The Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 was held this past Sunday on the 2nd of December 2018 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. The show was sold out, and to say it was packed would undeniably be an understatement. If you have a crowd-complex, then this was definitely not the event for you.
Even though we were all there to have a good time, it was quite evident that this event was a humanitarian initiative (think along the lines of the 46664 Concert). Some of the issues that were raised were concerned with:
- World hunger
- Cyber bullying
- Gender equality
Overall this historic event raised over an awe-inspiring R100,000,000,000 – that ladies and gentlemen is R100bn written out in numbers. The Motsepe family donated a colossal R3.5bn!! Was I the only one thinking, “Well damn! Kanti how much money do they have?!” But anyway, it is a great action and personally made me proud to be in the same space with such greatness. This R100bn is set to benefit more than 137million people all across Africa. Keri bona! Forget bands B, billions were dropped on that evening and all for a great cause. Most if not all issues at hand have until 2020 before we can see any real results and I, for one, hope I live long enough to see the change because darn it it’s about time!
A proper 12-12 that saw its gate open at 11 am, we were hosted by an array of masters of ceremonies which included:
- Trevor Noah
- Nomzamo Mbatha
- Bonang Matheba
- Gayle King
- Naomi Cambell
- Dave Chappelle
They all did a stellar job (naturally) at keeping us engaged and entertained, with the comedians in the bunch throwing a joke here and there (which had us in stitches… again, naturally).
Granted at first the sound was not all it was cracked out to be with a mic dying here and there, and the delay between speakers being way off for Tiwa Savage’s performance in particular. Luckily this was not an ongoing issue and it came alright for the majority of the event.
Besides Beyoncé and Hov (I’ll get to them at the end as they were on the lineup) the crowd was especially receptive to:
- Ed Shereen
- Cassper Nyovest
- Sho Madjozi
Even after it all ended, you could hear the chitter chatter of how Cassper commanded the crowd; Ed Shereen was the best performer; how Usher still has that thing; and how Sho Madjozi absolutely killed it on stage (even though she was apparently so so nervous backstage. Like huh?! What a professional because we sure didn’t even get a whiff of that).
When I tell you that this was the Carters concert, more so Beyoncé’s show – I shit you not. Yoncé did not come here to play – she came to slay – as she stepped out to thousands of adoring and chanting fans in an African inspired ensemble by Mary Katrantzou that had the 54 countries that makeup Africa on the trail of her puff-sleeved cape, paired with a leotard and thigh high boots!!
Her other exquisite custom-made outfits comprised of:
- A black and white Balmain bodysuit with feather detail on the entire length of both arms that she paired with shorts
- A couture gown in striking red fuchsia by Ashi Studio
- A Versace jumpsuit in bright yellow with safety pin details, which coordinated with her dancers who also wore the same custom-made jumpsuit in rainbow coloured shades (homage to the LGBTQ community perhaps?)
- A dress made out of 100,000 South African beads accompanied by a belted back accessory
As a proud South African, the outfit I was most proud of was the outfit by Enhle Mbali, Manual Ross Apparel and Quiteria & George. These artistic and creative beings draped Queen Beyoncé in a beautiful one of a kind piece with voluminous victorian style sleeves and crystal-like beads sewn on the bodysuit. Absolutely breathtaking and it just added that thing to the moment that was.
Jay-Z kept it simple in his suites, and custom made designer street style looks.
The Carter’s performance was world class as they performed our favourite jams (old and new) with a big band, Ed Sheeren, and The Soweto Gospel and Mzansi Youth Choir. They truly did give us their all and let us into their heart, soul and lives as they performed with captivating visuals where they shared their most personal moments with us.
The energy was electric, the mood was positive, and space was vibrating at hypersonic frequencies. For everyone who was there, it was definitely one for the books. It truly is unfortunate that all this good was overshadowed by criminal acts that ensued after the concert as people were waiting to get picked up to go home. It makes one mad and sad and is just a testament that we have a long way to go to rectify the injustices of the past.