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July 26, 2011


The Nelson Mandela Museum once again joined South African communities and the world in celebrating the 93rd birthday of our icon.

The celebrations were in line with the international Mandela Day notion of volunteer community service. But instead of volunteering for just 67 minutes – as per the Mandela Day standard – the Museum contributed two days.

Physical spaces directly associated with Nelson Mandela had been identified for preservation and interpretation – in a special programme that was put together with youth heritage learning in mind.

The Museum’s theme for Mandela Day 2011 was “Marking the footprints of a legend”. Sites and spaces in the villages of Qunu and Mqhekezweni became community tools for learning heritage preservation.

The following activities were undertaken in the days building up to Mr Mandela’s birthday on

18 July 2011:

  • Preservation of Earth buildings at Qunu, scheduled for 15 July 2011. A destitute family headed by an old woman with one dilapidated hut and another one crumbling, had been identified in Nkalane Village, Qunu. The hut was restored with special focus on walls and the floor as a learning activity of the day, with learners, the youth and Walter Sisulu University students participating.
  • Preservation of the ruins of the school where Mr Mandela was given the Christian name, Nelson, with the unveiling taking place on 18July 2011.
  • Preservation of the imbizo trees where meetings used to be held at Mqhekezweni Great Place, with the unveiling taking place also on 18 July 2011.

The above sites will form important content of a new self-guided Rholihlahla Footprint Trail.

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