Questionable choices on the Global Citizen Festival line-up

The cool and the not so cool will be joining Beyonce on stage in Joburg next weekend

25 November 2018 - 00:00 By precious ngwenya


Thousands of people will be at Joburg's FNB Stadium next week at one of the biggest music events our country has seen: the Global Citizen Festival.
With most of the tickets given away as rewards for charitable acts, people on Twitter spent months trying to earn their spot at the concert.
So, who will be on stage? The most notable names:
THE MEGASTARS: BEYONCÉ AND JAY Z
The Carters, who released their debut collaboration album this year, have been the biggest drawcard. Since they didn't bring their OTR II tour to SA, this is the closest many fans will get to attending it.
Bey is arguably the world's biggest performer and her hardcore fans are excited that she will be performing in SA (even if it is for a festival). Her being in the line-up could be the fuel that drove Global Citizens on Twitter to start participating with vigour in acts of goodwill.
THE RISING STAR: SHO MADJOZI
Though her debut album hasn't been released yet, Madjozi's had a killer year and Global Citizen is the cherry on the cake. The Huku hitmaker proudly represents an eclectic and cool South African sound. Sho is a "born free".
Her carefree Black Girl Magic is refreshing in a musical landscape dominated by men.
"Without the sacrifices of great South Africans like Mandela I wouldn't be able to live the life I lead today," she said in an interview.
THE AFRICAN UNION: TIWA, FEMI AND WIZKID
It is inspiring to see African artists come together for a good cause, and the timing couldn't be better considering the huge audience that Afrobeat and Nigerian pop music have garnered in SA.
Femi Kuti (son of one of the continent's greatest icons, Fela) will bring the jazzy Afrobeat and old-school sound, while Wizkid aka Starboy, Tiwa Savage and D'Banj bring the chart-topping bangers.
But in order for it to have felt truly global, the festival could have expanded the lineup beyond SA and Nigeria. Artists like Diamond Platinum, Vanessa Mdee and Ali Kiba from Tanzania could have been added to bring diversity to the lineup.
THE QUESTIONABLE CHOICES: PHARRELL WILLIAMS AND USHER
The acts in the line-up all believe in what Global Citizen is trying to achieve (unity and equality), but it feels like one name is now suddenly out of place. Initially, Pharrell Williams being in the line-up was a pleasant and predictable choice, considering that he has done charitable work in SA before.
But his latest performance in raising funds for Israel has caused a stir with fans, who are not so "happy" about that.
Another international act whose appearance on the lineup is questionable is Usher, who has allegations against him that contradict what Global Citizen stands for. The festival could have done without him.
• The Global Citizen concert takes place on December 2 at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

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