EYEAFRICA TV: Cape Town, South Africa: An evocative exhibition recently opened in Cape Town to showcase well-known figures in South Africa’s long journey to liberation.
The Long Walk To Freedom is an outdoor display of 100 life-size bronze statues of the men and women who played a pivotal role in bringing freedom to all South Africans.
The exhibition marks the 350-year liberation journey and celebrates heroes in South Africa’s liberation struggle, starting with Autshumato to Nelson Mandela.
It tells the story of those who fought to end the oppressive system of colonialism and then apartheid.
“It being an outdoor exhibition, the whole essence of people on a journey to liberation and people know that each statue symbolizes thousands of others, who we were not able to portray. So Nelson Mandela symbolizes his generation, same with Moqoma, the warrior king symbolizes that generation,” said Dali Tambo, the CEO of the National Heritage Project Company.
The sculptures recreated the iconic figures with compelling realism, with some statues taking more than 6 months to complete.
The collection features famous revolutionaries, including Nelson Mandela and O.R Tambo.
“We’ve got about 100 statues for now, and our criteria that we use is people who have passed on and who also contributed to our liberation struggle in South Africa, irrespective of where they come from, the country doesn’t matter,” said Moroesi Tsatsi, a tour guide.
The role that women played in the country’s 350-year path to liberation is also honored. Other bronze statues are in the pipeline and they will be of other world figures who played important roles in South Africa’s history.
“One of the people that we will be putting into this procession in the future is Chairman Mao Zedong, and others from China, who contributed to our struggle for democracy. They were fellow freedom fighters. They fought with us, they gave us arms, they gave us boots for our troops, they gave us educational and other assistance. So we are brothers and sisters in terms of the struggle that was fought,” said Tambo.