Inside Johannesburg: The Mandela House
Johannesburg is home to many wonderful and incredible attractions; from amazing parks to wildlife reserves and museums, but perhaps the most standout of all these attractions is the Mandela House also known as the Mandela National Museum, located in Orlando West, on the Vilakazi Street.
The one-storey brisk house was originally built in 1945 and occupied by the former South African president and freedom fighter between 1946 and 1962 when he moved out following a series of attacks on his life in the building which left the brisk house ridden with bullets.
After successfully fighting the apartheid system and gaining his independence to lead the country into a new era of democracy in 1994, Mandela decided to donate the house to the state and did so officially in 1997, three years into his presidency.
The house was then converted into a museum which houses the records, letters, pictures and personal belongings of Nelson Mandela especially during the period when he lived in the house and was a leading political figure in the fight against apartheid.
More interesting, unlike most museums where artefacts had to be brought in from elsewhere, exhibitions within the Mandela House Museum such as furniture, citations, letters, and personal belongings were not brought in from elsewhere but were items that Mandela himself had placed in the house before its conversion into a museum.
Today, the facility is among the most visited tourist attractions in South Africa, with a visitor population that exceeds a million annually, a feat which made the United Nation recognize the house as a UNESCO Heritage Site.