THE BLOG
09/07/2018 10:53 SAST | Updated 09/07/2018 10:53 SAST

There Are 100 Ways To Honour The Spirit Of Madiba On His Centenary

'If you want to do a little more to celebrate Nelson Mandela this year, make time to visit an official Tata Madiba landmark.'

Peter Andrews/ Reuters

100 ways to commemorate Madiba

If you want to do a little more to celebrate Nelson Mandela this year, make time to visit an official Tata Madiba landmark. There are exactly 100 to choose from.

Part of this year's Nelson Mandela Centenary programme, South African Tourism has identified 100 experiences, attractions and destinations across the country with strong historical and social ties to his life.

You can start your own long walk in his footsteps by asking an accredited travel expert to help you add a few to your travel itinerary, or download the Madiba's Journeyapp. Users can view attractions, build itineraries and share their own experiences on social media.

There is the iconic Capture Site structure in the Natal Midlands, made from 50 steel columns, and Robben Island in the Western Cape to include.

Giving an idea of the extent of these special landmarks, here are five extras to add to your list:

1) Cape Winelands, Western Cape

Nelson Mandela's first steps as a free man were not on Robben Island. He was transferred briefly to Pollsmoor Prison and then to the Victor Verster prison in the Cape Winelands, where he spent the last years of his incarceration.

The Victor Verster prison is now called the Groot Drakenstein correctional facility, and you can pay your respects before a giant bronze statue that has been erected where he was released.

GIANLUIGI GUERCIA via Getty Images
A bronze statue depicting former South African president Nelson Mandela as he walked to freedom in 1990 following his release after 27 years of incarceration, stands outside the Groot Drakenstein prison in Paarl, about 90Kms from Cape Town on the eve of the 20th Anniversary of his liberation. (Photo credit: GIANLUIGI GUERCIA/AFP/Getty Images)

2) Transkei, Eastern Cape

Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in the village of Mvezo, in the former Transkei in the Eastern Cape.

There are two more stops for those tracing Madiba's early footsteps: the Nelson Mandela Museum in Mthatha and the Nelson Mandela Youth & Heritage Centre in Qunu, where he attended school. These are easily reachable on a day trip by car, approximately three hours' drive from East London.

3) Inanda, KwaZulu-Natal

The Ohlange Institute in Inanda, 30 minutes north of Durban by road, was founded by John Langalibalele Dube in 1900. He was also a founder member and first president of the South African Native National Congress, later called the African National Congress (ANC).

The site is considered the first school in the country established by a black South African and it's also here that Mandela cast his vote in the country's first democratic elections in 1994.

Reuters Photographer / Reuters
Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela smiles after casting his vote in Johannesburg, April 14, 2004. Juda Ngwenya/ DL/ REUTERS

4) Johannesburg, Gauteng

A young Nelson Mandela arrived in Johannesburg in 1941, where he completed his BA degree, began training as a lawyer and became involved with the ANC. There are many places in Johannesburg to commemorate his career and life in the city but the Mandela House in Soweto, where Mandela and his family lived from 1946 to 1996, is a major landmark.

Klaus Lang via Getty Images
Nelson Mandela's old House in Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa

Liliesleaf Farm is another must-visit, located in the suburb of Rivonia and the former centre of operations for ANC activists. It is roughly a thirty-minute drive from OR Tambo International Airport.

5) Cape Town CBD, Western Cape

City Hall in Cape Town is a beautiful, imposing civic building, with mosaic floors and a marble staircase. It looks out onto the Grand Parade where thousands of South Africans gathered to listen to Mandela's first public address, made from the balcony, shortly after his release from prison on February 11, 1990.

During that monumental address, the future president declared his commitment to democracy, peace and reconciliation. It is said that he had to borrow wife Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's glasses to read his speech because he had misplaced his own.

Apart from these iconic sites and museums, look out for lots of vibrant street art in and around South Africa's city centres, such as Woodstock in Cape Town and Maboneng in Johannesburg.