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TThe Eastern Cape is well known as the province where Nelson Mandela was born and grew up. The two main areas, namely Mthatha and Qunu are home to the two branches of the Nelson Mandela Museum. The Mthatha branch is housed in the Bhunga Building, a large white building with three wings.
The Bhunga Building itself has been used as a meeting place for local tribes and authorities for many years. Loosely translated to, “Caucus” or “Council”, it now serves as a museum dedicated to the great man and his life story.
AAt one stage, the white, pillared building was used as the seat of the United Transkei Territories General Council, the seat of the Transkei Legislative Assembly and the seat of the Republic of Transkei Parliament. Its imposing look is now softened with banners of Tata Madiba both in his youth and in his old age.
The Bhunga Building
IInside, one can find many exhibits, trinkets and gifts that were given to him. There are also interactive activities designed to get the youth involved in understanding his legacy. The Bhunga Building officially opened in 2013, and with it came a much needed renovation of the historic building and its various parts. The three wings are now gleaming white, and rival their former glory. The pictures and other artworks of Nelson Mandela stand proudly inside its halls, and hopefully will for years to come.
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.
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.
Calabash Tours offer tours which take visitors from the city centre to the townships of Port Elizabeth to explore the diversity of life in this city. Local guides share their life experiences and give glimpses of Xhosa culture.