Efforts to overcome extreme poverty came with a slew of superstar performances at the inaugural Global Citizen Festival in South Africa. But the night’s most anticipated appearance came from Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who brought their On the Run II show to Johannesburg while paying tribute to Nelson “Mandiba” Mandela.
The couple took the stage shortly after Oprah delivered a powerful keynote address recognizing the legacy of the late South African president and anti-apartheid leader. After the crowd impatiently chanted “Beyoncé” for several minutes, the couple emerged in stunning new costumes and opened with a soul-stirring rendition of Jay-Z’s hit song, “Holy Grail.
— OneTribeMag™ (@OneTribeMag) December 2, 2018
While the duo changed into new costumes, a montage of videos from Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s trip to Jamaica earlier this year plus footage of Mandela and Jay-Z’s trip to Angola and South Africa in 2006 played in the background. The parents to six-year-old Blue Ivy and one-year-old twins Rumi and Sir returned to the stage to perform “Apeshit” from their joint album before bringing out surprise guests Pharrell Williams, who joined Jay-Z to rap his verse on “Nice” from Everything Is Love, and Ed Sheeran, who performed “Perfect Duet” alongside Beyoncé. Bey also brought out the Tofo Tofo Dance Group, the three Mozambican men who helped choreograph her “Run The World” video.
Beyoncé… it’s not even fair… pic.twitter.com/P40kyFJphT
— Vince Valholla (@VinceValholla) December 2, 2018
Held at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg, the Global Citizen Festival aims to raise money to end extreme poverty by 2030. The latest edition in South Africa commemorated what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday by encouraging a new generation to follow in his footsteps and campaign for change.
Prior to the event, Beyoncé honored Mandela, who died in 2013, on her website.
“I first met you in 2004 at the 46664 AIDS Benefit Concert in Cape Town, and the impact you have had on my life resonates with me today and every day,” she wrote in the letter. “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.”
Beyoncé continued: “It is an honor for me to travel to South Africa this week in celebration of you and your efforts to right so many wrongs. You were a strategic warrior, a bold activist, and charismatic and well-loved leader. Your vision for dignity, for human rights, for peace and a South Africa free of racism and apartheid, allows us all to turn dreams into reality.”
From The Oprah Magazine