Founded in 2012 by Ryan Gall and Chris Evans, the Global Citizen Festival, an annual music festival, has become a source of hope and restoration to millions across the world. Now many look forward to the festival every year.
The year’s festival, scheduled for South Africa, was no different. The wind of anticipation swept the world. It was most prominent, this wind of anticipation, in South Africa. It should be, for the country has been yearning to see Beyoncé, aka Queen Bey, for a long time. She came (her first visit), she saw, and she wowed the nation.
The Global Citizen Festival was held in Soweto, a prominent township. The lineup of artistes for this year’s festival are Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Ed Sheera, Cassper Nyovest, Sho Madjozi, Black Coffee, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Usher, among others.
The festival was what it was: heart-stopping. Many would gladly tell you Mzansi went into a lockdown. Or almost. Even before the festival was scheduled to open, people had begun to throng the venue. But entry for some wasn’t exactly easy.
The queue was long and some only managed to gain entrance after several artistes had performed. A Twitter user going by the handle @ompslets complained bitterly in a tweet: “@GlblCtzn You made us fools! We paid a lot of money for this tickets. We didn’t just win them! This queue is ridiculous! We missing lots of artists that we came here for! Rubbish! Rubbish! Fix this shit! #GlobalCitizens #GlobalCitizenFestivalSA”
Maybe so. But what many never deny is that the performance that day was superlative. Black Coffee? The star disc jockey, who is busy promoting South African music everywhere, made it to the lineup just days before the event. But he showed in his performance that he is as good as freshly brewed coffee.
If you think “Tito Mboweni” hitmaker Cassper Nyovest would be too tired to give a dope performance after his #FillUp of December 1, you are thoroughly mistaken, as the muso, who recently released his “Sweet and Short” album, got much of the audience singing along with him. It was simply beautiful.
Nigeria’s Wizkid was equally exciting to watch, giving the audience reasons to believe yet again that his recent crowning by Vogue Magazine as the hottest pop star in Africa was well deserved. The audience was caught in the “Starboy” fever.
Tiwa Savage, rumoured to be Wizkid’s paramour, was equally on fire on stage and it was hard not to love her performance – and her person, even if for a minute. She was really good.
But the night apparently belonged to Beyoncé and Jay-Z, the power couple. Their performance was superlative. Orgasmic. To this moment their performance is the subject of conversation in South Africa.
Beyoncé, whose dad was in South Africa in October for the South Africa Fashion Week, performed “Halo” with a South African choir and the wave of love and emotions that swept through the audience was hard to miss.
The infection of love and happiness continued as she sang “Perfect” with Ed Sheeran. What adjective does one use to describe the moment or even the emotion generated by their performance? Pick one. I am lost for choice.
Jay-Z has always been a winner. And he won the audience effortlessly with his performance. Like Beyoncé, he drove many to tears with his performance. It is not for nothing that he is recognized as a global superstar. He has earned his stripes.
There are certainly not enough words to describe the experience that was Global Citizen Festival (South Africa) 2018. From appearances to the dances, duets, costumes… everything seems dope.
Many wished the festival would last forever. But that was one wish circumstances and the heavens were reluctant to honour. The show ended and the audience began to disperse.
There were incidents of car heists, muggings, even of rape, and many criticized the organizers for poor security. But everyone will still tell you one thing: The Global Citizen Festival South Africa was wow.
Well, what do you think? You may as well join the conversation by dropping your thoughts in the comment section.