The history of South Africa is reported in books and movies, as well as profoundly installed in the passageways of homes that used to house a portion of the nation’s most notorious figures. Some of these homes have moved toward becoming well known as their proprietors, for they know the privileged insights of the land and recount fantastic stories of the past.
Apparently the most acclaimed address in South Africa, House 8115, Orlando, Soweto, is the place former South AfricanPresident, Nelson Mandela, lived for over 14 years. The late battle symbol imparted the home to his first spouse, Evelyn Ntoko Mase, and after that, following his separation, his second wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.
Worked in 1945, the house was changed over into an exhibition hall in 1997, making it one of South Africa’s most-frequented legacy locales. The house distinctively tells stories of battle and versatility amid the politically-sanctioned racial segregation period. The dividers of the house still bear projectile gaps and sear imprints from oil bombs, a stark indication of the assaults black South Africans were presented to amid politically-sanctioned racial segregation.
Inside the house are various memorabilia, artworks, awards, and honorary doctorates bestowed on Mandela. There are also old photographs of the former world leader’s family dating back decades.
The Satyagraha House
Normally known as the Gandhi House, the Satyagraha House is an exhibition hall and guesthouse where Mahatma Gandhi lived for a brief period amid his 21-year remain in South Africa. Worked in 1907 by Gandhi’s companion, the German engineer, Hermann Kallenbach, the house filled in as the political pioneer’s home from 1908 to 1909.
The Johannesburg house now gives visitors the chance to find out about the life of a standout amongst the most huge figures ever. It is at this house Gandhi additionally built up his logic of Satyagraha, a technique for uninvolved resistance, or peaceful challenge. This is a similar reasoning Gandhi utilized to free his local India from over a time of British run the show.
The Satyagraha House consists of eight rooms, all of which are named after Gandhi’s family and friends. The guesthouse part of the home boasts a vegetarian restaurant inspired by the political leader’s vegetarian lifestyle. Of further note, for the owner, Gandhi, the man of peace, the Satyagraha House has a beautiful garden dedicated to meditation and yoga.
Desmond Tutu House
Among other things, Vilakazi Street in Soweto, Johannesburg, is famous for being the only street in the world to have been home to two Nobel Prize winners. A few metres from the house of Nelson Mandela, the winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize, stands the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who was honoured with the prestigious award in 1984. A man of peace, Tutu was an anti-apartheid activist and a devoted advocate of human rights.
While Tutu still owns the house and lives there when he’s in Johannesburg, the residency is one of the country’s significant historical homes. In 2011, Tutu unveiled a plaque at the house, marking it as a heritage site. Similar blue plaques are installed on several historical monuments around Joburg.
Tutu has been the owner of the home since 1975. The original house was extended in 1990.
Charlotte Maxeke House
As part of the city of Johannesburg’s plans to honour the late political activist, Charlotte Maxeke, her house in the Kliptown Township was turned into a heritage site in 2016. Maxeke, revered as the mother of Black Freedom in South Africa, was the founder of the Bantu Women’s League, which campaigned against “pass laws.” As an activist, Maxeke led the 1913 Women’s March against passbooks.
Apart from her house becoming a symbol of national pride, Maxeke is the eponym of the former Johannesburg General Hospital, which is now known as the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital.
James Mpanza House
James Mpanza, affectionately known as the “Father of Soweto,” was a human rights activist who fervently advocated for decent housing for black South Africans. He founded the Sofasonke Party, the first civic movement in the country, to address the grievances of residents of Soweto. His party’s slogan was, “Housing and Shelter for All.”
In 1944, Mpanza led squatter movements that saw some 8,000 dispossessed people claim land and erect squatter camps in the Orlando Township, Soweto. Mpanza’s house, which has become a heritage site, served as the headquarters of the Sofasonke Movement, where public meetings were held.
One room of the house has been turned into a tiny, temporary museum.
Visiting the homes where iconic men and women once lived provides a truly fascinating peek into days gone by. We recommend adding these five homes to your must-see list as they are definitely worth visiting if you want to experience a piece of South Africa’s rich heritage.