Johannesburg was founded when gold was found and has grown from a dusty mining town to the commercial and industrial heart of South Africa.

Johannesburg is a city with many faces. where you can witness many highs and lows of South African history. This colossal metropolis has expensive offices, chic restaurants, shops, universities and ‘glamorous’ nightlife. That is, when you go to the white business center and the richer neighborhoods. But in and around Johannesburg there are also the poorest slums in the country. with high crime rates where you as a tourist should not go without guidance.
The city is literally and figuratively built on gold. In 1886 the Australian George Harrison found the much loved shiny metal and caused the longest gold rush of all time. Gold diggers from all over the world flocked to Jo’Burg and within three years the city became the largest city in the country. The city was nicknamed ‘Egoli’: the city of gold. Yet the city has no golden history due to the enormous battle between white and black. Today, the city is buzzing with entrepreneurial spirit among nearly 5 million people.

Mandela’s house
Nelson Mandela’s former home is at number 8115 Ngakane Street in Orlando West, Soweto. Orlando is one of the townships of Johannesburg. The anti-apartheid activist lived in this small three-room home with his wife Winnie, until he was captured in 1962. After his release, he could not return to his old home for security reasons. He had to leave Soweto.

The small house has since been converted into a museum: The Mandela Family Museum. You can admire a memorable photo collection. Photographs and portraits of Mandela’s family hang next to honorary doctorates that he received from institutions around the world. Together they tell the life story of the most famous man in South Africa.
Nelson Mandela lived chained behind bars for 27 years. Despite his imprisonment, he received the Nobel Peace Prize. He won the first democratic elections in South Africa. And today he is known as one of the most famous human rights activists in the world.

Apartheid museum
In the parking lot in front of the Apartheid museum are seven stately columns with the words: Democracy, Equality, Reconciliation, Diversity, Responsibility, Respect and Freedom. The museum is perhaps the most interesting and moving exhibition in the whole of South Africa. Here you get a multimedia tour through the terrible history of apartheid.
Upon arrival you will receive a card on which your ‘temporary’ variety is stated: white or not white. You are immediately confronted with ‘separate’ entrance gates. You follow a different route through the museum for each race and make a journey through time. From the beginning of apartheid to the fall in 1994. The year in which Nelson Mandela celebrates victory.

The museum is built like a prison, including electric fence, bars and unplastered walls. Inspirational texts by Mandela have been painted on the walls. You get a realistic picture of the tough life as a black South African during apartheid.
Separate paths, separate benches and separate toilets. Film images show the violence and demonstrations against black South Africa. A shiver runs down your back when you enter a room where 131 slings are hanging from the ceiling. A memory of all executed political prisoners.

Guided excursions are offered to Soweto (SOuth WEstern TOwnship), usually visiting Freedom Square where the Freedom Charter was declared in 1955. You also often pass by Regina Mundi, a Catholic church used for political meetings during the time of the Apartheid and the Hector Pieterson Memorial Square, named after the first death of the 1976 revolt in Sharpeville.

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