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Mandela's birthplace in Mvezo, South Africa

An overview of a monument where Nelson Mandela was born on April 2, 2010, in Mvezo, South Africa. Mandela was born in 1918 in Mvezo, but moved to Qunu, about 32 kilometers from here a young boy. He served as a president of South Africa from 1994-1999, after he retired. Before that he was the leader of the armed wing of ANC and was convicted of sabotage among other crimes and served 27 years in prison, many of them on Robben Island, outside Cape Town. Mvezo has a museum and his grandson Mandla Mandela resides in the village.

Nelson Mandela's life in places

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

As Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the world’s most triumphant opponent of apartheid

and South Africa’s most celebrated President, battles death bravely in a

hospital in Pretoria, a nation prays. This nation – Mandela’s South

Africa – is one he tore free from slavery, from racial prejudice and the

grip of draconian laws in flagrant violation of human rights and

liberties.

On his long walk to freedom, Nelson Mandela tramped

the dust of several places in South Africa, places that may appear

unchanged to the unobservant eye. Yet, freedom has altered these places

in ways unimaginable. Here, black people and white now share

near-equitable rights, a reality fervently and violently dreamed of but

unrealizable during Mandela’s childhood and youth. Mandela, as the world

now knows, has been the catalyst of that change.

Explore these

places. From Mvezo, where he was born, to Qunu, where he attended

primary school, and to Robben Island and Paarl where he was imprisoned

for nearly two decades, we trace Mandela’s journey through the places

that shaped his vision, and whose place on the map he changed, perhaps

forever.