By Destiny Griffin
Special to Niagara Frontier Publications
On Monday, Hugh Evans, the CEO of the Global Citizens Organization, took to the 947-AM breakfast show to talk about the upcoming and highly anticipated Global Citizens Festival. He announced Oprah Winfrey is going to be the keynote speaker for the event. He also confirmed she will announce a surprise during the celebration of Mandela's centennial year.
The Global Citizens Festival: Mándela 100 will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa at 7a.m. Sunday, Dec 2 and will celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela in the year that he would have turned 100.
This event is meant to top off the organization's "Be the Generation" campaign, which was inspired by Mandela and his legacy of working to end extreme poverty. The Global Citizens Organization is working in effort to continue his legacy. It's campaign focuses on achieving six of the organizations 20 major global goals, which include ending poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation and life below water.
Joining the stage over four days will be South African comedian, political commentator, television host and producer Trevor Noah. Singer, songwriter, producer and actress Beyoncé Knowles-Carter will headline the event, along with husband, entrepreneur and acclaimed rapper Jay Z. Musical artists Ed Sheeran, Tiwa Savage, Cassper Nyovest are also on the list of headliners for the event and will be joined by even more musical performances from Chris Martin, Pharrell Williams, Usher, D'banj and Wizkid.
"I think it's admirable and important to see artists and celebrities coming together to support something as meaningful as this event, especially in its recognizing of someone who's life was as impactful and important as Nelson Mandela. It's important for me to see artists that I like and look up to doing things for the community and giving back in ways like this," said college student Deja G.
Appearances from entertainers Tyler Perry, Dave Chappelle and Naomi Campbell have also been noted.
This festival will mark Beyoncé and Jay Z's first big performance since the end of their "On The Run II" tour back in October. The couple's "On The Run II" tour was a raging success
as it earned over $253.5 million in ticket sales from 48 shows. Starting in Cardiff, Wales, the couple performed 18 shows in Europe with an earnings of $11 million in just two nights at London Stadium. Picking up with 30 shows in North America, the couple earned the most money performing for two nights in Atlanta at the Mercedes Benz stadium with a gross of $14.1 million in ticket sales.
The tour was a sequel to the couple's first joint tour, "On The Run," back in 2014, which made over $109.6 million with 980,000 tickets sold and was named the top R&B/hip-hop tour of that year. This year's tour had a 132 percent increase from the original tour gross. The couple also used this European leg of this tour to memorably announce the release of their joint album, "Everything Is Love." After the release of Beyoncé's "Lemonade" album in 2016 and Jay Z's "4:44" album in the summer of 2017, both of which touched upon infidelity in their marriage, this year's joint album was long awaited by fans.
Over a dozen celebrities attended the couple's tour this year, including Mariah Carey, Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Kris and Kylie Jenner, Travis Scott, Dakota Johnson, Zoe Saldana, Smokey Robinson and Oprah Winfrey.
While headlining the Global Citizens Festival is the couple's first big performance since the end of the tour, it will be Beyoncé's first major solo performance since she headlined Coachella back in April.
"I can expect out of Beyoncé what Beyoncé expects out of Beyoncé, as far as this performance goes, I feel like she has a lot riding on her," said Joy Mechell, who runs a Beyoncé fan page
on Instagram. "Coachella was legendary for many reasons, but the goals for these two shows are completely different. I know that, whatever the outcome is, it will be up to her standards, well calculated, beautifully transitioned, and performed with every drop of energy in her body and then some. Because this is a charity show, I'm expecting her to do a smaller set, something a bit more intimate instead of flashy, but past Global Citizens Festival performances have been a mixture of both softer acoustic version of her music and hyped up hood remixes. With the way her mind works, she's probably pre-planned this while she was preparing Coachella and changed as necessary. All I know is that it will be spectacular and something that will be talked about for months, even years to follow."
Coachella was an important performance for Beyoncé as she was set to perform at the 2017 festival, but had to postpone due to her pregnancy. Her performance at the festival was important as it was her long-awaited return to the stage after giving birth, and the first performance at Coachella to be headlined by a woman of color.
"Thank you for allowing me to be the first black woman to headline Coachella" Beyoncé said during the show. She continued on to thank all the woman before her who helped open up the doors for her to be able to perform at such an event.
Beyoncé took to her website earlier to pay tribute to Mandela. She wrote, "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 activists, a charismatic and well-lived leader. Your vision for dignity, for human rights, for peace and a South Africa free of racism and apartheid, allow us all to turn dreams into a reality. As we celebrate the Global Citizens Festival: Mándela 100, honoring your centennial year, I promise you that your sacrifices were not in vain. I will cherish every moment spent in your presence and use the lessons learned from you as fuel to stir positive ideas and solutions."
The Global Citizens Organization's performers all give their time and energy toward the organization's efforts for free, allowing the organization to hold festivals and give free tickets to global citizens through partnerships that pay for costs that relate to the performances.
This year, the organization has formed a partnership with the House of Mandela, the organization started by the leader's family to help maintain Mandela's legacy and name. The House of Mandela will be a part of honoring Mandela and working to achieve his goal and to honor his legacy of ending extreme poverty.
Find tickets for the Global Citizens Festival: Mándela 100 HERE
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