Mandela family RIFT over Beyoncé concert
OVER GLOBAL FESTIVAL
Allegations swirl as no-show by Winnie’s side of the family to associated events becomes apparent
Arift has developed between the already fractured Mandela family over today’s Global Citizen Festival, with speculation swirling over the apparent exclusion of those related to Winnie MadikizelaMandela from the event, which celebrates former president Nelson Mandela’s centenary. Sources close to the family told City Press that the rift also explains the absence of Mandela’s daughters from Thursday’s Is’thunzi Sabafazi event – one of many linked to the Global Citizen Festival – where the late statesman’s widow, Graça Machel, and US media mogul Oprah Winfrey spoke to a crowd comprising dignitaries, invited guests and ordinary South Africans.
The sources also claim that Madikizela-Mandela’s daughters will only arrive at FNB Stadium – the venue for the Global Citizen concert – today to greet superstar Beyoncé, and leave straight after that.
“On Thursday, Zindzi Mandela’s daughter, Zoleka Mandela, was supposed to be one of the speakers at the Is’thunzi Sabafazi event, which took place at the University of Johannesburg’s Soweto Campus,” said a well-placed source close to the family.
“Winnie’s family feel that when their mother died, they did not get support from Winfrey, who didn’t even bother to show up at the funeral.”
He told City Press that Madikizela-Mandela’s eldest daughter, Zenani, used to be “her daddy’s girl” and that not involving her in the planning was a “big mistake”.
Most of the Mandela family’s involvement in the Global Citizen Festival was from the descendants of Madiba and his first wife, Evelyn, with grandchildren Ndaba Mandela and Kweku Mandela Amuah taking the lead.
“It is not clear whether Zindzi and Zenani are going to attend the festival,” said another source close to the family. “If they do attend tomorrow, they are going to arrive a few minutes before Beyoncé’s performance and leave FNB Stadium immediately after that. It is really sad what they are doing to Mandela’s daughters.”
Madikizela-Mandela’s family were nowhere to be seen at the Next 100 Summit, a gathering of thought leaders which aims to find ways of continuing Mandela’s legacy over the next 100 years. Another event associated with the Global Citizen Festival, it took place at The Venue in Melrose Arch on Thursday.
Ndaba and Madiba’s eldest daughter, Makaziwe, were guest speakers at the summit.
When City Press contacted Zodwa Zwane, MadikizelaMandela’s former spokesperson and personal assistant, yesterday for comment, she said she was unaware of the allegations.
Big bucks for Bey
Meanwhile, speculation is also swirling around what it cost to bring superstar Beyoncé and her husband, Jay-Z, to the festival, with some saying she was paid more than R50 million. This, they said, excluded Jay-Z’s fee.
Beyoncé was named 2017’s highest-paid woman in the music industry, having earned $105 million (almost R1.5 billion) last year. Her 2016 Formation tour raked in a cool $256 million.
But when City Press tried to verify her fee, those in the know said it was “top secret”.
Among the executive producers of the Global Citizen Festival are mining magnate Patrice Motsepe and his wife, entrepreneur Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, whose foundation worked in partnership with the organisers.
Beyoncé’s backstage requirements are significant. Her rider includes that her dressing room be kept at exactly 25.5 degrees Celsius and that there be rose-scented candles and a chef nearby. Jay-Z wants his dressing room kept at 22 degrees Celsius and for it to contain chilled bottles of his Ace of Spades Champagne.
And if their children are joining them on tour, the rider states that a version of the twins’ 18-carat goldplated cots, complete with silk bedding and changing mats, be included, and that the children be accompanied by four nannies.
Tomorrow, FNB Stadium will be packed with Beyoncé’s fans. Jacques Grobbelaar, chief executive of Stadium Management SA, said at least 72 000 people were expected to fill the stadium, and that 25 presidents from different countries were scheduled to attend.
In addition to Beyoncé & Jay-Z, headline acts include US stars Usher, Pharrell Williams, Eddie Vedder and Kacey Musgraves; British singer Chris Martin; Nigerian musicians D’banj, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage and Femi Kuti; and local stars Black Coffee, Cassper Nyovest and Sho Madjozi.
Trevor Noah will host the event together with other big names, including Danai Gurira, Naomi Campbell, Sir Bob Geldof, Gayle King, Tyler Perry, Dave Chappelle, Bonang Matheba, Nomzamo Mbatha and Anele Mdoda.
This week, Beyoncé kept a low profile after touching down at Lanseria Airport on Thursday. Despite the hype around the singer, the media were not allowed to conduct interviews with her or ask any Beyoncé-related questions. “They are trying to protect her for security reasons; her fans are going to see her only today during her performance,” said a source.
In videos doing the rounds, Jay-Z could be seen in front carrying one of their babies, while Beyoncé held another and Blue Ivy walked with their nannies. Excited fans could be heard screaming for the shy superstar, before she was whisked away by bodyguards and a contingent of police officers.
In a letter to Madiba released ahead of her arrival, Beyoncé wrote: “It is an honour for me to travel to South Africa this week in celebration of you and your efforts to right so many wrongs. You were a strategic warrior, a bold activist, and a charismatic and wellloved leader. Your vision for dignity, for human rights, for peace and a South Africa free of racism and apartheid allows us all to turn dreams into reality.”
JUST WHAT SA FANS WANT TO SEE Power couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé perform on stage during the opener of their joint On the Run II tour at Principality Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, earlier this year