Minnesota Odes Mandela




Give thanks to Al Gore once more for gifting this nation with the precious internet. The sarcasm wouldn’t be complete without an extra special honorable mention to Google for successfully conquering and colonizing the internet’s fertile territories. Without this post-AOL/Angelfire state of the world-wide web, it is doubtful people of the diaspora would be able to maintain such close ties to The Motherland. South African Broadcasting Corporation is one such outlet that keeps us up on it like we want it. It was there we learned of Minnesota’s contribution to the 100th birthday celebration of Nelson Mandela and how music is truly America’s greatest export.

Osmo Vanska Music Director Minnesota Orchestra
Osmo Vanska, Music Director

“When they have this personal connection to music, they want to have it more,” says Osmo Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra’s Music Director. The Grammy Award winning Minnesota Orchestra is slated to give an exciting treat to South African music lovers according to SABC. As part of the official Nelson Mandela Centenary, Minnesota Orchestra will perform the first professional American Orchestra tour in the country. The seed was planted years ago when Vanska lead a youth orchestra in South Africa.

Concert tickets are on sell now at name-your-own prices starting at $5. Before you get your panties in a Brady Bunch, ain’t nobody telling you to fly to South Africa for $2000 to buy a $5 ticket… unless you’re bout that life. Otherwise, we’re going to bet Google in all it’s dominion will have us covered once the tour ends this August after Minnesota Orchestra’s Sommerfest (Yea! YouTube). After all, we may not have made it to cyberspace first and will probably not colonize actual space first if our Never President, President Stump and his Space Force has anything to do with it, but Google is as all American. Ahem we digress… with pleasure…

“This is our chance to musically honor a great leader and to share music and goodwill across international borders and right here in Minnesota. It is a unique opportunity to bring cultures together through music, and we are honored to play a role in the Nelson Mandela centenary celebration.”

-Kevin Smith, Minnesota Orchestra CEO

Minnesota’s labor of love is aptly fitting for the 100th year celebration of a South African hero of love that gave his whole heart to ending the boon of Apartheid for his people, eventually serving as South African President in the late 90s. The world-wide celebration is already in full swing and yes, much of it can be enjoyed on the world wide web! If you haven’t heard the fiery speeches from Professor Lumumba or our forever President, President Barack Obama then TBFS has no idea what you’ve been doing with your life.  #Dobetter


Goitsemang Lehobye, Soprano
Goitsemang Lehobye, Soprano


The South African tour includes concerts in Durbin, Pretoria, Soweto, and Capetown’s City Hall where Mandela gave his first speech as a free man after 27 years of imprisonment. SABC notes that Minnesota Orchestra is one of the best orchestras in the world and they will collaborate with over 20 local musicians and performers. Goitsemang Lehobye, Soprano for the orchestra is a South African proud to join Minnesota in delivering this powerful musical message for Mandela.

Now, if only this message of love could soothe the angst of the recent rape allegations at Nelson Mandela University 5 years after his transition… if only. *sigh

Hear Lehobye in the SABC story here.




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