Excitement in South Africa continues to grow as the date for the Mandela 100 Global Citizen festival draws closer. The concert, which is just four days away, will take place at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg to commemorate the anti-apartheid activist and former President’s life and achievements.
The ‘Queen Bee’ and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, are scheduled to perform at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 concert this Sunday, alongside the likes of Ed Sheeran, Cassper Nyovest, D’Banj, Femi Kuti, Pharrell, Sho Madjozi, Tiwa Savage, Usher and a few more.
In the lead up to the event, Beyoncé recently shared a letter on her website to late anti-Apartheid struggle hero and former South African president Nelson Mandela. In the letter, the star recalls meeting Madiba for the first time in 2004 and visiting his cell in Robben Island where he and other struggle heroes were imprisoned by the apartheid government.
In the touching tribute entitled “Dear Madiba” she recounts first meeting Mandela in 2004.
“I first met you in 2004 for the 46664 AIDS Benefit Concert in Cape Town,” the heartfelt letter reads, “and the impact you have had on my life resonates with me today and every day. Your kindness and gratitude for every experience, and your ability to forgive are lessons I have learned and will pass on to my three children. My entire family holds you in high regard.”
The American artist hailed him as a strategic warrior, a bold activist and charismatic and well-loved leader, also acknowledging the impact the life of Madiba has had on her.
“You made it possible for so many people like me to reject impossibilities and understand our capabilities in making lasting change in the world,” Beyoncé continues. “The smallest efforts could change the trajectory for so many living in extreme poverty, facing injustices, the indecency of racism and fighting for their rights as humans.
“As we celebrate the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, honouring your centennial year, I promise you that we have made your dreams our own. Your work and your sacrifices were not in vain. I will cherish every moment shared in your presence and use the lessons learned from you as fuel to stir positive ideas and solutions.”
In July, the Nelson Mandela Foundation invited former American president Barack Obama for its 16th annual Nelson Mandela Lecture this year, to mark what would have been Madiba’s 100th birthday.