Inanda (isiZulu: Pleasant Place) is a township in Eastern KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa that is situated 24 km inland from Durban; it now forms part of eThekwini, the Greater Durban Metropolitan Municipality. Populated primarily by Zulu-speaking Black Africans, Inanda is known as the home of John Langalibalele Dube, first president of the African National Congress (ANC), as a residence/base of operations of Mahatma Gandhi, and as birthplace of the syncretic Nazareth Baptist Church. It is a poor suburban area with a murder rate much higher than average in Ethekweni. Combined with high HIV rates this leads to not many reaching old age.
Gandhi and the Phoenix Settlement
In 1904, Mohandas Gandhi, who had resided in nearby Durban since 1893, established a small village-like settlement, Phoenix Settlement, on the northwestern outskirts of Inanda. Boasting residences, a clinic, a school, and a printing press, Phoenix served for a time as an important home to Gandhi, his family and his followers as they strove to follow a path of social change through passive resistance.
A visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s Phoenix Settlement
This is just one of the tourist attractions along what is referred to as the ‘Inanda Route’. If you know about Mahatma Gandhi’s history, then you will enjoy seeing where he lived and the printing press he founded. If you don’t know about his history, then you’ll want to spend a bit more time here to read and listen to all the information that is available not only about Gandhi, but about the area and the road to democracy. This historical landmark can be visited Mondays through Saturdays; it’s closed on Sundays.
About Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or more popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was on born on 2 October 1869 in Porbandar, India. In 1888 Gandhi went to London to study law and then arrived in South Africa in 1893 to provide legal aid to an Indian company and finally left again in 1914. The non-violent protest that Gandhi is well known for is the ‘Salt March’ in India, defying the British government’s tax on salt by walking 200 miles to collect natural salt at the coast. This resulted in him being arrested and jailed, not the first time that Gandhi spent time in jail as a result of a non-violent protest. Throughout his life, he was able to inspire people and he dedicated his life to fight injustice and call for peace. On 30 January 1948 Gandhi was assassinated by a Hindu fundamentalist.
Gandhi’s house at the Phoenix Settlement
The house is named Sarvodaya – Well Being for All and was originally build for Gandhi & his family when the Phoenix Settlement was established in 1904. This is a reconstruction of the original house, which was burnt down during the 1985 Inanda Riots.
International Printing Press
Gandhi founded a newspaper ‘Opinion’ (originally known as ‘Indian Opinion’) which was printed at the International Printing Press. This newspaper came into existence in 1903 and continued publication until 1961.
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