There was an air of excitement at the FNB stadium as dignitaries, celebrities and citizens came together for the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo/IOL

Johannesburg - There was an air of excitement and revelry at the FNB stadium as dignitaries, celebrities and citizens came together for the highly-anticipated Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100.

The festival is currently underway as thousands not only celebrated the centenary of late statesman Nelson Mandela but to also demand freedom and defeat poverty. 

World leaders, celebrities as well as Mandela family members took their turn addressing an almost-full stadium to urge citizens to take action on world issues. 

Hosting the festival was renowned comedian and Daily Show host Trevor Noah who joined the call to world leaders to do more to defeat poverty and to do it now. 

He also urged fans to continue taking action throughout the day, adding that so far Global Citizen had achieved 12% of its goal. 

"We need you to make your voice heard now," Noah told the excited crowd. 

Noah was joined by co-hosts Nomzamo Mbatha, Naomi Campbell, Pearl Thusi and Anele Mdoda who all introduced the various artists.

Of course, the biggest part of the festival was the performances and fans were not disappointed. Fans were treated to electrifying performances from the likes of Usher, Black Coffee, Wizkid, Sho Madjozi, Femi Kuti and Moonchild Sanelly.

The light drizzle of rain was not enough to put a damper on things as singers belted out hit after hit for the insatiable crowd.

Performances still to come include Beyoncé & Jay-Z, Cassper Nyovest, D'banj, Ed Sheeran, Eddie Vedder, Pharrell Williams & Chris Martin, Kacey Musgraves and Tiwa Savage.

The Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 is presented and hosted by The Motsepe Foundation together with Johnson & Johnson, Cisco, Nedbank, Vodacom, Coca Cola SA,  Big Concerts, Harmony, House of Mandela, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Goalkeepers,  Eldridge Industries, and Associate Partners, HP and Microsoft.

IOL