The Global Citizen Festival is an annual music festival that started in 2012 , organized by Global Poverty Project.. The Festival is part of a movement to end extreme poverty.
According to Time, Global Citizen’s model of ticket distribution in 2017 generated 1.6 million actions in two months, equaling commitments and announcements of $3.2 billion for sustainable development and affecting 221 million people.
The festival took place on Sunday, December 2 in the FNB stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa, to celebrate the lasting legacy of Nelso Mandela for his 100th birthday.
Oprah Winphrey gave the big speech at the event, speaking on the legacy of Nelson Mandela. Towards the end of her speech, she said:
Sing your song. Sing it loud, and sing in your own voice your own way. Sing it from the space you hold right now, and you can make the kind of joyful noise that turns hope into action for someone who is not as blessed as you have been. Let me tell you, no matter what’s going down in your life, there’s always somebody out there who’s not as blessed as you have been.
If you do even one small thing every day, you’ll be building your own legacy. Because as Maya Angelou taught me: Your legacy isn’t some big grand gesture that’s waiting to happen, your legacy is every life you touch. So I’ve been fortunate to witness up close and personal that when you help someone else, your blessings return to you 10 times.
I built a school right here in South Africa to help girls become leaders of a new South Africa. Every time one of them succeeds, it is my greatest reward. Nelson Mandela was living proof that when we help others. When we free others, we are the ones who actually get liberated. When we elevate somebody, you not only get lifted, you get to soar.
To each and every one of you tonight I say: Bravo, as you have earned your ticket here by rising up and serving others. Let’s leave this great gathering allowing the music and the message of this centennial celebration to renew our commitment to genuine transformation. Let’s insist on a world where every girl, child, is protected, and every little boy feels safe. Let’s pledge ourselves to being true global citizens—and let us at long last become the change we want to see in education, in clean water, in health, in gender equality everywhere.
We’re all on this sacred earth to all get along. Can we just get along? We’re here to learn to take care of ourselves, to give a hand up to those who are all falling behind. We can and we must and we will live in a society where—as Madiba explained—overcoming poverty is not just a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice.
So pick a cause, get busy. Let’s build together, let’s learn together. Let’s leave this place locking arms together and creating a better planet in which to live!”
Other celebrities and performers at the event were Beyonce and JayZ, who were the main attraction, as well as Casper Nyovest, Chris Martin, Kacey Musgraves, Pharrell Williams, Eddie Vedder, Ed Sheeran, D’banj, Femi Kuti, Sho Madjozi, Tiwa Savage, Usher and Wizkid. Presenters include Naomi Campbell, Bob Geldof, Gayle King, Tyler Perry and Forest Whitaker. Oprah Winfrey will deliver the keynote address for the event, which serves as the culmination of Mandela 100, Global Citizen’s collaboration with the House of Mandela.