Laughs, cheers, tears and songs at Global Citizen 2018
Written by Karan Teli
For the first time ever, the annual Global Citizen event was held outside of the US. This time, Global Citizen was brought to London, to a sold out O2 Academy Brixton. Don’t punish yourself if you’ve never heard of the organisation, as a lot of people seem to be in the unknown when it comes to Global Citizen.
To sum it up in a sentence; Global Citizen aims to rid the world of mass poverty. The aim of this particular event was to show the people of London the horrible, inhuman and treacherous condition some people are forced to live under in other parts of the world.
Global Citizen not only used the platform they had to educate the masses, they also brought many worlds and cultures together with their special guests. The event was mainly hosted by Maya Jama, although she was assisted by Ade Adepitan and Adowa Aboah throughout the night. Their were performances from a range of musical guests, including Emeli Sande, Little Simz, Kojo Funds and Professor Green to keep the crowd entertained in between moments of realism and harsh realities. Hussain Manawer performed two of his most famous poems, speaking of the realities of growing up too fast, while Luisa Omielan was booked as a comedian, but used her time on stage to tell a heartfelt and powerful story involving the NHS’s neglect to her mother’s cancer diagnosis, and how this led to her mother’s death just 7 weeks after she was finally diagnosed. For me, this was the most memorable performance and moment of the night. It is a story like this which makes you ask yourself ‘what if this were me?’
Guest speakers, ranging from President of African countries such as Ghana, Botswana and Malta, former Syrian Refugees, members of Global and Political organisations such as UNICEF were also in attendance, speaking on behalf of their countries and organisations, to discuss the improvement of overcoming mass poverty over the past few years and the steps that need to be taken to move even further forward.
Global Citizen put on an event mixed with laughs, cheers, tears and songs, but most importantly; education. The event opened my eyes even more to the struggles the world as a whole is facing with regards to mass poverty (and the lack of basic human rights to some women, which was also a frequently discussed topic) and how each individual person can make a difference. A fitting tribute was paid to Nelson Mandela throughout the night also, letting people know that it takes an entire generation to make a change.