The following letter shows exactly how much someone can impact another person's life. Beyoncé wrote a letter for Nelson Mandela that was published on Wednesday by South African publication Sowetan. It's a powerful piece that also serves as insight into exactly how much the late South African leader continues to influence Beyoncé.
In the letter, Queen Bey opened up about the former president of South Africa. The singer addressed the letter, "Dear Madiba," which is a name many referred to Mandela as. According to the Nelson Mandela Foundation, "This is the name of the clan of which Mr Mandela was a member. A clan name is much more important than a surname as it refers to the ancestor from which a person is descended. Madiba was the name of a Thembu chief who ruled in the Transkei in the 18th century. It is considered very polite to use someone’s clan name."
Immediately after calling Mandela by his clan name, Beyoncé reflected on the moment she met him. She wrote,
"I first met you in 2004 for the 46664 AIDS Benefit Concert in Cape Town, and the impact you have had on my life resonates with me today and every day. 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. 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."
Her letter appropriately comes days before the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, an event held in Johannesburg on Dec. 2. celebrating Mandela's life and legacy. July 18, 2018 marked what would've been his 100th birthday. Mandela died on Dec. 5, 2013 at 95 years old.
Among many other famous faces, including JAY-Z, Ed Sheeran, Kasey Musgraves, Pharrell Williams and Chris Martin, and Usher, Beyoncé will serve as a headliner of the Global Citizen Festival. The event is hosted by Trevor Noah and will air on MSNBC on Dec. 2 from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. EST. The broadcast of the festival will be hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton and Joy Reid.
To be able to honor Mandela with a huge global concert means the world to Beyoncé. The Nobel Peace Prize winner has left an important mark on her life. As she explained in her letter,
"I remember taking that walk with you back to the prison on Robben Island where you spent 18 of those imprisoned 27 years. 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."
Like she mentioned, above is a photo of Beyoncé visiting Mandela's former cell, where he was imprisoned for 27 years for illegally leaving the country and sabotage.
Near the end of Beyoncé's letter, she wrote:
"You made it possible for so many people like me to reject impossibilities and understand our capabilities in making lasting change in the world. The smallest efforts could change the trajectory for so many living in extreme poverty, facing injustices, the indecency of racism and fighting for their rights as humans.
As we celebrate the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, honoring your centennial year, I promise you that we have made your dreams our own."
Her letter concludes:
"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."
There's no denying that Mandela has definitely impacted Beyoncé's life. By headlining the Global Citizen Festival and writing a letter about him, she continues to honor the man who has greatly influenced her in so many ways.