Beyonce is heading to South Africa to celebrate the life of late revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela at the Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg.
In a letter published in South Africa’s Sowetan, the singer writes about meeting Mandela and the effect he had on her and so many people around the world.
“I first met you in 2004 for the 46664 AIDS Benefit Concert in Cape Town, and the impact you have had on my life resonates with me today and every day,” Beyonce writes. “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.
“I remember taking that walk with you back to the prison on Robben Island where you spent 18 of those imprisoned 27 years. I recall your measured but focused steps in as you recounted the stories of the struggles, the sacrifices and your resilience. You smiled as you talked to a crowd of artists and their guests, including my mother, who first told my sister and me about the great Nelson Mandela. In that moment I truly understood your heart and humility.
“As we celebrate the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, honoring your centennial year, I promise you that we have made your dreams our own,” Beyonce continues. “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.”
The Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, celebrating what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday, will be held Dec 2.
Performers at the event include Beyonce and Jay-Z, Kacey Musgraves, Pharrell Williams, Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Usher, and many more.
Trevor Noah will host the festival, with Naomi Campbell, Dave Chappelle, Danai Gurira, Sir Bob Geldof, Gayle King, Bonang Matheba, Nomzamo Mbatha, Tyler Perry and Forest Whitaker as co-hosts.