How to overcome decades of conflict through music


The Miagi Orchestra is a South African orchestra dedicated to helping the nation overcome decades of violence, conflict and division through the power of music.

The film follows two of its musicians: Tsepo Pooe, who grew up in Soweto Township; and Lize Schaap, who grew up in wealthy Pretoria. Through their eyes, and differing experiences of growing up in South Africa, we understand the enormous impact apartheid continues to have, but also see hope for a brighter future for the country.

"I honestly believe that music can bring people together. Music is a universal language."

Photo: screenshot from film An Unfinished Symphony

The Miagi Orchestra’s mission is inspired by the work and legacy of Nelson Mandela, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Nelson Mandela was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with Frederik Willem de Klerk, for his work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.


The refrain of “Free Nelson Mandela!” resounded among opponents of South Africa’s system of racial segregation while Africa’s foremost champion of freedom was imprisoned. Son of a village chief, the black lawyer Nelson Mandela was interned from 1962 until 1990 for leading the African National Congress (ANC) liberation movement in its armed struggle against apartheid.

Photo from the Nobel Foundation archive.

In prison Mandela became a unifying figure for the oppressed peoples of South Africa. Unwaveringly he pursued the goal of liberty for all until the white racist regime released him and agreed to negotiate. Nelson Mandela shared the Peace Prize with the man who had ordered his release, President Frederik Willem de Klerk. These former adversaries now agreed on a peaceful transition to a system of majority rule. From 1994 to 1999 Mandela was president of South Africa.

South Africa continues to fight high unemployment and crime rates, and millions of South Africans are infected with HIV. The gap between rich and poor persists, the whites control the economy, and demands for land reform have not been met.

All media inquiries about this collaboration/films, or to the Nobel Foundation, Nobel Media and Nobel Prize Museum, please contact: