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Johannesburg - South African management consulting firm, IQbusiness, on Monday launched the Nelson Mandela Virtual Reality journey which will allow people to visit and "experience" the landscape and surroundings that shaped the former statesman and anti-apartheid icon from his formative years to his presidency without physically going there. 

Adi Stephan, head of learning at IQbusiness, said that the virtual reality experience will allow ordinary people to walk in the footsteps of South Africa's first democratic president from his young days in Qunu to the Union Buildings in a bid to mark what would have been his 100th birthday.

"We want people to understand what it is like to literally walk in his footsteps, to experience that in virtual reality, and to have an in-depth understanding of his life in a different format, not just in words," Stephan said. 

"The virtual reality will allow people to visit and experience the dirt hut in Qunu that Mandela grew up in, see his room and the objects he played with as a child. They can also tour his homes he spent in as an adult, including in Alexandria and Orlando, as well as his cell on Robben Island, where he spent 18 years."

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Stephan said the journey will also allow users to move around Nelson Mandela's jail cell which is the exact size of the actual jail cell. The user will also interact with reading material found in Mandela's surroundings and experience 27 seconds in the lonely cell in deafening silence, to mark the amount of time that Madiba was imprisoned.

Stephan said the virtual reality journey, which took four months to develop in partnership with Liliesleaf, VictoryVR and Gear Brain, will be available on Oculus Go from Tuesday for $1.99 (around R26.40).

African News Agency/ANA