The objective of all the displays is the celebration of ubuntuArt; I am because you are – the bond of sharing! Of identity, healing, comfort, courage and love. Of beauty.

The old villa has many rooms and crannies all of which have been used in such a way that they display the beauty of the objects and tell their individual and related stories.

We have about five major opening events per annum – when a major exhibition is curated in our flagship gallery.

Smaller exhibitions happen in the landing gallery. On some occasions the whole museum enters into the spirit of things and we adapt the more permanent galleries to add to the main event.

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The MISSION of the Phansi Museum is to create in the public, in you, a love and understanding of
ubuntuArt and to be inspired by it.

Our exhibitions deal with prejudice, myth, collective memory, histories, customs, traditions, power and loss. And of course, skill and craft and the materials that come to hand.

What does love and beauty have to do with it?

Exhibitions to observe and question!

Creative journeys to take you right out of Your Box.

Your very own Berlin Wall.

AND with that journey to develop your own skills and become a qualified participant in this THING that gives us

Self-esteem and makes us Human.

The whole building, including the garden is a gallery.Everything that inhabits it including you and all those who visit, are part of the greater exhibition.

IT IS because WE ARE, because I AM.

The flagship gallery with its wide verandah and roof-deck shaded by a huge magical Natal fig-tree with its tentacle roots is our space for book- launches, small festivals, outreach projects and coffee.

Music, dance and performance art make the openings memorable.

Roberts House has three levels with various galleries:


Enter the building from Esther Roberts road through Joseph Manana’s mural into the small gallery where regular pop-up exhibitions welcome visitors. Now enter PHANSI via the Artshop, or go out to verandah and enter the entrance hall and its displays of artifacts.


Phansi (DOWN- where the ancestors reside) Phezulu (UP-the sky, the heavens, the stars up there).

Bi-monthly major exhibitions, questioning and celebrating are hosted. These exhibitions are generally formally opened and documented. And spill out onto the large roof terrace. On the left of the hall with its lovely stained glass windows is the coffee lounge and Artshop.

Then up the Mandela staircase to the landing gallery.


The landing gallery hosts small intimate exhibitions of a browsing nature. Ahead of you through the stained glass door onto the enclosed verandah is the:

PROF. Frank Jollis Collection
On left of the landing gallery is our famous
Body Art and Music Gallery with its life size marionettes from all regions of Southern Africa which will not fail to convince you that body art, the art of identity, is the mother of all art.

To the right are three interconnected rooms exploring the mystical aspects of ubuntuArt in healing, sleeping and symbolism .



Negotiate the transition with care as you pass from lala palm to telephone wire exhibition by Elliot Mkhize, Bheki Dlamini, Ntombifuthi Magwaza and others from 1860-2016, and enter the ante room of gems.

 There are many precious things down here with the main emphasis on the divergent approach to body art by the Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele communities.


Displaying food, beer and beauty in respect of the ancestors.

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