Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Gugulethu Seven Memorial
Built to commemorate the death of seven young black activists from the Cape township Gugulethu (meaning our pride) on 3 March 1986, the Gugulethu Seven Memorial consists of seven solid and powerful granite statue-like constructions, sculpted by the South African artists Donovan Ward and Paul Hendricks.
Where? Gugulethu Memorial, Corner of NY1 and NY111, Gugulethu, Cape Town
When? Always open
Today the sculpture stands on a busy corner on NY1 in Gugulethu, relatively close to where the seven youths were murdered by the South African police.
The memorial lies directly on the pavement for maximum exposure, while an intimate amphitheatre lies behind the sculpture. The sculpture takes the form of a discontinuous wall-like structure, in which seven figures are cut out from the concrete and granite slabs, suggestive of play, dance and resistance.
Whilst the bronze plaques beneath each figure do not all hold portraits and dates of birth, the cut-outs project onto the road surface in a play of sunlight and shadow that brings them back to life.
The work not only commemorates the death of seven youths, but is also representative of nation building - it combines elements of ruin or incompleteness with parts that seem to have just been constructed - and was unveiled in March 2000 on Human Rights Day.
The Gugulthu Seven Memorial is a highlight on many township tours through Gugulethu.