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Mvezo prepares to remember Madiba

Locals say tomorrow is a sad reminder of the day they heard news that shook the entire world.

FILE: An open-air exhibit of Nelson Mandela at Mvezo Great Place. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - As the world prepares to commemorate the first anniversary of Nelson Mandela's death, so too is the village of Mvezo, the statesman's ancestral home.

As dark clouds hover over Mvezo, the mood on the ground is similarly sombre.

Residents say tomorrow is a sad reminder of the day they heard news that shocked the entire village.

The community, who live in colourful rondavels surrounded by winding, dusty gravel roads, are decidedly unshaken in their loyalty towards the Mandela family.

They credit Madiba for bringing them freedom, homes and electricity.

In the meantime, Mandela's grandson and Chief of Mvezo, Mandla, is expected to shed light on why the museum celebrating his grandfather's childhood is not yet open.

The Nelson Mandela Museum was expected to open its doors tomorrow to mark the first anniversary of the global icon's death.

But Eyewitness News can confirm that construction is still underway at the site.

WATCH: Scramble to complete Mandela museum

EWN earlier received a frosty welcome at the construction site of the museum.

The museum is one of three in the Eastern Cape, of which only one is currently open to the public.

A family spokesperson, who only identified himself as Papi, barred reporters from entering or taking photos on the property.

From a distance, the beautifully structured museum building blends in well with the Xhosa-style design and colour scheme of Chief Mandla Mandela's homestead.

Papi refused to answer any questions, only saying that Mandla may give some clarity on Saturday, when he's back from official engagements.

The global icon passed away peacefully at his Houghton home at the age of 95 on 5 December 2013.

He was buried in the rural village of Qunu in the Eastern Cape at a funeral service attended by 4,000 people.

The museum is expected to exhibit a more culturally nuanced side of Madiba's life.