Johannesburg - A Life In Mandela's Footsteps
By Angela Sanders Thursday, January 16, 2014, 07:25 AM EST
Inspiration is an emotion that’s rare to find so far away from home, but in the case of South Africa, Nelson Mandela’s legacy is everywhere to be seen. This is a country that once ripped itself apart through apartheid, and for many years it suffered economic and political instability. But thanks to the will of its people, most notably Nelson Mandela who sadly died last year, it is beginning to prosper on a global scale once again. Although there are many amazing tours of South Africa that explore the glorious vineyards, beautiful landscapes and vibrant cities, why not visit the places graced by the great leader over his illustrious career for a more fulfilling experience?
Walking down this seemingly ordinary suburban street, you wouldn’t expect that it was once the home of Nelson Mandela. The Mandela House Museum, the world renowned attraction here, makes this street the most famous in South Africa, not only birthing one Novel Peace Prize local with Nelson Mandela, but also a second with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, two very close friends. Mandela lived here from 1946 to 1962, and it will forever remain one of the country’s cultural, political and spiritual hubs.
Gerard Sekoto Street
Another of South Africa’s famous streets, this was the home of Chancellor House, the three story office building where Mandela and his law firm partner Oliver Tambo first set up shop during the 1950s. At the time it was the first and only law firm owned and operated by a black man in the country, and it still stands as an opposing force against racial tyranny. From these quaint halls and small rooms, Mandela and Tambo changed the lives of millions of South Africans, personally, politically and professionally, and it’s a great place to visit if you want to get a little closer to Mandela’s footsteps.
Shadow Boxer is a relatively new statue of the great leader, just opposite from the Chancellor House and on the route between the law firm and the Magistrates’ Court, a stretch of road he walked many times. Created by the industry-known sculptor Marco Cianfanelli, this statue depicts a young and energetic Mandela, posed in a boxing stance as if he’s ready to take on the wrongs of the South African regime.
Constitution Hill can be found on Kotze Street in the Braamfontein district of Johannesburg, and it’s one of South Africa’s unique heritage sites. Home to the Constitutional Court, this magnificent piece of architecture from the post apartheid era is iconic throughout the country, this is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for so many years, the only black man in a whites-only prison in fact.
This is where the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory is found, and it’s only a short walk from Mandela’s private home, making this area another of Johannesburg’s notable highlights. The centre works very closely with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, supporting worthy causes all over the work and across the country, mainly developing the youth and young leaders of tomorrow. January is the best time for flight specials, so be sure to compare prices online before booking your airfare to South Africa.