Managing the transition at Bakoni Malapa Open Air Museum

Musinguzi, Dan
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This study explores how Bakoni Malapa Northern Sotho Open Air Museum situated outside Polokwane, Limpopo province is surviving in post apartheid South Africa. The specific areas investigated are: employment conditions, marketing of the museum, description of the museum products, and stakeholders’ perceptions of problems limiting success of the institution. An analysis of the nature of problems faced by the museum and recommendations for improving its success are also offered. Face to face interviews guided by interview schedules with semi structured questions were used to collect data. Personal observation was another method used to supplement interviews during data collection. Some of participants’ interview responses were audio taped while others were recorded as field notes. Audio taped responses were transcribed and together with field notes all were analysed by applying Colaizzi’s (1978) seven steps of data analysis. Data credibility was acquired through relatively prolonged engagement, detailed observation, triangulation, and taking the research findings back to participants to confirm whether their statements were interpreted correctly. Research findings indicated a number of problems limiting the success of the museum. The most important of these are: bad management-employee relationships, insufficient funds, lack of appropriate marketing strategies, lack of land, insufficient cultural and tourism knowledge among management, lack of staff, semi illiteracy and lack of skills training among staff, and lack of a defined vision. The analysis of the research findings suggest that Bakoni Malapa is not successful, however, success is defined.
community tourism, museum management, Limpopo Province, Bakoni Malapa