Post Event Media Release: OR Tambo Exhibition Launched at Freedom Park 23 November 2017

Post Event Media Release

23 November 2017

For Immediate Release

OR Tambo Exhibition Launched at Freedom Park 

As part of its continued series of activities to commemorate the OR Tambo centenary, Freedom Park in association 0 with the Tambo Foundation, the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) and the Apartheid Museum officially launched an exhibition on 22 November 2017. High commissioners, academics, researchers, curators, learners and educators and other stakeholders attended the launch event.

More than twenty years after his death, a belated – yet significant – step has been taken to acknowledge Oliver Tambo’s pivotal contribution to the freedom struggle in South Africa. This exhibition entitled Oliver Reginald Tambo: The Modest Revolutionary (1917-1993), has been produced by the Apartheid Museum, in association with the Tambo Foundation and the Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).

Comprehensive in its scope, the exhibition covers Tambo’s early life and education in the Transkei, his training as a teacher, his difficult choice of entering politics rather than the priesthood, his partnership as a lawyer with Nelson Mandela, his escape to exile, his unfailing determination to build the movement in a hostile world, his principled leadership of the armed struggle and his championing of the isolation of the apartheid regime.

It concludes with the drafting of the historic Harare Declaration, which became the blueprint of the negotiated settlement and paved the way to the birth of democracy in South Africa. Indeed, as the exhibition shows, it was his tireless and exacting personal involvement in the formulation of the Harare Declaration that led to him suffering a devastating stroke.

While the exhibition is faithful to the historical record, it is also concerned that Tambo not be lionized as a messiah, but remembered for his humanity, compassion and incorruptible integrity.

Tambo’s story has not been told before in a popular way that talks to the youth of the country. The curators hope that this exhibition will begin the process of restoring this great man to his rightful place in the hearts and minds of all South Africans and future generations that are to follow.

In his address Freedom Park Chairperson Mr MCR Makopo said” OR Tambo was world class leader because he displayed enduring patience, steadfastness, compassion, calmness and assuming authority, confidence, moral correctness, extraordinary energy and ability”. 

The exhibition is at Freedom Parks temporary exhibition space until the end of January 2018.

Details of the exhibition are as follows:


Mondays – Sundays:  8h00-16h00


Naomi Madima

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Ricky Mafadza

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