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Although the Museum does not currently operate at its Mvezo site as a result of a decision by the Governing Council, Mvezo is a key part of the history of Nelson Mandela and his family.

It was in Mvezo, on 18 July 1918, that Rolihlahla Mandela was born. His inkaba ((umbilical cord) is buried there, on the banks of the Mbhashe River. His great grandfather was Ngubengcuka, the king of the Thembu people. He died in 1932. One of his sons was Nelson Mandela’s grandfather, and gave him his surname.

Nelson Mandela was the son of Chief Gadla Mphakanyiswa, chief of the village of Mvezo. Nelson Mandela was was only two years old when his father ran foul of the local magistrate by resisting interference in his clan’s traditional systems, and was deposed.

The family was forced to leave Mvezo, crossing the river to find shelter with relatives in Qunu.

Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Chief Zwelivelile Mandela, lives there now, after rights to the land reverted to the Mandela family in 2007.

Latest News


“For Madiba with Love” is a photographic exhibition produced by David Turnley, an acclaimed photographer who captured South Africa’s struggle between 1985 and 1994. The award winning Pulitzer Prize photographer further captured Nelson Mandela’s release and his family.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation in relationship with David Turnley has donated this intriguing exhibition to the Nelson Mandela […]

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Dear Mandela ….Dear Rosa Parks: Letters from the Children invades Uitenhage

Nelson Mandela Museum in partnership with the Eastern Cape Department of Sport Recreation Arts and Culture has joined hands in bringing its iconic exhibition to the community of Uitenhage.
The exhibition titled Dear Mandela ….Dear Mrs. Parks: Children’s Letters is an initiative of the Nelson Mandela Museum, Nelson Mandela Foundation and Michigan State University aimed at […]

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