The launch was graced by the new Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, family representatives Tselane and Dali Tambo and other dignitaries.
“Naming the biggest airport in the continent of Africa after Oliver Reginald Tambo and having an exhibition about his life, is one of the ways to keep his memory alive,” says the Minister.
Peters in her own words said:”On 27 October 2006, the Johannesburg International Airport was renamed O. R. Tambo International Airport in the new democratic South Africa, and this being named after this legend carries so much responsibility.”
The permanent exhibition, situated at the airport’s International Viewing Deck, aims to bring to life Oliver Reginald Tambo’s legacy of selfless character and great teachings.
In June this year, O.R. Tambo International Airport embarked on a campaign where airport travellers, the public, school children and Airports Company South Africa staff gathered to be part of this experience by personalising models symbolic of the thousands of people who welcomed Oliver Reginald Tambo back from exile.
Over the four-day period, participants were guided through this process by 20 artists from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
As we stood and walked under the glass artistic work, unfortunately yours truly’s symbolic signature was nowhere to be seen! Ahem…
Speaking exclusively to SowetoLife Magazine Online, businesswoman Tselane Tambo, the daughter of the legend said the family was grateful for the honour the country continues to bestow upon her father.
“We’re excited and above-all honoured by the gesture. This airport has become an international icon throughout the world and as such, the legacy of my father and mother will be celebrated by all,” she says.
“Wherever both my parents are, they know that other living legends would strive to pursue their ideals in the name of development and prosperity of this country they so gallantly fought for.”
In her parting shot, she also wished Mandela a speedy recovery but also pointed out importantly that, ‘if its time for the old-man to rest let it be’.
“We urge the public to come and see this free exhibition, which contributes to our country’s history lessons, while also providing a unique identity to O.R. Tambo International Airport”, says Unathi Batyashe-Fillis, Manager Communications and Brand Management at O.R. Tambo International Airport.Airport Company of South Africa spokesperson.
O.R. Tambo International Airport is Africa’s largest and busiest airport, handling an average of 19 million passengers every year, and growing in passenger and cargo volumes.
The exhibition is free to the public.