Winani Thebele



Winani Thebele


Chief Curator & Head of Ethnology Division/Botswana National Museum. Where she is referred to or has substantially contributed to entries on this archive you will see the identifier WT.

Where he has substantially contributed to entries on this archive you will see the identifier FN.
I work under the Botswana Case Study, which mainly focuses on the Willoughby Collection that is found at the Brighton and Pavilion Museum. The Willoughby project has records in Birmingham, in London (at SOAS) and some collections in Cape Town. My role in the project is research and the project also falls within my area of study and research on “colonial collections, their restitution and their recasting into a shared heritage, a universal responsibility”, which is realised through collaborations and partnerships between museums, Universities and other heritage bodies. I have undertaken research trips to Brighton, Birmingham, London and Cape Town for the project. I have also discussed the project in publications: Journal Museum Ethnographers, No. 33/2020 and Revista Muzeelor Journal No.i/2019. I am currently working on a catalogue on the Willoughby Botswana Collections found at the Brighton Museum and in Cape Town.
I am a member of several international heritage organisations; The Southern African Heritage Association, The Africa International Council of Museums, The UNESCO Inter-Governmental Committee for the Return of Cultural Property ( has facilitated ratification and implementation of the 1954, 1970 UNESCO Conventions and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention by Botswana), a member of the International Council of Museums(ICOM) since 1998(I served as the chairperson and Treasurer of the National Committee at different points). I am a member of the American Alliance of Museums and the Commonwealth Association of Museums. I have contributed to a number of heritage publications; books, journals and Newsletters on heritage.



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SAC Seminar: Heritage in Southern Africa: debating decolonizing agendas. Event
First project workshop Event