THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM GLOBAL CITIZENS FESTIVAL 2018

The biggest, most significant festival in the world featuring the most powerful voices across various disciplines of society assembled to honor the centennial year of the late Nelson Mandela. The annual Global Citizens Festival took place last weekend at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa but this time with more oomph and enthusiasm as the people of the world united to make pacts for progress and esteem the incomparable legacy of the world’s greatest statesman, who above all things, strove for the total eclipse of Africa’s hardship and for the continued progress and unity of the world. .A poignant series of drawings by Nelson Mandela, called the Struggle Series, served as an inspiration for the festival. The drawings of Mandela’s hands and made by him represent not only the story of his life but also the story of his country. Featuring scenes from his stay on Robben Island, the art images depict his hands in five positions representing: Struggle, Imprisonment, Freedom, Unity and the Future. They also depict the motivation behind actions that Global Citizens have been taking this year to see the end to extreme poverty in our lifetime.

The Struggle Series by Nelson Mandela.

At The Global Citizens’ Initiative, it is said that a “global citizen is someone who identifies with being part of an emerging world community and whose actions contribute to building this community’s values and practices.”  Historically, human beings have always formed communities based on shared identity and it is this unique conviction that united the greatest world minds at this highly significant event. Present were Beyoncé and Jay-Z, who headlined the show, Oprah Winfrey, Naomi Campbell, Kacey Musgraves, Pharell, Usher, Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran,  Cassper Nyovest, Femi Kuti, Trevor Noah, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, D’banj, Heads of States, dignitaries, a host of the world’s most talented people and influencers and an overwhelming audience of global citizens.

Far surpassing its goal for this year’s event, seven times over, The Global Citizen Initiative received exuberant input from donor countries and attendees and a renewed commitment from Africa as represented by the prominent voices and a noteworthy address from South African President Ramaphosa. Donations alone added $5.4 billion on top of projected new commitments and urgent actions will ensue towards the eradication of Poverty, Hunger, HIV/AIDS, Tropical Diseases, Education and social issues.  The energy at this historic event was palpable and electrifying, signifying a pivotal merging of all the voices that have been individually rallying for a peace and progress, for Africa’s rise to glory and for global change. These voices and their messages were well resonated and it seems as though the continent of Africa will never go back into recline after this.

Headlining the show, Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z’s philanthropy and benevolence blessed the world with an outstanding, still-raved-about performance. Beyoncé in one of her several, exceptional wardrobe changes for the show, wore a sequined bodysuit, lacquered thigh high boots, and a Swarovski-studded cape that paid tribute to Africa’s 54 countries. Each country was mapped out in different embroidery to signify and celebrate the beauty in Africa’s diversity. Another appearance featured a colorful beaded mini dress with an elaborate back piece made with “one hundred thousand African beads”, an unmistakable ode to Africa’s beautiful heritage. Her pride in her ‘blackness’ came through. It was powerful and thoroughly inspiring.

Africa’s 54 countires mapped out in Swarovski-studded embroidery.

 

The dress made with one hundred thousand African beads.

 

 

Oprah Winfrey and Naomi Campbell each gave moving speeches. Femi Kuti was awarded for his activism and advocacy work in Nigeria and Africa. The all-star artiste cast performed exceptionally with spellbinding delivery, leaving us with a tinge of nostalgia and an unforgettable aura that still lingers. Long live Africa and God bless humanity!

Abiodun Odusola
abiodunodusola@ymail.com
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