Beyonce, Jay-Z dazzle South Africa at Mandela tribute

US TV personality Oprah Winfrey poses on the red carpet next to a banner depecting late former South African president Nelson Mandela, as she arrives to attend an event to mark 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela, at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus, in Johannesburg on November 29, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 03 December 2018
0

Beyonce, Jay-Z dazzle South Africa at Mandela tribute

  • Thousands of music fans, many of whom had received free tickets to reward their activism and campaigning work, flocked to the stadium hours before the concert began
  • The Global Citizen initiative aims to help eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and has staged events in other world cities including London, Brussels, and New York

JOHANNESBURG: Beyonce led an all-star line-up including Ed Sheeran, Jay-Z and Usher in Johannesburg at a concert to honor the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela on Sunday.
The concert was the climax of a year of events celebrating the centennial of Mandela’s birth in 1918, and part of a campaign to tackle poverty, child malnutrition and boost gender equality.
This year’s Global Citizen Festival was held at Johannesburg’s 94,736-capacity FNB staium and saw Beyonce perform several of her hits as well as a duet with Sheeran.
Thousands of music fans, many of whom had received free tickets to reward their activism and campaigning work, flocked to the stadium hours before the concert began.
“I’m proud to be part of the global citizen movement because they are trying to make a positive impact on people’s lives — especially women’s and children’s issues,” said Nokthula Khuzwayo, 23, from Soweto.
“I loved Dbanj’s performance and of course Queen B and Jay-Z, even though it was a brief one.”
As well as a constellation of global stars that also included Pharrell Williams and Coldplay’s Chris Martin, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa hosted fellow heads of state from Ghana, Rwanda and Sierra Leone.
“We are here to act in one voice,” said Ramaphosa.
Beyonce’s performance of her smash hit XO, during which she wore a flowing pink-red dress and paid tribute to Mandela, drew an outpouring of emotion from the crowd.

South African stars Trevor Noah, who was the host, and Bonang Matheba also made appearances, as the largely local crowd braved heavy downpours to attend.
Ahead of the concert co-host Oprah Winfrey hailed Mandela’s “goodness and integrity,” describing him as her “favorite mentor.”
Mandela was imprisoned for decades under South Africa’s apartheid regime. After being released in 1990, he led the country’s transformation into a multi-racial democracy and was elected its first president. He died on December 5, 2013, aged 95.
Earlier on Sunday, Mandela’s widow Graca Machel, draped in a bright yellow and blue dress, took to the stage to honor her late husband in front of the near-capacity crowd.
And Mandela’s grandson Ndaba Mandela told festival-goers: “Today it is a privilege and choice for us to take action on behalf of the hundreds of millions of people trapped in the cycle of poverty.
“So I plead with you, don’t think of this as just a music festival, this is a call to the hearts and minds of humanity all across the world.”
The Global Citizen initiative aims to help eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 and has staged events in other world cities including London, Brussels, and New York.
According to the initiative’s founder Hugh Evans, more than $2 billion have been pledged to good causes following the Johannesburg gig, beating the $1 billion goal.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted ahead of the event pledging $50 million to women’s and girl’s education projects.
Event organizers earlier paid tribute to a rigger who died following a fall while helping to prepare the stage on Saturday.
“The circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated,” Global Citizen said in a statement.


Ali called Marvel about ‘Blade’ after ‘Green Book’ win

Updated 21 July 2019
0

Ali called Marvel about ‘Blade’ after ‘Green Book’ win

  • After winning his second Academy Award for “Green Book” earlier this year, Ali set up a meeting with the superhero studio
  • Within 10 minutes, Ali asked what was happening with “Blade” and said he wanted to play him

SAN DIEGO: Mahershala Ali made the first move with Marvel Studios and “Blade.” Comic-Con audiences learned on Saturday night that Ali would be playing the Marvel Comics character in a reboot.
Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige says right after winning his second Academy Award for “Green Book” earlier this year, Ali set up a meeting with the superhero studio.
Within 10 minutes, Ali asked what was happening with “Blade” and said he wanted to play him.
Wesley Snipes played the half-vampire in three films for New Line Cinema and in a recent cameo in “What We Do in the Shadows.”
Although there were rumors that Snipes would return over the years, nothing had officially progressed with the property on the big screen since the rights reverted to Marvel Studios in 2012.