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'Let's make Global Citizen goals extend beyond the festival'

On Saturday, over 300 Soweto residents were joined by Mayor Herman Mashaba in Pimville, Soweto, to clean up the area.

From painting to cleaning around communities, several South Africans are participating in acts of kindness as part of the Global Citizen: Mandela 100 event. Picture: Winnie Theletsane/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Since the announcement of the Global Citizen Festival in July, South Africa and the world at large has witnessed more kindness on a daily basis.

In Johannesburg alone, over 8,000 bags of litter across seven regions have been collected in three months ahead of the Global Citizen: Mandela 100 on 2 December.

The event will be held at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg and the stage will be graced by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Daily Show host Trevor Noah, South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha, Rwandan President Paul Kagama and President of World Bank Jim Yong Kim and other global leaders.

On Saturday, over 300 Soweto residents were joined by Mayor Herman Mashaba in Pimville, Soweto, to clean up the area.

Mashaba says: "I think for us as the City of Johannesburg, we really feel special to be working with Global Citizen in promoting environmental awareness. This will serve as an encouragement to our people to work together in taking care of our society. At the end, it's about what we can do for our city and our country."

Joining the mayor and the residents in getting their hands dirty was founder and chief executive officer of Global Citizen Hugh Evans.

He says the youth play a vital role in ensuring that Global Citizen goals are achieved beyond the festival.

"At the heart of the Global Citizen is that you have to take action to enter the festival, you have to work your way in. We not only want to make sure that the city is clean, but that the youth comes out to participate. Across seven regions today, there are hundreds of young people who are taking action in support of this movement."

In case you thought people were only taking action to see Anele Mdoda, Jay Z, Pharrell Williams and Sho Madjozi at the festival, Evans says the aim is to get people in the habit of doing good.

"We are one of the largest youth movement in the world taking action to end extreme poverty by 2030. We really want to encourage the youth and people around the world to become part of this movement. Our data suggests that once people get in the habit of taking action, they take more action without any promised reward."

The clean-up event in Soweto also saw 12 individuals winning double tickets to the festival and among them is HIV/Aids counsellor Nelson Sithebe.

"We tested over 50 people today alone, which is very encouraging and it proves that our people are serious about knowing their status," Sithebe added.

Among Global Citizen's goals is ensuring healthy lives, ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.

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