More than 20,000 fans appeared at the free show at the Black Star Square in Accra, which was headlined by American R&B artists Usher and SZA.
The 10th edition of the Global Citizen Festival took center stage this past weekend, making its debut in Ghana in honor of the country's 65th anniversary of independence. (There was also the annual New York City show happening in Central Park.)
More than 20,000 fans appeared at the free show at the Black Star Square in Accra, which was headlined by American R&B artists Usher and SZA. The festival featured the announcement of the African Prosperity Fund, an initiative lead by Ghana and South Africa that plans on launching anti-poverty programs across the continent.
But most in attendance were mostly concerned with one thing: having a good time.
\u201cStonebwoy with the Best Entrance at the #GlobalCitizenFestival in Accra, Ghana \ud83c\uddec\ud83c\udded. GIDIGBA, we dey form #GIDIGBA \ud83d\udd25\u201d— Natives \ud83c\udfa7\ud83c\udf9a\ufe0f (@Natives \ud83c\udfa7\ud83c\udf9a\ufe0f) 1664057112
There were many highlights throughout the evening. On social media — and in attendance — reggae and dancehall king Stonebwoy was crowned with having the best entrance of the festival. The global hitmaker was seen backstage riding a white horse clad in Ghana flags as he made his way to the stage.
Elsewhere, Sarkodie’s illuminati transition got the crowd ready and fired up for his performance. The award winning Ghanaian sensation got the crowd singing along as he performed songs like "Adonai," "Lucky," "Can’t let you Go," and more.
Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Global Citizen
Danai Gurira, one of the stars in the Black Panther series, introduced Tems who was performing in Africa for the first time this year. She performed Wakanda Forever highlight "No Woman, No Cry." Additionally, she gave an energetic performance of "Crazy Tings" — from her 2021 album If Orange Was a Place — and "Damages," a personal song from her 2020 album For Broken Ears. Throughout the set, Tems commanded the stage and illustrated why she is one of the breakout global artists of 2022.
\u201cHad to represent the motherland in full \ud83d\udc9b #GlobalCitizenFestival\u201d— Song Bird (@Song Bird) 1664108760
Ghana’s female afrobeats sensation Gyakie delighted fans with her grand entrance featuring a military band . Gyakie, feeling patriotic and enthusiastic, would later say in a tweet that she had to "represent the motherland in full.
Later, in an interview backstage, Gyakie would talk about her mission statement as an artist.
“I am female and one of the few emerging young female artists," Gyakie said. "I want to extend a hand of support to the young women who are looking forward to breaking grounds in the industry.”
Photo by Nipah Dennis /AFP via Getty Images
Other highlights include SZA, who said that Africa is the most "beautiful" place she’s ever been, and Stormzy who pulled Kwesi Arthur and Yaw Tog on stage to perform the "Sore" remix.
It wasn't all positive, however. Ghanaian president Nana Akufo-Addo was heckled as he spoke about climate change and the effects of the Russian and Ukrainian war on Ghana's economy. The reaction he received showed that the youth of Ghana are ready for change.
@Usher Raymond proved he’s globally the King of R&B during his set at Global Citizen Ghana! What petition do we have to sign for a new album?! #KingofRNB #GlobalCitizenGhana #FestivalSeason2022
But Usher, who performed alongside Tiwa Savage, Oxlade, Pheelz, and Dwp Academy, closed the show on a high note. He took the crowd to another level of excitement, performing a wide selection of songs from his catalogue.
It was an electrifying close to a festival those in attendance won't forget for some time.