Museum of Women’s Living History Launched



The first ever Museum of Women’s Living History has been successfully launched in Zambia. The museum will be dedicated to researching, interpreting, preserving, restoring, displaying, validating and disseminating African indigenous knowledge and living histories focused on women.

The Museum of Women’s History was born out of the ‘Narratives of Silenced Voices’ project that Samba Yonga presented in cooperation with  the Women’s History Museum in Umea, Sweden and playwright and cultural activist Mulenga Kapwepwe.

 “Taking into account the histories of women radically changes the perspectives of society. Therefore if we root ourselves in this history, we can draw from it a vision of bold possibilities that can help us deliver on the promise of an equitable future for all”, says co-founder Ms Kapwepwe.

Together they have joined with eight other women from cultural, creative, educational and the arts backgrounds to form the museum under a co-operative model. Realising that a gap exists in documenting historical narratives, the museum intends to create a space where these histories can be explored, documented and shared.

 “Over the decades we have slowly lost the ability to learn from our indigenous and contemporary historical knowledge. This museum creates the space to gather, document and share this information so we can preserve it but more importantly learn from it,” says Ms Yonga, co-founder of the Women’s Museum in Zambia.

Ms Kapwepwe, who has documented a rich portfolio of indigenous stories of women in Zambia’s social, political and cultural history has communicated through out her work the importance of learning from our history and culture. The work of Kapwepwe will also feature in the Women’s Museum.

The Museum of Women’s Living History will first start with a virtual presence online, which will serve as a source of information for people interested in learning more about the museum and then eventually as the development takes place, it will take physical form. The virtual space will publish information on the narratives that will be explored and projects that will be started. There will also be information on artefacts and collections that are already being donated to the museum. The public is encouraged to submit stories and images related to the mission of the museum. The museum also encourages anyone with any leads on information to be in touch with members of the Museum.

The page can be accessed via

A physical launch of the museum will take place in early 2017, as well as a reveal of exhibitions and programming.

 About the Museum of Women’s Living History

The Museum of Women’s Living History is an institution dedicated to the research, interpret, preserve, restore, display, validate and disseminate African indigenous knowledge and living histories focused on women. These are histories that have been excised out of the mainstream socio-economic and cultural historical narrative as a result of the continent’s colonial legacy.

The museum aims to introduce new cultural and historical knowledge through demystifying, popularising and functionalising indigenous knowledge.


  1. Saartjie Sarah Baartman also known as the `hottentot Venus’ was a famous khokhoi woman exhibited as a freak show attraction in Europe during the 19th century. Born to Khoisan family near the Gambtos River, she was orphaned during a commando raid after which she was then enslaved by a Dutch farmer near Cape Town. She had remarkable physical features that pronounced her feminity most specifically her humongous hips, backside and enlarged labial lips( AMALEPE). A military surgeon who was within Cape Town at that time saw her and thought she would be a major attraction in England. After gaining permission from the then governor of the Cape region, Alexander shipped her off to England for display purposes.

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