About us

“Sinomlando” is a Zulu word meaning “we have a history”.

The Sinomlando Centre for Oral History and Memory Work in Africa started in 1994 at the School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal. Our purpose was to add indigenous oral history to the records. Sinomlando tries to recover the silenced memories of communities, particularly those which suffered under apartheid.

Gradually, however, the scope has broadened. There is a need for oral history in all sectors of society. In 2000 the Sinomlando Centre set up its Memory Box Programme, inspired by similar projects in Uganda and Tanzania. The aim is to give psycho-social support to families and specifically to orphans affected by HIV/AIDS. Their memories are kept in a box which contains the story of deceased relatives as well as personal objects and memorabilia.

The Sinomlando Centre has since become one of the leading research and training institutions for Memory Work in South Africa.




Our Team


Ms Nomagcwanini Gracia Nokwe – Chief Executive Officer
Mr Mfanufikile Nkabinde – Projects Manager
Ms Lauren Payne – Communications Administrator


Prof Gerald West
Prof Philippe Denis
Prof David Spurret
Dr Mxolisi Mchunu
Dr Carol Mitchel