The Long March to Freedom: a look at SA’s heroes
The recently relocated Long March to Freedom is a heritage monument that’s engaging, uplifting and absolutely worth a visit
Whether you visited it at its previous home in Pretoria or not, it’s worth making the trip to see The Long March to Freedom sculptural display that’s now at the Maropeng Visitor Centre, west of Joburg.
Easily one of the most impressive and expansive monuments to SA’s heroes, The Long March to Freedom is an ever-growing outdoor exhibition of life-size bronze statues. They are artistic interpretations of centuries of heroes, leaders and freedom fighters – starting with rebel chiefs and renegade missionaries of the 1700s and ending with Nelson Mandela and his fellow democratic leaders.
There are also international and African icons like Dr Martin Luther King jnr (a new addition) and Haile Selassie in among our home-grown legends. Just over 100 of the planned 400 sculptures have been completed and form the current interactive sculpture park at the Cradle of Humankind. They were created by a host of top and up-and-coming local artists and bronze foundries, which in itself is a stellar aspect of the project. The sculptures are joyful and full of interesting details that give clues to the lives and significance of their subjects.
Here’s the FM’s selection of some of the works you could (and should) spend a few hours ambling between – and it’s free!