Global Citizen Festival South Africa

Sunday the 2nd of December saw the realisation of many a South African BeyHive members’ dream come true – yes, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter live in Johannesburg. What a day it was, an incredible line up filled with glorious performances that kept festival revellers engaged from start to finish. The festival was officially opened by Chris Martin who introduced WizKid who gave an absolutely sizzling performance (my second favourite of the day)

It was quite interesting to note the frenzy with which the festival announcement was received by South Africans, especially the bit about the tickets to attend being free…or so they thought. Global Citizen is actually a movement of engaged citizens who are using their collective voices to end poverty by 2030. The movement began in 2011 and do date, there has been over 23 million actions, which include e-mails, tweets, petition signatures and phone calls, that have been taken across the world by Global Citizens. These actions have culminated in $37,9 billion worth of commitments made that have, in turn, affected 2.25 billion people across the globe. The South African leg of the festival, has seen over R99 million raised which is set to affect the lives of over 137 million people. Now THAT is something! A party with a purpose indeed.

Back to the actual festival. Throughout the superb performances by the likes of Black Coffee, Usher and Femi Kuti, there were various world leaders and philanthropists making commitments in the name of ending poverty by 2030, some included Trevor Noah who pledged to match every dollar donated to the Trevor Noah Foundation up to R2 million, Prime Minister of Mozambique, Carlos Agostinho do Rosário committed USD $6 million to mapping river blindness and increasing coverage of elephantiasis and intestinal worms, the Nedbank CEO Mike Brown, on behalf of Nedbank pledged 5 million towards the vaccination of children through its partnership with the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund. One of the biggest pledges of the evening, came from the Motsepe Foundation, whose co-founder Patrice Motsepe announced a commitment of R3,5 billion Rands towards land reform – an absolutely huge deal for South Africa, getting the land back is looking more and more possible.

The show was obviously closed off by the Carters, who gave us a one incredible show that saw festival goers literally almost die from excitement. Before they came on though, our very own Cassper Nyovest gave a performance which I thought was the best of the evening, yes, I sincerely believe he was better than Beyoncé (I’ve had the privilege of seeing Beyoncé before and I will say it with my chest that she could have definitely given us more), who seemed rather flat. Cassper was incredible, he had every single person jumping and dancing throughout that killer performance. Even some French revellers who sat near us were asking who the incredible star is.

All in all, it was a brilliant day out, despite the horror that many suffered after the show, it gave me a great sense of pride that South Africa has the ability to put on a festival of this magnitude.