Your day begins at the Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto – a site of socio-political significance to the country. In June 1976, 10,000+ high school students staged massive protests in what became known as the Soweto Uprising. Thirteen-year-old Hector Pieterson – who’s honored by the museum – was killed by police during the demonstrations.
The museum, dedicated to Pieterson and the other young activists who lost their lives, offers an in-depth examination of the underlying causes of the protest and memorializes the students’ brave role in the struggle for democracy. Choose to visit the nearby Mandela House – where Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962 – which is still marked by bullet holes and burn marks, the scars of apartheid.
Next, visit the Regina Mundi Catholic Church – South Africa’s largest Roman Catholic church. The sprawling sanctuary served as an underground meeting place and safe haven for antiapartheid political figures and student protestors. Standing in the high-ceilinged nave, feel the tension and the intensity of this remarkable building that serves as a memorial to the brave souls who were committed to changing the course of the nation.
At lunch, recharge at a local Soweto restaurant, before the day’s final stop: the world-class and award-winning Apartheid Museum. The facility, which was dedicated in 2001, offers an interactive voyage through history, examining the origins of apartheid, the dark days of segregation, and ultimately, to Mandela’s inspiring release. The museum houses numerous artifacts, immersive multimedia exhibits, and feature films that tell the stories of bravery and hope of the activists that lived and died for change – an inspiring conclusion to the day’s tour.