collection 18Roberts House is an important example of the middle class British Colonial Style villa built in the late nineteenth century. It is a National Monument and an exotic immigrant to the Last Outpost of the British Empire nestled in a green oasis of indigenous trees.

The Roberts family’s daughter Esther was born here and grew up to be the first female social anthropologists of the then Colony of Natal. She was well known as a librarian, author of research papers and books dealing with the indigenous population, and as a confidant and friend of Killie Campbell one of the doyens of Africana collectors in the country. Her large collection and library is now linked to the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Most importantly Esther stood many-a-day silently outside the city hall with her solidarity group called the Black Sash,lamenting injustices endured by the non-white population.

She died here more than ten years before South Africa was liberated. In the new democratic South Africa, the road was named after her.


collection 19

On the perimeter of the property are the offices of Architects and Planners who all subscribe and contribute to the museum. Shared spaces are used for talks, lectures and exhibitions.

Staff and their responsibilities

5Fran Saunders
Director in charge of operations, exhibitions and special programmes.

5Phumzile Nkosi
Assistant Curator, principle tour guide and hostess

3Lindiwe Ndiki
Outreach programmes, library and records and occasional tour guide.

2Khethiwe Cele
Cleaning, occasional tour guide and hospitality assistant.

6Mpho Hlophe
Installations, maintenance and occasional tour guide.  .

Cornelius Vezi
Grounds maintenance.

Innocent Mkhize

Field Guide.

aveleAvele Mbele
Marketing Assistant


Get involved and help us make things happen.

The Phansi Museum offers many exciting partnership opportunities such as special exhibitions, education programmes, travelling exhibitions and outreach opportunities. We would like to appeal to individuals and organisations to support one of Durban’s most unique non-profit cultural organisations.

Thank you to our supporters whose financial and contributions in kind assist us in sustaining the work we do. We thank  the following sponsors:


umpleby -

Architects Collaborative -

Simon Vines -


The National Lotteries Commission – -

KwaZulu Natal Department of Arts and Culture – -
Kim Hawke – Within People -
Hash Ramjee -
Simon Vines -
Mick Haggerty & Liza Lou -
Architects Collaborative -


Rotary Club Maine -


Hugo Bartel Arts Trust -

Legal Status

Phansi Museum Trust (876/2007/PMB/76)
Non-Profit Organisation
(060- 966 NPO)
Vat No: 4550252367
BEE Status: Level 4


Yusuf Patel
Nkosinathi Zondi
Paul Mikula
Max Mikula
Hlengiwe Dube




Phansi Museum Trust
Bank: Nedbank
Account Number: 1648167810
Branch Code: 164826
Swift Code: NEDSZAJJ

All Rights Reserved.

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