Topics of the exhibition

The Early Years

features a replica of a traditional rondavel set among the rolling hills of the Transkei. This section examines both the traditional Thembu culture and the life of a rural farm boy via a variety of traditional artefacts.

The Struggle is My Life

uses participatory media to enable visitors to feel the hardships of apartheid exploring themes that include the degradation of segregation, the pass burning movemen of the Defiance campaign and the harshness of police brutality.

Prison Years

recreates the tall stone tower and sounds of Robben Island and uses Nelson Mandela’s words and letters in a powerful AV experience of life in his prison cell.


presents the violence of the early 1990s through original news footage of the day and celebrates the miracle of the first democratic election.

Healing a Nation

shares iconic objects and video contributions by family members, former staff and famous names including Neneh Cherry, Peter Gabriel and Lewis Hamilton, to show how Nelson Mandela united South Africa and inspired the world.

A Moment with Mandela

gives each visitor the opportunity to hear directly from Madiba inspiring the next generation to pick up the torch and carry on the legacy