Totem Media has over the past four years been developing a cultural precinct for the Bakgatla-ba-Kgafela, a dynamic, forward-looking Tswana community in the Pilanesberg. Phase One opened in November 2014.

The development of the cultural precinct has comprised the renovation of the old Mphebatho Museum; the installation of a permanent exhibition in the Mphebatho Museum; the restoration of the old Dutch Reformed Mission Church; a new 250-seater lekgotla; and the recreation of the central part of the first Kgosi Pilane’s iron age settlement within the precinct. (The original can still be visited in the Pilanesberg National Park.) The precinct will give visitors an understanding of the rich history and culture of the people of the area, and is designed to inspire conversations on culture, knowledge systems, identity, development, the environment and the future. 

Project summary

Some of the driving considerations of the project were the preservation and celebration of heritage, the promotion of education, community development, tourism growth, the promotion of careers in the heritage sector, job creation through the empowerment of local entrepreneurs, artists and crafters, and nation building. In light of this, Totem Media developed a heritage workers' training programme specific to the needs of the Moruleng Cultural Precinct. We also developed a digital archive that will be managed by the Mphebatho Museum and ultimately housed in their New Library and Archive. Construction of the Library and Archive will begin on completion of this current phase of the Moruleng Cultural Precinct.

Project update

The precinct is close to completion, as recent photographs below testify:

The old Dutch Reformed Mission Church centre below. It has been lovingly restored and now houses an exhibition that focuses on how the Bakgatla-Ba-Kgafela were influenced by, and responded to, colonisation and Christian missionary teaching. It also serves as a community centre.












The interior of the newly renovated Dutch Reformed Mission Church











The front entrance to the Mphebatho Museum.                    














The main exhibition explaining how the Bakgatla works with their environment








The Bakgatla history room















A statement of Bakgatla beliefs


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