It's been 100 years since Nelson Mandela was born into this world, and in honor of the revolutionary South African political leader, thousands gathered at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg for the country's very first Global Citizen Festival. And the lineup was nothing short of amazing. Not only did Bey and Jay bring the house down, but artists like Pharrell Williams, Usher, Ed Sheeran, Black Coffee, and Kacey Musgraves also took stage to pay tribute to the first black head of state.
The event was hosted by South African comedian and "Daily Show" star Trevor Noah, and co-hosted by iconic personalities such as Naomi Campbell, Gayle King, and Dave Chappelle. And Oprah herself attended the event, and gave a speech about Mandela's legacy.
"For me to to have had a seat at this man's table—to break bread and linger over conversation, and laugh and listen and actually bear witness to his nobility, to his humility, to his tenderness...to his wit and his courage—was one of the greatest honors of my life," Oprah said. "His legacy continues to live, and tonight it speaks to us—urges each one of us to become a global citizen forging a more equitable and secure world for all people. We can use this global citizen platform to fuel a movement of individual acts of grace and heroism and humanity, just as Madiba wanted."
And while Michelle Obama was not physically present at the event, she sent a video message about how people can continue Mandela's legacy of empowering women everywhere. "A few years ago, I had the privilege of meeting Nelson Mandela at his home in Johannesburg, and although we just spent a few moments together, the memory still stays with me," the former first lady said. "I left that visit thinking about the strength of his commitment and the clarity of his understanding that for real change to bloom, we first have to plant some seeds."
Even Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tuned into the program, and was able to make a generous contribution on behalf of Canada, pledging $50 million to Education Cannot Wait, "the first global fund for education in emergencies & protracted crises." Trudeau, who was not present at the event physically, tweeted he wanted to do this "to support education for women & girls around the world."
Hey @Trevornoah - thanks for everything you’re doing to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s legacy at the @GlblCtzn festival. Sorry I can’t be with you - but how about Canada pledges $50M to @EduCannotWait to support education for women & girls around the world? Work for you? Let’s do it.