– News – Lubumbashi: visit the museum, a culture still absent

Founded in 1958, the Lubumbashi National Museum, this place of culture has had various names. First the Élisabeth ville museum, then the Léopold ll museum or the Cabu museum in reference to its founder, Dr. Francis Cabu. It then became the Katanga Regional Museum in the 1960s, before taking on its current name in 1970.

A tourist and historical place where several cultures meet. The Lubumbashi National Museum is open to all visitors. However, on location, one would believe that this place is reserved for the alumni only. The simple reason is that there are often only registered school visits there. ”We have a high school attendance in the city of Lubumbashi and its surroundings. Instead, adults hardly ever come,” said the director of the Lubumbashi National Museum, Nicole Matanga Sapato.

She justifies it by “ignorance which is also the basis. Some people don’t even know there is a museum. They can’t find their account there. She also evokes beliefs, another equally important aspect. “There are also others who like superstitions. They say that in the museum there are fetishes, works that cast a spell. They are prejudices that must be broken,” said Nicole Matanga.


In the middle of the 21st century, this tourist spot is not connected to the digital. In its operation, it encounters difficulties such as those indicated here by its director. “We don’t have enough IT tools. We also have difficulties related to means of transportation and finances.”

Mwelwa Kaindu Astride, is a guide during our visit, we found her in the middle of a session with students from a school in the Ruashi commune who came to reconcile theory with practice. She explains the works as well as their stories. “The museum preserves the historical and cultural works that make up the identity of a people. Each person has the origins of him and when they come here to the museum, we pass on the history of the man’s past. It is in this framework that we transmit the history of our country. At school, children learn theory, for example, the masks of certain tribes. When they come here, they see that.”

Works of contemporary art visible in showcases full of stories. These represent the culture of each people. Nicole Matanga explains the education of boys and girls during their initiation into traditional society. ”Today we have schools, but before it was not like that. Here are young initiates: the girls are in one camp and the boys in another. Everyone receives education for life.”

For the record, the Lubumbashi National Museum has its origins in the personal initiative of Doctor Francis Cabu, a Belgian citizen. Upon his arrival in Élisabethville, he was commissioned to cleanse the city. This is how he came across the archaeological works to finally make a collection of them. And that was the beginning of the history of the Lubumbashi National Museum.

La Guardia Magazine/MCP, via

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