KwaZulu Natal Tourist AttractionsThe Gandhi Centenary Park
Right in the centre of Chatsworth, or Chazzies - a former township from the apartheid era that is today transformed into a thriving, predominantly Indian, community - stands an open public space known as Gandhi Centenary Park.
Where? Bhaktiveedanta Swami Circle, Chatsworth, Durban, KwaZulu Natal
When? Best during daylight hours
How much? Entrance is free
Gandhi Centenary Park lies across a street block; a beautiful breathing space in the midst of a humming and commercial neighbourhood, and across the road from the local police station.
Through the Gandhi Park flows a water course interspersed with paved pathways, a gazebo apt for contemplation, and a little amphitheatre. The park was named in memory of the centenary of Mohandas (Mohatma) Karamchand Gandhi’s arrival in South Africa, and a bust of the great man, including plaques inscribed with some of his most well-known expressions, was erected to mark the event.
On Gandhi’s arrival in the country in 1893, there was a growing anti-Indian attitude in the country and his role in the country’s history is well documented. Some historians argue that Gandhi’s South African experience was a formative one that moulded him into a very special kind of public figure. His role as a major political and spiritual leader in India was shaped by his use of non-violent civil disobedience as a lawyer in South Africa, where he committed himself to the Indian community’s struggle for civil rights.
He was a great man who practiced non-violence and truth. His time in South Africa shaped the Indian community into a political force to be reckoned with - a struggle during which thousands of Indians were jailed for resisting in a non-violent manner the new Act that compelled them to register.