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TTo give a true overview of Nelson Mandela in all phases of his life, from his youth in Qunu to his role as statesman, the museum built in his honour comprises three separate structures: the Bhunga Building in Mthatha, the Qunu component and an open-air museum at Mvezo, where Madiba was born.
The Nelson Mandela Museum is situated on the N2 highway in Mthatha in South Africa's Eastern Cape province. It promises visitors a memorable cultural experience and insight into the life of Nelson Mandela, with guided tours and a heritage trail that follows the story of his life.
TThe historic Bhunga (translated loosely as council or caucus) building accommodates an exhibition tracing Nelson Mandela’s journey, as told in his own words, and narrated in part from his acclaimed biography A Long Walk to Freedom. It also showcases a diverse selection of the gifts bestowed on South Africa’s most-beloved statesman, Madiba, during his presidency.
The Nelson Mandela Museum
FFrom here visitors can visit Mvezo, Mandela's rural birthplace, to gain an understanding of his humble beginnings. Born into a chiefly lineage within the Tembu people, his inkaba (umbilical cord) is buried here in accordance with Xhosa tradition, and it is where his father was stripped of his authority by the apartheid government and forced to flee while Mandela was still an infant.
FFrom there he proceeds to Qunu, where his family took refuge and he spent his childhood. Here he assumed a Christian name, Nelson, in place of his Xhosa name Rolihlahla (which means shaking the branches of a tree, or trouble maker), as was the custom at the missionary-run school he attended. He spent his boyhood here diligently doing herd-boy duties and playing in the river.
The Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre is located at Qunu and comprises the second component of the Nelson Mandela Museum. This unusual heritage tour allows visitors to ‘meet’ Madiba the man, activist, father, liberation struggle hero and former president.
Experience music, dance and food from across the country, as well as Tsonga crafts and Zulu beer-brewing; and don’t forget the magical clicking language of the San people.
Explore galleries and museums, and then relax at one of the restaurants and pubs set in the wide, tree-lined streets before setting off to enjoy one of the many plays on offer at the world-renowned National Arts Festival.
The music culture in South Africa is made up of diverse genres, from jazz, hip hop, kwaito and gospel to pop and alternative rock.
From soft red tea leaves and fermented milk to home-made beers and pub-favoured shooters, these are some of South Africa’s finest drinks.
The first shebeens in South Africa were local bars and taverns where mostly working-class urban males could unwind, socialise, and escape the oppression of life during the Apartheid era.
The Steve Biko Centre is located in Ginsberg, King William's Town, Eastern Cape and entrance to the centre is free.
Reliving the early years of Nelson Mandela’s life
Built to house the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha, the Bhunga Building hosts a number of exhibitions in the three wings.
Fort Hare was the first university in South Africa to accept black students.
From marine life to history, discover more at the Port Elizabeth Museum
Port Elizabeth's urban-based Route 67 is one of the most exciting and creative of South Africa's inner-city developments.
The Owl Route is a 50km U-shaped dirt road in the Eastern Cape province, best explored by bicycle.
While South Africa embodies our most ancient roots, we have evolved into an amazing mix of modern cultures.
Jazz fans from around the world appreciate the skill and vibrant talent of South African jazz musicians.
Walking around the Voting Line sculpture, you get the true sense of the Rainbow Nation of South Africa.
The Donkin Heritage Trail in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro city of Port Elizabeth is mainly based around the Central district, and consists of a large collection of historic Victorian buildings and monuments