The Nelson Mandela Museum, situated just two hours' drive from Buffalo City, celebrates its 20th anniversary on 11 February 2020.
The museum was officially opened on 11 February 2000, to coincide with the tenth anniversary of his release from prison in 1990. It is located in two precincts, at Qunu (Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre) and in Mthatha (Bhunga Building ).
Nelson Mandela insisted that it was not just to be a static collection and tribute to him, but a living memorial to his values and vision. It was to inspire and enrich all who visit it, serve as a catalyst for development and should share the heritage resources linked to him.
Consequently, the Nelson Mandela Museum is more than a place; it is an experience that allows visitors to follow the footprints of a man whose long walk to freedom began in the foothills that rise from the banks of the Mbhashe River.
His journey took him back to the village of Qunu, where he put down roots and grew tall and strong. The young man listened to and learned from his elders, moved by their stories of battles for their land.
His battle for liberation would be waged a long way from the rural landscape of his birth. It would take him from studying at the University of Fort Hare in Alice to the mines in Johannesburg; and from the capital cities of the world to a prison cell on Robben Island, before he emerged from his long imprisonment, unbowed and victorious on a summer day in February 1990.
His gift is a living one – one that embodies his commitment to the principles of human rights, freedom, peace and democracy.
This constantly evolving legacy is housed in the Nelson Mandela Museum, with its two main sites: the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu, and the Bhunga Building in Mthatha. A third site, Mvezo, is not currently operated by the museum.
Here there are exhibitions that celebrate his life and his journey, including Gift to the Nation, which showcases the gifts he has received from the people, institutions and governments around the world, and a collection of images and artefacts that illustrate and illuminate his life.
The Nelson Mandela Museum is situated on the N2 highway and is the gateway to the Wild Coast. It offers a memorable cultural experience that gives insight into the life of Nelson Mandela, with guided tours and a heritage trail that follows his in his footsteps.
Find out more about the museum and its history HERE.