Beyoncé Delivers Masterful Performance at South African Event Honoring Nelson Mandela
Headlining the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 concert in Johannesburg on Sunday with her husband JAY-Z, Beyoncé wowed the crowd with an epic performance
Beyoncé has done it again.
In addition to performing many of the songs that fans have seen during the Carters’ On the Run II tour, Beyoncé also delivered a stunning rendition of her 2008 single “Halo” while accompanied by a local choir, the outlet reported.
The event, which honored the 100th anniversary of the birth of late South African leader Nelson Mandela also featured performances from Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Pharrell Williams, Chris Martin, Kacey Musgraves and Usher.
The festival caps off Global Citizen’s 2018 “Mandela 100” campaign, which seeks to raise $1 billion to aid in issues associated with extreme poverty, gender equality, food security, education, the environment, and global health.
In honor of the special occasion, Beyonce commissioned five outfits for the show, including one that honored each of the 54 countries in Africa.
In an interview with Vogue, designer Mary Katrantzou explained how the outfit, which featured a cape, a bodysuit and a pair of thigh-high boots came to be.
“We wanted the outfit to represent both Beyoncé’s energy and grace on stage, while celebrating the diversity of Africa,” she shared, explaining that she immediately thought of the map of Africa.
“We first mapped out the continent on her, creating a floral patchwork that was printed on a sequin base and then hand-embroidered it with Swarovski crystals,” she continued. “I worked closely with [Beyoncé’s] creative director Jenke Ahmed, who wanted it to be about Mother Africa and female empowerment.”
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Ahead of the centennial event, the South African outlet Sowetan published an open letter from Beyoncé, 37, to Mandela — who died in 2013. In the note, the Grammy-winning vocalist reflected on the time she spent with and lessons she learned from the anti-apartheid activist.
“I first met you in 2004 for the 46664 AIDS Benefit Concert in Cape Town, and the impact you have had on my life resonates with me today and every day. 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,” she wrote. “My entire family holds you in high regard. It is an honour for me to travel to South Africa this week in celebration of you and your efforts to right so many wrongs.”
“You made it possible for so many people like me to reject impossibilities and understand our capabilities in making lasting change in the world,” she continued. “I promise you that we have made your dreams our own. Your work and your sacrifices were not in vain. I will cherish every moment shared in your presence and use the lessons learned from you as fuel to stir positive ideas and solutions.”