Beyonce Knowles
‘YOU cannot continue to succeed in the world or have a fulfilling life in the world unless you choose to use your life in the service, somehow to others and give back what you have been given. That’s how you keep it. That’s how you get it. That’s how you grow it,” said American talk-show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey.

Her words started ringing in my mind when the euphoria about the Global Citizen Festival Mandela 100 broke, and we were told that it will be taking place at the FNB stadium in Joburg on December 2 with a host of A-listers participating.

Immediately through this initiative, South Africans learned a bit more about philanthropy, or rather, the importance of selfless acts and caring for others.

I’m so glad the concert is taking place here because it can help us understand the importance of giving and taking care of the less fortunate.

For the next few months, poverty alleviation will be at the hearts of many people, especially the youth who will be seeking to score some points to stand a chance of being one of the 70 000 locals to attend this prestigious event.

I call it prestigious because it headlines some of the most selfless people in the world and Oprah will MC the event.

I am thrilled that in 2018, giving will go beyond Mandela Day, and that the young people of South Africa will dedicate their most precious resources beyond the 67 minutes they dedicate yearly to this day.

The most disheartening thing is this: our giving should not be justified by a festival that headlines the most prominent singers in the world, the Carters, Beyonce and Jay-Z will be here.

But boy, oh boy! For someone like me whose life is about helping the less fortunate, I am excited about the project that South Africans, especially young people, will be doing to ensure that they earn a free ticket.

Hugh Evans, the chief executive of Global Citizen, said the challenge is to “play your part in giving back to society for six months”.

It may seem a daunting task to many people who are not about poverty alleviation in the very spaces they live in.

The truth is, we don’t have a big pool of philanthropists in our country.

Nevertheless, the one principle that makes people venture into philanthropy across the globe is this: “We give, not because we have much, but have much because we give.”

I believe that’s the mantra of the Warren Buffets, the Patrice Motsepes and the Winfreys of this world.

Buffet said: “If you’re in the luckiest 1% of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99%”.

It gives me hope that perhaps every young person who becomes successful and make lots of money, might make his or her success (no matter how little or big) a vehicle for change.

From looking at Twitter and Facebook, I have seen more than 100 ways to help the poor. I haven’t seen young people scratch their brains so hard to think of better ways to help the needy.

In most cases, our excuses lead us to not act.

But Beyonce’s presence at the concert is something that is teaching us the essence of giving. It is pushing us to make the business of other people’s poverty our priority.

The posts on social media have been refreshing.

Give back to society. No matter how little you give, it is really making a huge difference in the lives of those who are on the receiving end.

Certainly, those who will play their part for this amazing experience will relate to Oprah’s words: “What I know for sure is that what you give comes back to you.”

So, beyond the eagerness of seeing Usher Raymond, Naomi Campbell, or a host of singers wowing the crowd on December 2, I am more enthusiastic about the young people in South Africa embracing what the Global Citizen Festival is all about: poverty alleviation.

Global Citizens’ actions are helping to end extreme poverty by 2030 as part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Global Citizen works across the 17 goals including Food and Nutrition, Water and Sanitation, Girls and Women, the Environment, Health and Finance and Innovation.

To stand a chance to win tickets, take action on Global Citizen’s platform (GlobalCitizen.org.za) in the Global Citizen app or social media platforms. Once you have earned enough festival points you can enter into a draw to win free tickets.

Kabelo Chabalala is the founder of the Young Men Movement (YMM), the 2018 Obama Foundation Africa Leader, and the 2018 Finland Correspondent Programme (FCP) participant. Email: [email protected]; Twitter, @KabeloJay; Facebook, Kabelo Chabalala