- Meet Christo Brand
- Visit the Dompass museum
- Meet Local Artists
We will be visiting Langa, the oldest township in South Africa with local guide Sugar. She will lead you on a walking tour that will reveal its rich history, ties to Apartheid, and the current uplifting initiatives. You will meet local artists at the Guga Sthebe Arts & Culture Centre as well as learn to play the African drum.
At the “Dompas” museum, you will get an insight into what Apartheid really meant for South Africans and how it affected daily life. You will get the chance to hear a talk from Christo Brand, Nelson Mandela's Former prison warder who later became a close friend. A unique opportunity to hear firsthand tales from Mandela's time in prison, the friendships he formed, and most importantly Mandela's vision for a free and just South Africa.
This is an incredibly important experience for everyone visiting South Africa.
We will finish off your day discussing what we've learned over a local South African beer and snack.
Who Is This Experience Good For
- Anyone passionate about history, art and culture
- Anyone interesting in giving back to local communties
Local Guide - Local to Langa Township
Entrance Fee / Tickets - Dompas Museum entry
Walking Tour - Tour of Guga Sthebe Arts & Culture Centre
Transportation - pick up and drop off at accommodation
Taste of local South African beer and snack, no lunch
What's Not Included
Know Before You Go
There will be a light snack included and no lunch
Please bring cash along for any purchases and donations
Christo Brand's book, Doing Life with Mandela: "My Prisoner, My Friend" will be available. If you so wish to buy this and learn more, then you will also need R300 in cash. (No card facilities available)
- Minimum Needed: 5 people
- Maximum Capacity: 12 people
- Booking Deadline: 8 days before event
- Weather Dependent: No
- Difficulty Level: Easy
- Special Clothing Required: Yes - comfy walking shoes
- Special Dietary Restrictions: n/a
- Extra Cash: Needed for tipping / donation
Nomangesi, also known as Sugar will be your local guide for the day. Born in the Eastern Cape, Sugar moved to Langa in 1995 and has been a tour guide since 2006. She has a passion for Langa and wants to show visitors the history, culture and what daily life looks like. She always uses her guiding experience and walking tours to uplift the local community by showcasing and supporting local entrepreneurs and artists. She is involved with many charity drives for blankets and clothing to help the less fortunate in the community. Remote Year has proudly partnered and helped with a few of these drives.
In 1978, at the young age of 18, Christo Brand started his work as a prison guard on Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was serving a life sentence. In 1982 Christo was transferred to Pollsmoor Prison; at the same time they moved Mandela and 3 others there. Christo was in charge of the Mandela group for the next 6 years. On Mandela’s release from prison, he arranged a job for Christo in his office; then at the constitutional assembly; and then in 1997 when Robben Island was declared a World Heritage Site, Christo began working there. Christo and Mandela remained friends right until Mandela’s death in 2013 when Christo attended his funeral in Qunu as a guest of the Mandela family. Christo retired from Robben Island in July 2018 to pursue his story-telling full time.
Frequently Asked Questions
It was such a wonderful day getting to learn about the history and present-day of Langa township, the struggles, and the honest truth of the oppressive systems that were in place. It helps you see the reality of the disparities in Cape Town which you won't find in the bubble of the more affluent part that you'll be based in CT. Also, you see the resiliency, entrepreneurship, optimistic spirit, and creativity of black folks who lived in apartheid times. It was an emotional experience for sure but one you need to do to have a more well-rounded perspective of South Africa. Also, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet Nelson Mandela's prison guard + friend Christo Brand, his stories will move you, I cried at one point. Truly a must-do.
Quite a lot is included in this experience and it's not just about Mandela! (although that was really really cool, Christo is a great storyteller!)
I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who wants to learn more about one of the townships, some ZA history as well as taste some unique foods! Thanks so much to Sugar, our amazing guide, she gave us some very personal stories that helped us to understand her people's culture. It's eye opening.
What an incredible opportunity to meet someone so close to Mandela. His stories are truly moving and you leave with a new found perspective and appreciation. Not many people can say theyve met someone so involved in Mandelas life
You get a chance to see a different part of cape town and try some local delicacies. If you want some culture experience, you'll want to do this!
You probably won't get the chance to speak to anyone else in Capetown that was as close of a friend to Mandela. Great to do before a Robin Island visit. His story is amazing and the meal is as good as any grandmas cooking you're going to get.