Monday, November 26, 2012

The Apartheid Museum - Gauteng Tourist Attractions with Purpose

By Cherine Hattingh

One of the most visited of Gauteng Tourist Attractions is the Apartheid Museum and with good reason. One can come away with so much more than just a cursory look at the country's history. The Museum actually testifies to the victory enjoyed by the people of South Africa when they were able to defeat both prejudice and adversity in their land.

More than twenty million South African people were designated as second-class citizens back in 1948, which is when the Afrikaaner-led National Party took office. Because of this designation the people were reduced to a life of poverty and degradation.

When you visit the Museum you soon discover that the spirit of the people refused to be supressed and in 1994 they were finally able to gain their freedom, because this was the year when Nelson Mandela became the first president of the country who was democratically voted into office.

As Gauteng Tourist Attractions go, The Apartheid Museum is a definite must-see and only fifteen minutes from the OR Tambo International Airport. All visitors leave feeling moved by the country's history that is so tastefully and truthfully displayed.

Of course most visitors expect to be moved when they visit the Museum but they end up leaving with a very deep and abiding appreciation of how much the people of the country have achieved since they won democracy. Visitors are exposed to the dark past of the region and are able to see the cruelty, abuses, discrimination, and pain that so many suffered. However, they are also able to see the wonderful triumphs that the people of South Africa brought about when they refused to relinquish their right to freedom and equality.

The Apartheid Museum is unique and one of a kind. It shows visitors how the apartheid originated and how it met its demise. Because this system of governance was racially prejudiced, much of the country's progress was inhibited. But after more than half a century of struggle freedom brought with it a brighter future than the country had known thus far.

Many people have worked behind the scenes to ensure that the Museum is unique and offers visitors a real experience and perspective. Filmmakers, historians, curators, designers, and more have all contributed to ensuring that The Apartheid Museum provides a dignified view of the history of the country. It sits proudly on seven hectares and is architecturally impressive, ensuring that visitors get an experience that they will not forget.

Any visitor to South Africa should ensure that they visit The Apartheid Museum. Locals should also visit if they can. The Apartheid Museum is far more than merely a record of a dark and frightening past because it is also a beacon of hope. It shows the whole world that South Africans are learning to adjust to the present while never forgetting the struggles that they endured in order to win their freedom while at the same time showing that the human spirit can overcome.

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