Qunu: The village where Mandela grew up

December 13, 2013 12:01 PM

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Qunu: The village where Mandela grew up

The Nelson Mandela Museum opened in 1990. There are two main sites, the Nelson Mandela Youth and Heritage Centre in Qunu, and the Bhunga Building in Mthatha, the main town in Eastern Cape.

Mr Mandela insisted the museum should not just be a static collection and tribute to him, but a living memorial to his values and vision. Mourners lit a flame in honour of Mr Mandela after news of his death was announced.

Village life in Qunu has changed little since Mandela was a child. In his autobiography, he says he was no more than five years old when he became a herd-boy, looking after sheep and calves.

Mr Mandela wrote: It was in the fields that I learned how to knock birds out of the sky with a slingshot, to gather wild honey and fruits and edible roots, to drink warm, sweet milk straight from the udder of a cow.

Rolihlahla Mandela was the first of his family to go to school. He was nine when a teacher at the primary school in Qunu gave him his English name Nelson. Rolihlahla literally means pulling the branch of a tree, but its colloquial meaning is troublemaker.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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