|The Satyagraha House - Gandhi's house, Johannesburg|
Now transformed into a museum and guesthouse South Africa’s liberation heritage has been further enriched with the official opening of Mahatma Gandhi’s historical Johannesburg home, for those eager to immerse themselves in the Gandhi life experience.
His concept of passive resistance became known at Satyagraha (Sanskrit for ‘truth force’) – the name chosen for the new tourism destination for those who have not forgotten Gandhi’s South African experience and wish to learn more. The guesthouse component of Satyagraha House comprises nine rooms and a restaurant offering strictly vegetarian fare in accordance with Gandhi’s own dietary preference.
Jean François Rial noted: “Satyagraha House marks an important passage in a liberation struggle that was later taken up in South Africa by leaders such as Nelson Mandela. “We believe the site will attract both South African and international visitors and will resonate particularly with those with an abiding interest in the struggle to combat racism and ultimately apartheid.' “The house tells its own compelling story, but can also be integrated into a wider visitor experience by combining a visit here with visits to Soweto, Constitution Hill and Johannesburg’s Old Fort Prison, a jail where Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were both held.”
The Orchards house was built in 1907. The property is revered as the place where the future Mahatma (‘Great Soul’) conceptualised and evolved his philosophy of passive resistance – the pacifist method of protest that he subsequently employed in India when leading the country to independence.
|Fabrice Dabouineau, Director Voyageurs du Monde and Mr. Cllr Prema Naidoo - Chief Whip of the JHB City Council|
The house is the only place where Gandhi lived in South Africa that has been preserved. Exhibits celebrate Gandhi’s life while reflecting the minimalism and simplicity that characterised his life. The opening of Satyagraha House will also showcase cultural diversity through Indian music performed on traditional instruments by local artists and vegetarian cooking. The guesthouse experience includes morning meditation. Take a trip through this South African heritage site and experience the sparse universe of Gandhi, the rich history of South Africa, authentic architecture and simple, raw interior.
|In the middle - Mr. Sonam Tenzing - The Dalai Lama's Representative in SA|
The faithfully restored Satyagraha House in Orchards was opened on November 8 by Jean François Rial, CEO of French travel company Voyageurs du Monde and Satyagraha House (Pty) Ltd, at a ceremony attended by senior Indian and French diplomats and representatives of the Department of Tourism, Gauteng Tourism and the international media.
|Jean Francoise Rial, CEO Voyageurs du Monde|
Voyageurs du Monde, the first French company to invest in ‘liberation tourism’ within South Africa, bought the property two years ago. Since then, with assistance from local historians, the company has re-created an authentic Edwardian home and developed on on-site museum complete with Gandhi memorabilia and period pieces from India that reflect the development of Mahatma Gandhi’s anti-colonial and anti-racism philosophy and his commitment to non-violence.
Voyageurs du Monde specialises in travel-related services with strong focus on personalised travel itineraries, guided tours and flight and hotel reservation services. It organises international conferences, exhibitions and craft fairs and operates across Africa, South America, Asia, the USA and Europe. Voyageurs du Monde offers accommodation services in Morocco, Brazil, Egypt and now South Africa.