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NNumber 8115 Vilakazi Street, Soweto, is a small, face-brick house where the Mandela family lived from 1946 to the 1990s. Today the house is a museum celebrating his life through artwork and other media.
Although Mandela did not spend much time in the house with either of his wives, Evelyn Ntoko Mase and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, two of his children were raised there and it retained a special place in his heart all though his incarceration.
WWinnie was forcibly evicted in 1977 and had to relocate to the Free State with her two children Zenani and Zindzi, but she returned in 1990 when her husband was released. The Mandela family spent 11 days there after his release, but moved to a larger and more secure property in Houghton afterwards.
Mandela House Museum
TToday the Mandela House is a small but comprehensive museum. The exhibits consist of art, interesting memorabilia, honorary doctorates awarded to the family, and photographs dating back to the 1950s.
There are many interesting things to do in the area. Sakhumzi Restaurant is just a quick walk down the block, and serves a great spread of traditional African food including delicious shisa nyama (literally translates to burnt meat) and stews.
TThe Hector Pieterson Museum is also an iconic and historical stop. This museum honours the 1976 student uprising in Soweto. It was one of the main sparks in the fire that eventually ignited a free and fair South Africa.
Other things to do include a bicycle tour of the area where you can get up close and personal with the people of Soweto, or you could even do a bungy jump off one of the Orlando Towers. This is definitely for those with a slightly more adventurous spirit.
The FNB Stadium continues to be the preferred platform of choice for the Soweto Derby featuring Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates.
Dr. A.B. Xuma’s house in Sophiatown tells the story of a way of life during apartheid.
Emirates Airline Park played a significant role in South African sporting history, after hosting the 1995 Rugby World Cup final.
National Archives and Records Service of South Africa - the Reading Room is open for public use and is free of charge.
The Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Facility gallows is now a museum. It memorialises the 3500 souls who lost their lives here.
Soak up Soweto’s rich cultural atmosphere at an important South African tourist destination - Sakhumzi Restaurant.
Nelson Mandela’s memory lives on in a number of places in Gauteng where he spent his formative political years, opening a legal practice and starting to play a leading role in the Struggle against apartheid.