South Africa threw her late iconic president and anti-apartheid hero, Nelson Mandela- who would have turned 100 this year- a superb birthday at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg city in the form of Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100. Among the A-list attendees included a contingent of heads of state, dignitaries, a group of the world’s most talented celebrities and influencers, and thousands of global citizens.
A poignant series of drawings by Nelson Mandela, called the struggle series, served as an inspiration for the festival. The drawings of Mandela’s hands represent not only the story of his life but also the story of his country. They depict his hands in five positions representing: struggle, imprisonment, freedom, unity and the future. They also depict the motivation behind actions that Global Citizens have been taking this year to see the end to extreme poverty in our lifetime.
Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 set a historic stage for not only donor countries but also for African countries standing up for his hope for the future, making sure that Africa was standing up and getting its voice heard.
Global Citizen surpassed its goal for commitments of USD $1 billion by seven times, with commitments from the World Bank, Vodacom, PEPFAR, Cisco, the government of South Africa and not to mention co-hosts of Mandela 100, the Motsepe Foundation. These donations alone added $5.4 billion on top of projected new commitments.
President of Kenya, His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the thousands of Global Citizens with one firm answer:
“Today, I respond to the many global citizens who have called upon my administration to maintain its education budget above 20% of our total budget, but I want to go one step further, and this year, I pledge to you, my fellow global citizens, that in Kenya, our education budget will be closer to 30% of our total budget, making it probably the highest on the African continent.” – His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta, President, Kenya