Beyonce honors the late Nelson Mandela with a powerful open letter before her performance at a festival dedicated to the former president of South Africa next month.
Singer All is Love and her husband, Jay-Z, intend to appear at the Global Citizen: Mandela 100 festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, on December 2, to mark Mandela’s legacy and the 100th anniversary of the struggle against apartheid, the birth of the leader.
In a letter entitled “Dear Madiba,” also published in the South African newspaper Sowetan, Beyonce explains how the lessons she took at the meeting with Mandela in 2004 became the guiding forces in her own life.
“Your kindness and gratitude for each experience and your ability to forgive are the lessons that I learned and pass on to my three children,” she wrote. "All my family appreciates you."
The singer first met Mandela, who died in 2013 at the age of 95, at the Cape Town AIDS Benefit Congress and joined him while visiting Robben Island, where he was imprisoned for 18 years before the fall of apartheid.
“I remember your measured but purposeful steps when you told stories about battles, sacrifices and your stamina,” she wrote about her initial impression of Mandela. "At that moment, I really understood your heart and humility."
“You have allowed so many people, like me, to give up the impossibility and understand our ability to bring about a lasting change in the world,” she continued. “The smallest efforts can change the trajectory for many people living in extreme poverty, faced with the injustice, obscenity of racism and the struggle for their rights as people.”
The singers Usher, Ed Sheeran, Kacey Musgraves, Pharell and African artists, including Wizkid, Cassper Nyovest and Femi Kuti, will join Beyoncé, and Oprah Winfrey will give a keynote address for the festival.
Beyoncé praised Mandela’s vision “for dignity, for human rights, for peace”, which not only changed the course of South African history, but also had tremendous consequences throughout the world.
“I promise you that we have made our own dreams,” she wrote.
“Your work and your sacrifices were not in vain. I will appreciate every moment shared in your presence, and use the lessons learned from you as fuel to promote positive ideas and solutions. ”
The festival is hosted by the Motosep Foundation, which aims to eradicate poverty through education and job creation.
To read Beyonce’s complete letter, go to her website.