In honor of Global Citizen’s honorable Mandela 100, which will eulogize the incredible legacy of Nelson Mandela, the late First President of South Africa, global anti-apartheid political icon and Father of the Nation, Beyoncé is reflecting on the personal moments and impact he imprinted on her own legacy as well.
Bey shared that she met him for the first time in 2004 at the 46664 Aids Benefit Concert in Cape Town, South Africa. The exchange was one Bey will forever hold near and dear to her heart as she passes the virtues she received from him down her own line of heritage. “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,” Bey wrote. “My entire family holds you in high regard.”
She added her admiration for the many roles as a “strategic warrior,” “bold activist” and “charismatic leader,” which Mandela valiantly took on during his 95 years on earth. The “Freedom” songstress tapped back into another cherished experience she had the honor of sharing with Madiba at a Robben Island prison as well. In 1962, Mandela began a lengthy incarceration sentence starting on the Table Bay region where he would spend 18 of his 27-year prison sentence.
“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.” Completing the heartfelt words with a promise to Mandela, Bey pledged to preserve these memories and use them to nourish her faith, morality and fortitude in, ultimately, making the world a better place just as Madiba exemplified throughout his life.
“As we celebrate the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, honoring your centennial year, I promise you that we have made your dreams our own,” she concluded. “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.”
*Grabs a Kleenex*
Read Beyoncé’s full “Dear Madiba” letter here.
(Photo: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)