Fascinating facts about 5 African sites and monuments
If you’re the kind of traveller who’s interested in the history of the place you’re visiting and the story of its people, you’ll be pleased to learn a few lesser-known facts about these monuments and places of interest on the continent.
Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and Memorial Park, Ghana
In this park in Accra there is a mango tree that was planted by former president Nelson Mandela on his visit there in 1991. The tree is one of many planted by various dignitaries from around the world in honour of Kwame Nkrumah, who was the first president of independent Ghana, which broke from Britain in 1957. Nkrumah’s body lies in the mausoleum, alongside that of his wife, Fathima Nkrumah.
The African Renaissance Monument, Senegal
Situated on the Collines des Mamelles, just outside Senegal, this monument was unveiled on 3 April 2010, a day before Senegal’s commemoration of 50 years of independence, and stands as the tallest statue in Africa. It received both praise and widespread criticism during its construction and after it was revealed. In fact, in 2009, President Abdoulaye Wade compared the stature to Jesus Christ, a statement he later apologised for, according to The Guardian.
The Heroes’ Acre, Namibia
Erected south of Windhoek, in the Auas Mountains, the Heroes’ Acre is a war memorial built with the “purpose of “foster(ing) a spirit of patriotism and nationalism”, according to Namibia-Travel. While the statue is said to be of an unknown soldier, Quartz has stated it was reportedly made in the image former president Sam Nujoma.
Pig and Whistle Inn, Cape Town
Known as the oldest standing and functioning pub in South Africa, the Pig and Whistle Inn was built in 1832 and named the Bathurst Inn. British soldiers who frequented the establishment dubbed it the Pig and Whistle after a pub in the UK.
The Cape Coast Castle, Ghana
The infamous Cape Coast Castle in Ghana was where slave trading took place. Thousands of slaves were kept captive in appalling conditions before being shipped off to other countries. Decades later, it was used as the headquarters of a colonial British governor, according to Ghana Museums.