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TThe Eastern Cape is integral for many parts of our democratic history, from being the birth place to some of our first democratic leaders to being the place where democratic practices were first implemented. Three of these icons include former presidents, Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki and their friend Steve Bantu Biko. The death of Steve Biko in a prison cell in Pretoria in 1977 left an intellectual void in black consciousness thought leadership.
He may have left us at a tender age but our loss was also the gain of an immense plethora of knowledge and ideas about race, politics and black consciousness.
The Centre is nestled in Steve Biko’s birth place, King William's Town in the Eastern Cape, and focuses on translating global interest in the legacy of anti-apartheid. It encapsulates the goals and legacy of the Steve Biko Foundation by taking the nation through a journey of remembrance and discovery.
Steve Biko Museum
MMore than a tourist attraction, it is a place of learning and performance, literally coming alive with music, dance and creative interpretations of South African history.
The state-of-the-art building boasts an archive centre, library resource centre, commemorative garden honouring human rights activists and a community media centre. The Centre aims to ensure that new generations of younger South Africans are educated about our turbulent political past and lost leaders, like Steve Biko.
This is one of many world-class museums South Africa can be proud of. The best thing about it is that it is open six days a week, and on Sunday, visitors can arrange for special visits. Entrance is free.
Home to glorious stretches of beaches, mountainous terrains, jaw-dropping rock formations, a rich catalogue of plant and wildlife which includes the Big 7 (lion, leopard, rhino, elephant, buffalo, Southern Right whales and Great White sharks), South Africa’s Eastern Cape province is also the birth place of the late global icon and humanitarian - Nelson Mandela. The acclaimed leader, whose birthday is celebrated globally through acts of kindness on 18 July, was born and raised amongst this province’s lush valleys and winding rivers.
Cultural villages and museums in South Africa are great places to learn more about Xhosa traditions and how these express the culture and beliefs of this ancient Eastern Cape people.
South Africans are a diverse mix of peoples from Africa, Europe, Asia and elsewhere, and the many museums scattered around the country preserve rich histories, heritages and cultural traditions.
The ‘Wildlife Route’ from Port Elizabeth to Grahamstown/Makhanda in Eastern Cape offers a journey through European/Xhosa frontier history, exquisite birds, elephants and scenery, and delicious food.
The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Art Museum in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, boasts a diverse collection ranging from European and Asian art to many local pieces reflecting South Africa’s cultures.
Xhosa culture remains as strong, colourful and enchanting as ever among the approximately 7-million Xhosa people.
Take a drive from Grahamstown to Port Elizabeth and explore the pubs, beaches, restaurants and seaside adventures that come with one of South Africa’s top coastal areas.
There are many well-known historic and contemporary art works on display in art museums and galleries in each of South Africa's 9 provinces, with many important permanent art collections centred in the country's major cities.