Founded as Number 2 location in 1878, Galeshewe is Kimberley’s oldest township and forms part of the Sol Plaatje Municipality.
It has a rich and sometimes tragic history, in addition to being a vibrant hub of contemporary arts and culture. It is the perfect place to visit for fascinating insights into the early days of the Kimberley diamond rush, as well as the area’s resistance to colonialism and apartheid.
In the late 1800s, Kimberley was awash with diggers, prospectors and migrants from all over the globe. Among them were black African mineworkers, who often lived in inhumane conditions in Number 2’s labour compounds.
Intellectual, academic, writer and founding African National Congress member Solomon Tshekisho Plaatje, after whom the municipality is named, gave his last public lecture in Number 2’s Abantu Batho Hall (the “People’s Hall”), now called the Galeshewe Centre, in May 1932.
In 1952, Number 2 and its surrounds were officially renamed Galeshewe, after Kgosi Galeshewe of the Batlhaping people, who led the Phokwane Rebellion against the British colonial government in the 1870s.
Pan Africanist Congress leader and anti-apartheid hero Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe spent the last years of his life in Galeshewe, practising as a lawyer, after being released from prison in 1969.
The township is home to a monument to the Mayibuye Uprising, which started in November 1952 in protest against “whites-only” public benches, leading to riots in which 13 people were killed and 78 others wounded by the police.
Amandla Trail of Kimberley
Also known as the Freedom or Struggle Trail, this drive-and-walk route takes four to five hours to complete. It allows visitors to view historic sites connected with the various black cultures in the Diamond City. The trail starts at the McGregor Museum in Kimberley and takes visitors through several historical sites in and around the town, including the Mayibuye Memorial in Galeshewe Square.
Galeshewe Activity Route
This tour of the township starts with a taxi ride to Galeshewe and takes in historical sites such as its first post office, the local beer house, Robert Sobukwe’s house and offices, and other local landmarks. Be enriched at the Galeshewe Cultural Village, and marvel at how the Galeshewe Mural Arts Project integrates fine art with tourism, township beautification and community upliftment.
Galeshewe Theatre Organisation
This local arts and theatre group regularly stages productions, using the performing arts to critically reflect on the histories and narratives of Northern Cape communities.