Beyonce Pens Heartwarming Letter to Late Nelson Mandela Ahead of Global Citizen Festival Performance
By Desiree Murphy
Beyoncé is paying tribute to Nelson Mandela.
In remembrance of South Africa's former president (who died at the age of 95 on Dec. 5, 2013), Beyoncé penned a personal, emotional letter to the humanitarian ahead of her performance at Sunday's Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg.
Titled "Dear Madiba" and published in South Africa's Sowetan, Beyoncé discusses the importance Mandela has played in her life after the two first met in 2004 at the 46664 Aids Benefit Concert in Cape Town.
"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," the singer writes. "My entire family holds you in high regard. 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," she continues. "I remember taking that walk with you back to the prison on Robben Island, where you spent 18 of those 27 years behind bars. I recall your measured but focused steps in as you recounted the stories of the struggles, the sacrifices and your resilience. You smiled as you talked to a crowd of artists and their guests, including my mother, who first told my sister and me about the great Nelson Mandela. In that moment I truly understood your heart and humility."
Beyoncé continues on, thanking Mandela for making it possible for "so many people like me" who want to make lasting change in the world.
"As we celebrate the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, honoring your centennial year, I promise you that we have made your dreams our own," she writes. "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."
In addition to Beyoncé, the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, hosted by Trevor Noah, will also include performances by her husband, JAY-Z, along with Kacey Musgraves, Pharrell Williams, Chris Martin, Ed Sheeran, Usher and more.