As Beyoncé prepares to perform in South Africa this weekend for the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, she penned a tribute letter to the late Nelson “Madiba” Mandela.
Beyonce’s letter, entitled “Dear Madiba,” recounts the time when the “Lemonade” singer first met the former South African president.
“I first met you in 2004 at the 46664 AIDS Benefit Concert in Cape Town, and the impact you have had on my life resonates with me today and every day,” she wrote in the letter posted on her website. “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. My entire family holds you in high regard.”
The festival, aimed at ending poverty by 2030, will be headlined by Beyonce and includes other big names like Jay-Z, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams, Femi Kuti, Gayle King and Usher.
The festival is set to take place on Dec. 2 in Johannesburg.
“It is an honor for me to travel to South Africa this week in celebration of you and your efforts to right so many wrongs,” Bey continued in her letter. “You were a strategic warrior, a bold activist, and charismatic and well-loved 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.”
She continued, “As we celebrate the Global Citizens Festival: Mandela 100, honoring your centennial year, I promise you that we have made your dreams our own. 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.”
You can read the full letter on her website.