Solani - Historian - Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Noel Solani

Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa




Historian with a focus on African history, oral history and public history. Specializes in liberation history, culture and urban history

Work History

Serve on the Arts and Culture Bursary Committee

• 2008-date: Serve on the Archival Platform
• 2004-2009 Served on the Albert Luthuli Museum Council
• 1994-1996 Served on the Student Arts Faculty Council
• 1984-1989 Served on different structures of the student and youth movements at Burgersdorp and the then Border Region

Selected papers and articles

The Northern Cape Frontier, McGregor Museum

Kimberly (2011)

2. N Solani, Collecting Robben Island Prisoner Memories, in Memory Ethics Conference, University of Michigan, An arbour, Michigan (2008)

3. N Solani, book Review by Lisa Buntman, Robben Island and Prisoner Resistance to Apartheid, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (2003) in H-Net Reviews in the Humanities and Social Sciences, June 2005

The case of Robben Island

in The Road to Democracy in South Africa, Zebra Press, Pretoria (2004)

5. N Solani, The Autobiography of political imprisonment in South Africa, presented at the Truth and Reconciliation Conference, in Bunes Aeries, Argentina (2002)

Deputy Director

Department of Education

Branch Higher Education
Directorate Policy and Development Support

Directorate purposes

• To render policy and development support to the higher education system

Directorate functions

• Initiate research to support policy development
• Develop policy and strategies for flexible teaching and learning systems
• Develop policy in relation to quality assurance and quality promotion approaches
• Facilitate capacity building in the sector
• Develop framework for the management of foreign scholars
• Coordinate international relations in higher education through the directorate: International relations
• Write speeches for the Ministry when required

Acting Research Manager

Main tasks

• Managing human resource and research projects
• Ensure that projects are delivered according to the set time frames
• Formulate the research agenda
• Participate in the use and conservation committee

Executive Manager

UWC, Bellville


Mr Mfuneko Mdludlu
Executive Manager: Cooperate Services
Nelson Mandela Museum
Tel: 082 461 2099
Office: 047 532 5110

Dr Molapo Qhobela
Former Deputy Director-General: Higher Education
Currently: Deputy Vice Chancellor
University of South Africa
Tel: 082 829 6684

Dr Bheki Mngomezulu
Board Member
Nelson Mandela Museum
Cnr Nelson Mandela Drive and Owen Street

Tel: 0723511947

Professor Gary Minkley
Director: Post Graduate studies
University of Fort Hare (East London Campus)
East London

Tel office: 043 7263546
Mobile: 0735948098

Robben Island Museum


Main tasks

• Conduct historical research on specific projects
• To make this research accessible to the museum for wider distribution and the scholarly historical and museological community
• To respond to research quarries
• Do research for exhibitions and give advise to the designing team
• Write academic papers with the view to publishing
• Coordinate the seminar series

Projects managed in this capacity

• Kellogg Leadership project (produced a 4 series documentary of 24 minutes each)
• Oral history project (interviewed more than 250 former Robben Island Prison political prisoners)
• Crossing Borders project in partnership with the University of Wisconsin (USA) and Universiteit de Manila (Philippines)
• Partnership with UWC and University of Namibia history projects
• Partnership with Wits University history workshop
• Seminar series

Senior Manager Programmes

Nelson Mandela Museum

Period 1 February 2006-Date

• To ensure sustainable management of heritage resources, conservation and curatorship
• To manage stakeholder communication and museum massaging
• To ensure and oversee the museum education programmes for diverse audiences
• To ensure and oversee the exhibition and display processes
• To oversee the research and seminar programmes
• To oversee production processes
• To oversee the Nelson Mandela Library and resource centre
• Generic management duties and specialised advise to CEO and the management team

Major projects completed to date

• Transforming the museums storage system and installing state of the art mobile cabinets and picture frames for proper conservation
• Co-hosted the 2012 Colloquium on the ANC centenary celebration and Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday in partnership with the Centre of memory at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the National Heritage Council and the ANC archives and database sub-committee
• Transforming museums exhibitions by installing two new exhibitions (permanent one on Nelson Mandela: Leader, Comrade, Prisoner, Reconciler and President; temporal on Nelson Mandela and Chief Albert Luthuli, titled "In Conversation, Nelson Mandela and Chief Albert Luthuli two Nobel prize winners"
• Travelling exhibition on "Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks: Children's Letters, Global Lessons" in partnership with Michigan State University Museum, East Lensing, Michigan
• A Colloquium celebrating Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday in partnership with the University of Fort Hare, East London Campus
• Establishment of a new resource centre with books on Nelson Mandela and the liberation struggle in South Africa

Previous work

Qualifications & Certifications

University of Fort Hare

University of the Western Cape

Smithsonian Institutions Centre for Folk life

Liberal Arts

Emory University

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