Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) will engage in a number of arts, culture and heritage related projects, discussions and events in celebrating a particularly successful aspect of our institution.

With links going back to the oldest art school in the country, established in 1882, NMMU will endeavour to showcase both its physical successes via the visual and performing arts, and the many partnerships it has forged in the metro and beyond, thanks to its vibrant, all-embracing philosophy to serve society.


Lined up as part of the 2015 celebrations are the following:

  • Madibaz Day. A concert starring NMMU’s own talented staff and students will be hosted on Monday 11 May from 3pm to 5pm.


Madiba Ubuntu Shirt Sculpture

NMMU has embarked on a public art project aligned to the University’s Vision 2020. The Madiba Shirt is first phase of a public art project.

Three artists were selected from the proposals received with the winning design being the Madiba Shirt.

The frame of the Madiba Shirt will be in metal with ceramic tiles, which are individually made, joined by intricate wirework, making up the fabric. The dimensions of the shirt are 3m x 2.2m x 1.4m.

The shirt is presently under construction with completion expected by August.

A site for the sculpture has not yet been decided but it will be on one of NMMU’s six campuses.

The project is a collective learning approach in line with the university’s value of Ubuntu, one of six values that provide the foundation for NMMU’s strategic plan for the future, Vision 2020. The other five are respect for the natural environment, integrity, respect for diversity, excellence, and taking responsibility.

The sculpture is intended to be constant and inspirational reminder of the values of NMMU and Madiba.

Madiba Sculpture

The proposed Madiba sculpture is phase 2 of the NMMU public art project, and a continuation of the Madiba Ubuntu Shirt sculpture. The university’s Department of Arts and Culture again identified the project in line with Vision 2020, and the need to offer broader recognition of our namesake, Nelson Mandela.

NMMU alumnus and sculptor Anton Momberg will complete the life-size sculpture of Madiba in bronze. The same artist recently completed a bronze bust of Mandela and has been commissioned to make a seated sculpture of Mandela for the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory in Qunu.

The proposed completion date and site for the statue has not been finalized.

10 Benches Art Project

10 benches will be decorated in line with the “Voices of Africa” project as another of NMMU’s 10-year legacy projects.

The “Voices of Africa” project is run in conjunction with the University of the Free State, NMMU’s Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (Canrad) and the broader NMMU community.

These benches will be placed around Missionvale Campus and include a plaque commemorating NMMU’s 10th year, and recognizing the staff and students who were part of the project.

Heritage and Cultural Centre: NMMU George Campus   

A living, fully-functional Heritage and Culture Centre is envisaged as a means of acknowledging the rich history of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in George. This initiative will include the recognition and display of memorabilia of Saasveld, the Port Elizabeth Technikon, the University of Port Elizabeth and NMMU.

The proposed Centre will reside in Pampoenkraal, the original farmhouse on George Campus, and be used as a “newseum”, where memorabilia from the previous institutions can be managed, stored and cared for, together with NMMU’s branded items. The idea is to allow visitors to the “newseum” and to access electronic information from the previous institutions.

The Centre will also double as an area where art is displayed and music recitals and lessons are enjoyed. A coffee shop can be established while the remainder of the house serve as a guest house for visitors.

It has further been proposed that the Centre be made available to community leaders for launches and other functions, thereby exposing the “newseum” to larger audiences.

The Centre will be also be used as the starting point for guided walks and rides into adjacent land by SANParks and Cape Nature. Game Ranch Management and Nature Conservation students will assist in these initiatives, along with Tourism and Marketing students who will manage the coffee shop.

A further venture in attracting visitors to the campus is an eco-tourism green initiative, adjacent to the Heritage and Cultural Centre. This “home-grown” market at which fresh produce will be sold, will also offer talks about nature.

Finally, given its location, the campus will off itself for sport tourism – a base from which visitors can explore the area on their bikes or on foot. Again, the coffee shop will be open for business, thereby exposing newcomers to the “newseum”, and the campus’s rich history.