In an historic South African first, a spy “pen gun” once owned by anti-apartheid icon and former ANC President Oliver “OR” Tambo has been tokenized into a Non-Fungible Token (NFT).
The spy pen gun is believed to have been gifted to Tambo by the East Germans, to help protect Tambo from any would-be assassins, during the mid 1980s.
The spy pen gun is due to be auctioned at a live NFT auction on 11 November 2021 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Hosted by NFT exchange Momint, the event will host high net-worth individuals from around the world at an auction of unique assets. Blockchain company Virtual Nation Builders has tokenized the spy pen NFT and its uniqueness has been independently certified with a crypto asset number.
All net proceeds of the sale will be used to help save the Liliesleaf Museum in Johannesburg, which has been hard-hit by the lockdown and COVID-19.
The spy pen gun NFT is not the actual artifact, but a digital photorealistic image of the actual spy pen gun which is stored safely within the Lilliesleaf Museum archives and is not accessible to viewings by the public. The person who buys the NFT will also buy the right to experience and view the Pen Gun at the Liliesleaf Museum “for life.”
“If we can successfully leverage the power of NFTs to preserve our rich heritage, we will put South Africa on the global map in terms of innovation through crypto asset use and management” shares Maurice Crespi, CEO at Virtual Nation Builders.
Tambo’s status as a former ANC President, along with the significance, utility and rarity of this piece, are believed to be among the factors which will drive the price of the NFT up.
The Lilieslear Farm and Museum
The Liliesleaf Farm and Museum is one of South Africa’s foremost national heritage sites. Between 1961 and 1963, Liliesleaf served as the secret headquarters of the ANC, SACP, Umkhonto we Sizwe and the Congress Alliance.
Today, Liliesleaf is home to several extraordinary exhibitions that tell the story of the journey to democracy in South Africa. But Liliesleaf faces significant funding challenges that threaten its survival.
“Liliesleaf is a treasure trove of amazing apartheid struggle stories and items. Being able to unlock the value of the unique assets held by Liliesleaf through the exponential power of blockchain technology is quite simply phenomenal. We’ll be making history by transforming South Africa’s painful past into a current, technological asset to experience that history” says Nicholas Wolpe, Founder and CEO of the Liliesleaf Trust.
“South Africa will be a pioneer in this field – no one else has really thought about unlocking the true asset value of our historical artefacts using NFTs. NFTs are stored safely and digitally on the blockchain, so there is absolute peace of mind” added Ahren Posthumus, CEO of Momint.
“The rescue of Liliesleaf is a special project for our business rescue finance team. All net proceeds from the winning bidder’s investment in the digital spy pen gun NFT will be used to keep the Liliesleaf Museum doors open to the public” says Bob Grewar, COO of the Covid Business Rescue Assistance (COBRA).
COBRA is one of South Africa’s largest non-profit organisations assisting businesses and institutions in financial distress.
The live auction will take place at 19:00 on 11 November 2021, at the Radisson Blu Rooftop Deck, at 22 Riebeek Street in Cape Town. Private and confidential bidders are also welcome to register their bids ahead of the auction.
Participants, bidders and the media are welcome to register to attend the live auction using the registration link here (venue capacity is limited).