The Nelson Mandela Museum
Did you know?
Rolihlahla is a Xhosa name meaning 'the twig that bends but does not break'.
The Nelson Mandela Museum in South Africa was opened on 11 February 2000 as a tribute to the great man's tireless efforts in the struggle for liberation.
The Nelson Mandela Museum focuses on 3 sites in the Transkei region of the Eastern Cape. At the impressive Bhunga building in Umtata, the story of his life is celebrated in his own words alongside gifts he received during his presidency. At Mvezo visitors can see where he was born, and at the Qunu Museum, the cultural village where he was raised, a youth and heritage centre is being built.
The Nelson Mandela Museum celebrates the story of South African liberation and international peace icon Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela who was born of Tembu royal lineage at Mvezo in the Eastern Cape on 19 July 1918.
He joined the African National congress (ANC) and in August 1943 took part in his first march in support of the Alexandra bus boycott. ‘I had become a participant,' he noted. ‘I found that to march with one's people was exhilarating and exciting.'
Soon the youthful Mandela was pushing to the front of resistance marches. He was also at the forefront of changing the direction of the ANC. He was instrumental in establishing the movement's Youth League and its armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), after it was forced underground.
In 1963, while serving a three-year sentence for leaving the country illegally and inciting workers to strike, he was charged with treason and sentenced to life in prison.
Nelson Mandela was finally released on 11 February 1990 and played a pivotal role in South Africa's peaceful transition, becoming the country's first democratically elected president in 1994. For his efforts he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Nelson Mandela Museum
Tel: +27 (0) 47 532 5110