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18 Gangster Museum

We are young social entrepreneurs from Khayelitsha who are using living museums and cultural tourism to turn children from our community away from the scourge of gangsterism.

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WHO WE ARE We are young social entrepreneurs from Khayelitsha who are using living museums and cultural tourism to turn children from our community away from the scourge of gangsterism.

WHAT WE DO We work with reformed ex-offenders to conceptualize and curate immersive, experiential living museum experiences and installations in Khayelitsha and across Cape Town, to educate youth about the realities of gangsterism and prison.

WHY WE DO IT Cape Town is among the Top 10 most dangerous cities in the world with a murder rate of 65.53 per 100,000 inhabitants, with most murders attributed to gangsterism. In townships like Khayelitsha, children as young as 13 are being lured into gangs, where most will either end up on the receiving end of Cape Town’s high murder rate or going to jail. Through the 18 Gangster Museum, we hope to help change this culture.

OUR NAME Cape Town’s gang culture is built around numbers, which are used to distinguish different gangs and the core function of that particular gang. So we felt our name should also contain a number, which could be symbolic of doing good rather than bad. We discovered that when you add 26, 27 and 28 (the three main “numbers gangs” in Cape Town) you arrive at 81. Because we are about turning lives around, we turned 81 around and it became 18. This is how 18 Gangster Museum came about.

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