As Mandela month approaches, many organisations in South Africa plan to celebrate his life — and what would have been the beloved icon's 100th birthday — whether it's by giving to the less fortunate, or staging public events commemorating post-apartheid South Africa's spiritual father.
The Miagi Youth Orchestra (MYO) will be celebrating Nelson Mandela's centenary through music. The 90-piece orchestra is heading to Europe for an international tour that starts on June 28 — and the first concert is already sold out.
"All the concerts are a celebration of Nelson Mandela and his legacy, and it is also represented through the legacy of the orchestra," MYO member Tsepo Pooe told HuffPost.
According to the cellist, music is a unifier for South Africans — albeit sometimes a temporary one.
"I mean, we have so many troubles in the country — music is still one thing that temporarily erases a lot of things and makes us optimistic."
He explains that music is a catalyst among the orchestra members of all races.
"Music is such a wonderful language to speak in; it makes us united. It is a common language between people of different races, different ethnic backgrounds. With music, we communicate the same idea," he said. "I think it is such an emotional language. When you think of the legacy of Mr Mandela, this is exactly what he wanted: a united South Africa where people beyond colour, beyond creed, beyond how much they have — they can do so much together."
The programme includes Ludwig van Beethoven's "Egmont Overture" and music by another German composer, Gustav Mahler.
The orchestra starts its tour with rehearsals in Schlitz, Germany, then goes on to perform in Hamburg — where tickets are already sold out.
Find out more about MYO events here.