MIAGI Sweden Foundation

October 2015

10 November 2014, at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm

Sweden and South Africa - Sweden's role during 'The Struggle


Photo/above by Catherine Schenck: Summer Stockholm by night

Photo/right: 'Miagians' with MIAGI's guests of honour, Freedom Struggle Icons Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada and Barbara Hogan in Visby Cathedral, Gotland, Sweden



Photo: poster by MIAGI Creative Manager Ingrid Hedlund - MIAGI's musicians performed at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on 4 July 2014, celebrating South Africa's 20 Years of Democracy.

The Music is a great Investment - MIAGI Sweden Foundation is a result of a partner driven cooperation project between MIAGI South Africa and two major educational institutions in Stockholm, Lilla Akademien and Fryshuset. This project was funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria through the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency - Sida.

Photo by Catherine Schenck: 'Miagians', members of MIAGI Youth & 'New Skool' Orchestra, dancing and playing at Donners plats, Visby, island of Gotland, Sweden.

Between 1 and 9 July 2014 MIAGI visited Sweden. The visit formed part of the MIAGI Tour of Europe ‘Celebrating 20 Years of Freedom South Africa 1994 – 2014’ that began with a sold out concert on 29 June at the prestigious Berliner Philharmonie in Germany.

The young artists began their Sweden visit in Visby during the Almedalen Week where they on Wednesday 2 July, 20h00, in Kongresshallen at Wisby Strand took the stage together with MIAGI's special guests of honour, Freedom Struggle icon Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada, President Mandela’s Parliamentary Councillor, confidant, Rivonia trialist and fellow Robben Island prisoner and Barbara Hogan, Ahmed Kathrada’s partner, former political prisoner and member of parliament and cabinet minister.

The MIAGI seminar with concert on the topic ’The Culture of Civil Courage ‐ What is the alternative vision to the global resurgence of racism?’ was narrated by renowned Swedish journalist Marika Griehsel.

The unique Almedalen Week in Visby on the island of Gotland in Sweden, is one of the biggest democratic forums in the world established by legendary Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.



13 MARCH 2016

Anders Paulsson’s Celebration Suite commissioned by MIAGI
at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm. ‘Reconciliation’ with Anders
and the Swedish Royal Navy Band conducted by Petter Sundkvist - Marinens Musikkår's 'Freedom Fighters' concert, 13 March 2016.

26 NOVEMBER 2015

Music is a great Investment – MIAGI, represented by MIAGI Creative Manager Ingrid Hedlund and Mikael Strandänger from MIAGI Sweden, grateful and honoured to have been invited by His Majesty the King of Sweden to participate in the Global Child Forum at the Stockholm Royal Palace on 26 November 2015.

The Global Child Forum gathered 400 influential decision-makers from business, government, civil society and academia from all corners of the world to address some of the most pressing issues around children’s rights and the corporate sustainability agenda. In addition to prominent speakers, the Forum hosted interactive panel discussions and workshops.
 By offering a multi-stakeholder platform for global dialogue, knowledge and cross-sectors cooperation, Global Child Forum encourages action to strengthen children’s rights as part of the sustainability agenda, particularly of multi-national corporations and financial institutions.

Global Child Forum was founded by their Majesties the King and Queen of Sweden in 2009. The Global Child Forum 2015 was the fifth Forum at the Royal Palace in Stockholm. The Forum has also been held regionally in Dubai and Pretoria




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10 NOVEMBER 2014



MIAGI's 'Celebration Suite', composed by world renowned saxophonist star and composer Anders Paulsson to celebrate 20 Years of Freedom, South Africa within MIAGI's partner driven cooperation project funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria through Sida was on 10 November 2014 heard in an arrangement for symphonic wind orchestra at an event at the Royal Palace in Stockholm, arranged by His Majesty King Carl XVI Gustaf and marking 200 years of Peace in Sweden.



Article / report from MIAGI's seminar on July 2 2014 at the 'Almedalen Week', Visby Gotland with special guest of honour, Freedom Struggle icon Ahmed “Kathy” Kathrada. The 'Alemdalen Week' political festival and one of the biggest democratic forums in the world was founded by legendary Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme.

By Amy Goodman from Democracy Now, New York - Daily Independent Global News Hour:

Ahmed Kathrada interviewed on Swedish Radio, P1, during the 'Almedalen Week' 2014.

"One of Our Greatest Friends": Mandela’s Cellmate Thanks Sweden for Helping Anti-Apartheid Struggle

While the United States considered the African National Congress a terrorist organization, the Swedish government openly funded the group for decades. According to many accounts, Sweden was the largest single source of financial aid to the ANC. Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister, was assassinated in 1986 just a week after he gave a keynote speech at the Swedish People’s Parliament Against Apartheid in Stockholm. Rumors have swirled for years about the South African government’s involvement in his killing. Shortly after he was released in 1990, Nelson Mandela came to Sweden on one of his first foreign stops after being released from prison. During an address to the Swedish Parliament, Mandela thanked Sweden for standing in the "front ranks of the international forces that have fought against the apartheid system." On Wednesday night, one of Mandela’s closest associates, Ahmed Kathrada, spoke at an event organized by MIAGI (Music Is A Great Investment) in the Swedish town of Visby, which is hosting the week-long political festival Almedalen Week. Kathrada spent 26 years in prison, including 18 years on Robben Island.


"I remember Mandela's words during our trial—sorry. He ended with the words, "I have struggled all my life for a nonracial, nonsexist South Africa. It is an ideal which I hope to achieve. But if need be, it’s an ideal for which I’m prepared to die." That was his—in a part of his address to the court. And throughout the trial, the expectation was a death sentence. But in the face of the death sentence, this is how the trial was conducted under the leadership of Mr. Mandela—an ideal for which he was prepared to die.

Our whole struggle was for a nonracial, nonsexist, democratic South Africa. In pursuance of our goals, people of all communities paid the supreme sacrifice. It may not be known, but just to mention a couple of names, we had a person by the name of Ruth Slovo. She went into exile and assumed the position of a professor at the University of Maputo. She received a package from the United Nations. Unknown to her, the passage—the package, rather, went through the South African police. And the South African police planted something in that package. And when Ruth opened that package, it was a bomb. And as she opened it, the bomb exploded, and she died. Now, that was one of many who paid the supreme sacrifice in the struggle for our democracy—people of all communities. I can talk of Dulcie Hartwell—I mean, Dulcie September, rather, who was an ANC representative in Paris. She was assassinated in Paris. There’s Saloojee, there’s Timol, who were thrown off the buildings of police headquarters and killed.

Ours was historically a struggle for a nonracial, nonsexist, democratic South Africa. That is what sent many people to prison, and that is, for many, many of our colleagues lost their lives and were not alive to see the birth of democracy in our country. So we are 20 years old as a nonracial, nonsexist, democratic South Africa, but we have made quite important strides. Every university in our country is mixed now. Almost every university director is black. And one can go on and on to talk of the progress that has been made towards a nonracial society.

But coming here tonight, it’s a great honor to be here because, throughout our struggle, one of our greatest friends were the people of Sweden. They supported us throughout our struggle, whereas other Western countries, many of them, connived with apartheid, connived with the apartheid government. But Sweden, in particular, and other Scandinavian countries stood by us. When our president at that time, Oliver Tambo, got a stroke, it was in Sweden that he was hospitalized. It was in Sweden that he regained his health and was in a position to return to a free South Africa. So I want to once again take the opportunity to thank the people of Sweden for being such close friends of our struggle. We are seeing the fruits of that every day of our lives."

This historic picture of an emotional encounter soon travelled the world - After nearly three decades of separation, it was in Stockholm that Oliver Tambo in February 1990 received Walter Sisulu and the other freed Rivonia trialists, among them Ahmed "Kathy" Kathrada. And it was at the Haga Castle outside the Swedish capital that he in March 1990 at last was re-united with his old comrade Nelson Mandela.



A MIAGI SWEDEN PROJECT – a musical intervention to enhance social and ethnic integration, further individual wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of societies as a whole

We want to contribute to social and ethnic integration and upliftment of people in Sweden and South Africa through music. We see similar ethnic integration challenges in the two countries, and we are convinced that music can unite as well as build bridges. This is the experience and outcome of MIAGI’s work in South Africa.

We will explore and celebrate the folk traditions in the two countries by going back to the roots of music styles. In Sweden we will be drawing from the Sami music tradition, the many rich folk music traditions and from the vast array of various immigrant traditions that are now expressing themselves in Sweden.

In South Africa there is a wealth of multi-cultural music all the way from the ancient shamanistic/ tribal, indigenous music traditions, to the vast array of eclectic forms that have emerged out of South Africa’s dynamic history, as well as the explosion of urban music styles.

We will encourage the participants to add and mix their musical experiences and styles within these traditions.

We target a broad spectrum of people from all walks of life, ordinary people of all ages simply interested in music, to young professionals, composers as well as performers.