Joy, tears and crime: What we loved and hated about the Global Citizen Festival

What an epic night. 

By  | Jun 22, 2020, 01:44 PM  | Drama

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Joy, tears and crime: What we loved and hated about the Global Citizen Festival

The Global Citizen festival was everything you could imagine and more. 

On Sunday, I attended the Global Citizen Festival, which was one of the most anticipated music events of the year. The show, which kicked off at 14:00 at FNB Stadium in Soweto, Johannesburg, was nothing short of amazing. Imagine seeing some of your favourite artists all on one stage! 

Although I saw some of my faves at the show, not everything was a hit. 

Lives put at risk 

If you were following all things Global Citizen, you would have seen that they asked people to get to the stadium early. So, as an excited fan, who was about to see her favourite artist of all time, I made sure that I was there early. However, nothing could have prepared me for those very long queues. Don't get me wrong, I know that standing in long lines is a guarantee, especially when it comes huge music events. 

This, however, was not normal. I asked a Metro Police Officer how I could get inside the stadium, and was told to that there was only one way - everyone who attended the concert had to stand in one long line, because other entrances were closed. The Metro Police Officer, who was as shocked as I was, told me that this didn't sit well with her because people's lives were in danger. She said it looked like the VIPs' lives were seen as more valuable than ordinary people's lives, and that wasn't great. Anyway, after enduring the heat and standing there for quite a while, I eventually managed to get inside. 

The performances 

My excitement was still there when I got inside the stadium and I couldn't wait to see the acts, especially my favouorite. The show kicked off with performance by the legendary Soweto Gospel Choir. We also got to see Wizkid, who performed some of his hit tracks. There was also an Usher and Black Coffee collaboration, which very interesting. 

Sho Madjozi was definitely a highlight for me. This lady knows how to rock a stage. I also loved and enjoyed Pharrell Williams' set. My goodness, what a great performer. Although I'm not really an Ed Sheeren fan and I'm only familiar with a few of his songs, I really enjoyed him as a performer. Imagine performing alone, with no dancers or band, just you and your guitar! 

Casssper Nyovest also had the crowd eating our of the palm of his hands. He sang some of his hit tracks including Malome, Doc Shebeleza and Monate Mpolaye. Oh, he also collaborated with Chris Martin and Stormzy, and brought out the Mahotela Queens. 

Beyoncé and Jay Z

This was, of course, the highlight of my evening. I had been waiting for this moment for years and couldn't believe that it was actually happening. People even cried when they saw her for the first time. I don't blame them, though.  You know she's one of the biggest artists in the world so I wouldn't expected anything less from fans. 

It was so good to see Mrs Carter on stage, and I was in awe of her talent. She sure knows how to entertain. She even brought out a South African Choir for her Halo performance. Now that was epic. And yes, she and Jay Z performed some of their collabos including songs from their Everything is Love album, Dangerously in Love and Bonnie and Clyde. They closed it off with Forever Young and honestly, I couldn't have imaged a better ending. 

And then there was crime 

No one could have prepared fans for the mess that took place after the show ended. Imagine watching an epic one in a lifetime music festival and experiencing crime soon after. Sadly, as much as these events are for fun and celebration, others see them as an opportunity for crime. 

Although I didn't experience anything negative after the show - unless you count being stuck in traffic for two hours just outside the stadium - a lot of people were unfortunately not as lucky. So many people got robbed after the show, and this is no laughing matter. 

For such a big show, you'd expect tight security. But no, there was no such a thing and many people were crime victims. Besides all the drama at the end, this was a great initiative and a lot of people's lives are going to change for the better. The late president Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 100 years old this year, was honoured in a beautiful and memorable way. Although Tata is no longer with us, his legacy lives on. 

Through the festival, a lot of financial pledges were made and will go towards important causes. 

Main Image Credit: Raven Varona/Parkwood/PictureGroup

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