Mvezo - the birthplace

Mvezo is a special, profound place of pilgrimage far off the beaten track, a tiny precinct far removed from the world of great events, where life is lived as it had been for decades if not hundreds of years. It has one of the most picturesque landscapes alongside the beautiful meandering Mbhashe River. The land depicts a mixture of barrenness and lushness that belies the profound historical and spiritual significance of the area. Indeed, this space provides an opportunity for healing and renewal.


A dignified peaceful people live in Mvezo, materially poor but spiritually wealthy. A proud people they are committed to creating a better life for themselves and the new generation.

The current projects and milestones at Mvezo include:

  • Tour and interpretation of the ruins of the original Mandela Homestead with the hut where Mandela was born
  • Site survey has been partially completed
  • Health and educational facility upgrade by the Provincial government
  • Electrification
  • Fresh water for human consumption, water troughs for animals and a clothing washing facility is sourced from the museum until delivery by local government.

The highlights for the tourist are:

  • To witness & be surprised by Nelson R Mandela’s humble beginnings
  • To be in a profoundly spiritual place
  • To feel the fact that no person’s life is predetermined
  • To undertake a pilgrimage away from the mainstream
  • To marvel at a picturesque landscape
  • The scenic view, the Mbashe river dividing Nelson Mandela’s birthplace and the current president of South Africa President Thabo Mbeki’s birthplace.

Mvezo has significant meaning for Nelson Mandela:

  • His inkaba (umbilical cord) is buried here in line with tradition, so it is a site of his roots
  • Mandela is born into a chiefly lineage within the Tembu people, Mr Mandela’s father was a chief of this area before he was deposed by the white government
  • Whereas Nelson Mandela was only an infant when they lived in Mvezo, his father’s deposition and their subsequent uprooting to Qunu personalises the assault of the racist white minority rule and launches him on a trajectory of opposition.