One of the best ways to celebrate Heritage Month is by visiting The Robben Island Museumand learning about the life of South African anti-apartheid revolutionary Robert Sobukwe.

2023 Launched As The Year Of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe

2023 – In commemorating 45 years since the untimely death of Robert Sobukwe, the Council of the Robben Island Museum (RIM) declared 2023 as The Year of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe and launched this commemoration at a special event on Robben Island.

Robben Island was a place of isolation for nearly three centuries, housing many political prisoners, including Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe (5 December 1924 – 27 February 1978). Robert Sobukwe was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and founding member of the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC), serving as the first president of the organization.

House T159 on Robben Island, the place where Robert Sobukwe was kept isolated from the rest of the prisoners.

“There is only one race, the human race.” — Robert Sobukwe

“Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe was banished to Robben Island as a political prisoner of a special type, and as a Council, we made a unanimous decision to declare 2023 as the Year of Robert Sobukwe, so we can create an array of touchpoints throughout the year, where we can honour this remarkable man who gave so much of himself for the liberation of our people,” said Professor Saths Cooper, RIM Council Chairperson during his opening remarks.

“Here is a tree rooted in African soil, nourished with waters from the rivers of Afrika. Come and sit under its shade and become, with us, the leaves of the same branch and the branches of the same tree.” — Robert Sobukwe

Robert Sobukwe truly led from the front and was as best known for his motto of “serve, suffer and sacrifice”, with an approach of “no bail, no plea and no defence” he led from the front.

“Let me plead with you, lovers of my Africa, to carry with you into the world the vision of a new Africa.” — Robert Sobukwe

Nomfundo Sobukwe, who spoke on behalf of the Sobukwe Family, was deeply humbled by the honour bestowed on her grandfather and the extended Sobukwe family and in remembering Sobukwe, she reflected on how he always knew “we were meant for better things than struggling and suffering.” To this end, an exhibition is being planned, of the books which Robert Sobukwe read, that ultimately shaped his political ideology.


“The wheel of progress revolves relentlessly and all the nations of the world take their turn at the field-glass of human destiny. Africa will not retreat! Africa will not compromise! Africa will not relent! Africa will not equivocate! And she will be heard! Remember Africa!” — Robert Sobukwe

As part of the repositioning of RIM and in the context of its economic recovery plan, RIM will be introducing new intergenerational and other offerings to attract especially young people to visit the island and improve Robben Island’s immense historic heritage tourism, globally.

“I wish to make it clear again that we are anti-nobody. We are pro-Africa. We breathe, we dream, we live Africa because Africa and humanity are inseparable.” — Robert Sobukwe

Embark on a scenic voyage to Robben Island Museum and discover a World Heritage Site filled with natural beauty and rich history that can be explored via two tour options, open Monday to Sunday from 08h00 to 17h00.


General Return Tickers

Adults with South African ID: R400
Children with South African ID: R210 (children under the age of 18)

Adults Non-South Africans: R600
Children Non-South Africans: R310 (children under the age of 18)

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Please note that on a standard tour visitors drive by the T159  Sobukwe House. It is only on private tours that they get an opportunity to get inside the Sobukwe complex.

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