KwaZuzulwazi Science Centre (1991-1999)

KwaZuzulwazi - ‘place of enriching knowledge’ in Zulu - was a 50m² interactive science gallery located in the Durban Natural Science Museum. Opened in October 1991, it quickly became the second busiest science centre in South Africa and included seven satellite branches in outlying Durban suburbs.


360° view of KwaZuzulwazi

National television features (11min, 1995)

National television features, including the Astronomy Interest Group (7.5min, 1998)

Video record of KwaZuzulwazi and the CommQuest visiting exhibition by Techniquest (10.5min, 1999)

Palmnut Post magazine article (Apr 1998)

Palmnut Post magazine article (Sep 1998)

Mario with Peggy Ngubane, one of the hard-working science centre volunteers

On becoming a Museum Education Officer in 1991, I began designing in-house information flyers (using WordPerfect, CorelDraw, scissors and glue). After we acquired Sappi sponsorship in 1998 for the Simulated Planetarium, the relationship was maintained, and gradually the flyers were upgraded and expanded into a colourful series covering a range of museum and natural history subjects.

Before KwaZuzulwazi opened, hands-on activities were held in the museum galleries

Omashani (Ash) Naidoo, long-serving KwaZuzulwazi Volunteer Co-ordinator

Image of original website
(March 1999)

I left the museum (and South Africa) on 30 December 1999. After my departure, KwaZuzulwazi visitor numbers continued to increase

Chart from an article in the November 2003 Palmnut Post magazine

With Dr Ben Ngubane (KwaZulu-Natal Premier) at the inauguration of the Simulated Planetarium, 08 April 1998

In December 2006 I had the opportunity to once again thank Mr Case Rijsdijk, who responded to my funding appeal in 1998 - even though my part of the country was not due the type of support I had requested

Astronomy Interest Group email update announcing the arrival of the CommQuest travelling exhibition in November 1999

On 30 December 1999 I left South Africa and emigrated to the UK. This was primarily because I was responsible for my ageing parents, who would soon require medical care that I could not afford to pay for privately. After nine exciting and fulfilling years at the Durban Natural Science Museum, I embarked on a new adventure in science centres and planetariums abroad.

In 2003 an attempt was made to relaunch the simulated planetarium

Copyright © Mario Di Maggio. All rights reserved.