Didem Doğan

Iziko Slave Lodge

I leave the District 6 Museum and walk to Iziko Slave Lodge, two blocks away.

The most important institution of the Dutch colonial period, the East India Company, colonized South Africa at the end of the 17th century as a supply stop on the way from Europe to India, and began to bring slaves from East Asia to this region. Mostly, slaves brought from India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mozambique were brought to the Cape of Good Hope by ships, and from there they were placed in the city's second oldest building, built in 1679, in the center of Cape Town and worked as slaves. From 1711 to 1795, the number of slaves, in which nearly nine thousand slaves, women and children, were imprisoned and forced into public service, outstripped the colonialists from 1711 to 1795. Slaves were allowed to start families but were prevented from having families. It was used as a state building after the end of slavery in 1834 during the British period, and today it is open to visitors as a museum under the name of Iziko Slave House.

The detailed information on the two floors and the courtyard, told with pictures and maps in the museum, is full of heart-wrenching stories. From slaves who committed suicide in order not to work, to those who tried to escape. Rebellion attempts are the most interesting of them. The slaves who killed the captain and took the helm before they reached the Cape of Good Hope, and those who were later betrayed and captured again.

After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, there were two slave revolts. After the slaves were freed in 1834, the slaves were not freed, but were given to their previous owners free of charge. Many slaves worked in the vineyards of the Western Cape region.

The museum also draws attention to the fact that although slavery is not legal today, it still continues in different forms. Some of these are kidnapping, child labor, sexual exploitation, debt bondage.

The fact that almost all of the employees serving in Cape Town are black and almost no white person works in certain jobs makes one think about the different forms of slavery that extend to the present day.

The museum is open from 10:00 to 14:30 except Sundays, admission is 30 Rand

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