When Theresa, my sister, was out from the UK, we visited Ghandi’s House in Inanda Valley. Below is her account of our fascinating visit.
“You will not leave empty-handed”. This was was the welcome we received as we arrive at one of Durban’s tourist attractions. Used to the museums in the UK when the tour ends in a gift store, I imagined he was referring to me purchasing gifts and curios from a nearby shop.
Wondering where the shop was, we were guided to a tiny green cottage named Sarvodaya (meaning Well Being for All). The building is a replica of Ghandi’s home for almost 20 years. The original was burnt down in 1985 during the Inanda riots and has since been lovingly restored.
Time stood still in the Democracy Hall
Each room in the house contains beautifully presented displays of photographs and text. I learned about various writers and main events that influenced Gandhi’s life and philosophy. Ghandi’s International Printing Press is also on display.
Time stood still in the Democracy Hall. Lining the walls are pictures, busts and a wealth of information about amazing spiritual and political leaders who came from or lived in Inanda. The stories were fascinating. Any visitor will appreciate the struggles people like Ghandi faced, how they sacrificed so much for what they believed, and, with so much courage.
Although it was not part of our tour, Sanele, our guide from The Green Corridor, generously agreed to take us to John Dube’s house a short distance away. His love and enthusiasm for this area is palpable. Read Cheryl’s account of her visit to John Dube’s house.
These sites of memory can challenge what we ourselves think we know
Sometimes these sites of memory can challenge what we ourselves think we know or remember.
I was educated at government schools in Amanzimtoti, not far from Inanda during the 70’s. I had never heard of either John Dube or Isaiah Shembe. I was aware that Gandhi had a wife, but I did not know that her name was Kasturba. I didn’t know there is a school in Inanda named after her or that she was an activist herself and died in prison for her beliefs.
We didn’t leave empty-handed
So, as it turned out, our guide was right – we didn’t leave empty-handed. There was no gift store. Instead, we came away having learned the rich history of Inanda, and the vast cast of characters who lived remarkable lives, worthy of acknowledgement and investigation.
Thank you Theresa for sharing this with us, I could not have expressed myself any better.
My sister is an academic, voracious reader and a sketcher, always with a book, pencil and sketchpad in her hand. Despite the fact I’m the total opposite, a curious nature lover with a camera and binoculars in my hand, we treasure our time together and always manage to meet “somewhere in the middle”.
Meet her on Instagram td_sketch.
For more information about The Green Corridor and the tours the offer Click Here
Not only do they offer cultural tours, but also adventure, birding, canoeing, snorkelling and diving tours. All tours are conducted by the local community of Inanda and by supporting them, you are contributing to the upliftment of the people living there.