The concert was the culmination of a series of events organised for the centenary of the birth, on July 18, 1918, Nelson Mandela, historical figure of the struggle against apartheid. It was also in the context of a campaign intended to eradicate poverty and child malnutrition and to improve equality between the sexes. Beyoncé has interpreted several of its key titles, and has also sung in duet with Ed Sheeran at the stadium of Johannesburg, which can hold 94,736 people.

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thousands of fans, many of whom had obtained free tickets as a reward for their militant engagement, visited the stadium several hours before the start of the concert. In addition to a bevy of world stars, in which was also included Chris Martin of the group Coldplay, the president of south africa Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed his counterparts, Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana), Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone).

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“Do not think that it is just a music festival, it is an appeal to the hearts and minds of humanity around the world”

Ndaba Mandela, grandson of Nelson Mandela

Pharell Williams received an enthusiastic reception for his interpretation of Get Lucky , many spectators waving their phones and dancing with exuberance. The crowd also reacted with emotion when Beyoncé, wearing a pink dress and red, has paid tribute to Nelson Mandela and sang one of its key titles, XO .

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“I loved the performance of D’banj, and of course, Queen B and Jay-Z, although it was short,” responded Nokthula Khuzwayo, spectator of 23 years. “I am very happy to see Beyoncé and this group of well-known artists come to South Africa to perform on stage. It is nice to see this beautiful reminder of the values of Mandela,” said another spectator, Ano Shonhiwa. The stars of south african Trevor Noah and Bonang Matheba are also produced on the stage while the crowd bravait the rain to attend the concert.

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earlier Sunday, Graça Machel, widow of Mandela, paid tribute to him on stage. And his grandson Ndaba has thrown out to the spectators, about the concert: “Do not think that it is just a music festival, it is an appeal to the hearts and minds of humanity around the world”. Before the kick-off of the concert, the famous tv host and business woman american Oprah Winfrey, who co-hosts the event, had praised the “kindness and integrity” of Mandela, describing him as his “mentor preferred”.

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Hero of the struggle against apartheid, Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990 after twenty-seven years of detention. The latest racist laws are abolished and a democratic transition committed. In 1994, his party, the african national Congress, won the first non-racial elections, and Mandela became the first black president of South Africa. His death, in December 2013, sparked a wave of emotion planetary.