The letter was published in the country’s newspaper, The Sowetan. In it, Bey reflected on Mandela’s fight for freedom, the way he has inspired her over the years and their genuine friendship.
“I remember taking that walk with you back to the prison on Robben Island where you spent 18 of those imprisoned 27 years. I recall your measured but focused steps in as you recounted the stories of the struggles, the sacrifices and your resilience. You smiled as you talked to a crowd of artists and their guests, including my mother, who first told my sister and me about the great Nelson Mandela. In that moment I truly understood your heart and humility.
You made it possible for so many people like me to reject impossibilities and understand our capabilities in making lasting change in the world. The smallest efforts could change the trajectory for so many living in extreme poverty, facing injustices, the indecency of racism and fighting for their rights as humans.
As we celebrate the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, honoring your centennial year, I promise 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.”
There won’t be a dry eye in the house after reading this…