“The Story of Indenture 1860 -1911” our permanent exhibition.

Throughout history, communities in every part of the world have experienced the consequences of human migration and the reshaping of history that comes with it. This history comes with pain and suffering of people who gave up the known, for the unknown in their search for a better life. This quest for a better life is explored in this exhibition called “The Story of Indenture 1860 -1911.” This exhibition celebrates the willpower, desire and sacrifice of our forefathers to find a better life in a foreign land. These walls also echo a place of hope where tragedy meets courage, hatred meets compassion and fear meets determination. Their contribution in forging an economy, an identity and a proud legacy of human triumph in the face of adversity is our South African story.

Curator: Selvan Naidoo


MGL wing: #MandelaGandhiLuthuli

Nobel Peace prize winners, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi and Chief Albert John Mvumbi Luthuli form part of our MGL story. The history of these three giants of South Africa’s history are showcased in two rooms. In these rooms, we highlight common threads of a shared heritage and history. We highlight the early years of Gandhi in South Africa through to his realisation of the ‘Mahatma’. We then highlight the role of Chief Luthuli in creating the foundation walls of our fledgling democracy. In the last room we simulate the ‘prison’ experience of Mandela’s incarceration during his years at Robben Island. We also showcase the names of all The Treason Trialists and highlight our common history.



A room that transports you to a forgotten world of socio-cultural identity. Artefacts from a rich tapestry of history is well preserved in a rich presentation for the young and the old. A room that gives tangible evidence of slowly vanishing traditions…


CURRIES: a living legacy of Sport, Identity and Politics

The name of the Curries Fountain sports field, popularly known as “Curries”, has its origins in the 1870s when a waterworks, which was Durban’s first reliable water source, was situated in the area. Although the waterworks and tower named Currie’s Fountain had long ceased to exist, the name remained (spelt without the ’s) when the area became a sports ground. It was situated in the marshy Western vlei, or ‘flats’ as this area was known, and formally became a sports facility for the Indian community in 1925. Facilities for golfers, cyclists, athletes, tennis players and the ever increasing number of soccer and cricket players were all catered for. This became the premier soccer ground in Durban, not only for Indians but for “non-Europeans” in general for the next six decades. When the original lease expired in 1950 there were six soccer fields, four cricket pitches, three tennis courts, a quarter mile cinder track, a nine hole golf course, a refreshment room and a clock tower.
The historical and socio-cultural experiences of all the people that used Curries Fountain, created non-racialism and a popular culture that needs to be preserved in the context of change and transformation in South Africa.  Curries Fountain was a venue for the disadvantaged black population of Kwa-Zulu, Durban to organize social and political events that assisted the integration of Black people in their quest for common identity.

INDENTURE to DEMOCRACY: reception room

We summarise a timeline history highlighting a new narrative of unbiased history. A room that outlines our vision for the 1860 Heritage Centre.





UPCOMING EXHIBITION: An Arts & Culture exhibition