha Rebellion

1906 Prisoner of War Wall Last week we wrote about the old Durban Central Prison boundary wall, and this week’s our focus is on another wall and another prison. Located at Addington Beach on the Point is a Prisoner of War wall that was built by men captured during the Bhambatha Rebellion of 1906. In the years following the Anglo-Boer War employers […]

Remembering the Past

Anyone who’s grown up in Durban will be very familiar with the mural that’s painted on a free-standing wall on the outskirts of the city’s CBD. What many people won’t realise though, is the significance of this wall, which once painted with bright colours, now stands a little dilapidated, having been exposed to the elements for […]

Durban City Hall: A Building Steeped in History

Completed just over a century ago Durban’s City Hall has been witness to the history of the city, and of the country, as South Africa moved from four distinct British colonies, to the Union of South Africa, and finally to its present day state of the Republic of South Africa. It has seen the country […]

The South African Students Organisation

The political student activity that has been very much a part of the South African landscape for the past year is in some ways reminiscent of protest action seen some forty-plus years ago when members of the National Union of South African Students broke away to form the South African Student Organisation (SASO). Just as […]

Bantu Stephen Biko: 18 December 1946-12 September 1977

Last Friday saw the 2016 annual Steve Biko Memorial Lecture taking place at Unisa in Pretoria, in commemoration of the 39th anniversary of the murder of Bantu Stephen Biko. Biko, born in the Eastern Cape on the 18th December 1946, died on the 12th September 1977 at the age of 31, after weeks of torture at […]

It’s Time to Hit The Streets

The word ‘heritage’ is directly linked to ‘inheritance’, referring to something that is passed down from one generation to the next. In the context of this website ‘heritage’ refers to the physical spaces that played a part in South Africa’s transition from a racially divided colony to the democratic republic that it is today. They are […]

Archbishop Denis Eugene Hurley

Those who grew up in Durban will be very familiar with the Catholic Church and the neighbouring Denis Hurley Centre, both prominent buildings as you enter the centre of town. What many might not be aware of though, is the great work that these institutions have been involved in over the years, and for much of […]

Independence Day, Satyagraha and No. 14 Mercury Lane

Monday the 15th August 2016 marked 69 years since India claimed its independence from British rule. The movement that resulted in Indian independence is most famous for satyagraha, a campaign of nonviolent resistance and civil disobedience led by the Indian National Congress, of which Mohandas Gandhi was the president at the time. It was nearly a century before India took back control of its land and its people […]