THE REEL: Beyoncé’s ‘Homecoming’ is inspiring

Wednesday May 15 2019

Homecoming is a 2hr 17 min music documentary directed by and starring Beyoncé Knowles Carter. PHOTO| COURTESY

Homecoming is a 2hr 17 min music documentary directed by and starring Beyoncé Knowles Carter. PHOTO| COURTESY 

SONIA GAKURU
By SONIA GAKURU
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I’m a member of The Beyhive so watching a movie by our Queen Bey was quite a treat.

For those who have been living under a rock, The Beyhive refers to Beyoncé's fans to whom Beyoncé is their Queen Bey, who rules the musical world with the iron will of her talent.

Homecoming is a 2hr 17 min music documentary directed by and starring Beyoncé Knowles Carter that showcases her performance at Coachella, an annual music and arts festival held at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California.

FIRST BLACK PERFORMER

Beyoncé made headlines by being the first black female performer asked to headline Coachella since its inception in 1999.

This was unprecedented and immediately the announcement was made, fans started speculating about what type of show Beyoncé would put up for the world.

No-one could have predicted Homecoming. Beyoncé chose to showcase the culture of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) which are institutions of higher education in the United States that were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community and more specifically, Beyoncé focused on the marching bands. She had a whole orchestra that celebrated their distinctive showmanship and style.

GLIMPSES OF FAMILY AND PERSONAL LIFE

In Homecoming, Beyoncé showcased the months of work and preparation that took place prior to the show and also what was even rarer from her and a treat for her fans, she included glimpses of her family and personal life.

The discipline required to put up an elaborate show of international standards is plain to see. Rehearsals were done for everything including the singing and dancing, with and without the instruments and costumes.

Nothing was left to chance and we see Beyoncé involved in every detail, as she is very hands on because she doesn’t want to make a mistake and also wants to give her fans a celebration to remember.

Throughout the documentary, Beyoncé shares the struggle that she had to overcome due to an unexpected difficult pregnancy of twins that saw her postpone her headlining of Coachella by a year.

She faced scary health issues during the pregnancy and after the babies were born, she had to get back into training for the show and it wasn’t easy as she felt her body had changed.

Her determination and grueling body training schedule ensured that she was able to get back into her pre-pregnancy shape and was able to keep up with her dancers.

Homecoming enables us to understand what it takes to be a successful performer and how much discipline is required to reach the pinnacle of success.

Success is not accidental and one has to continuously perfect their act and re-invent themselves in order to be relevant to the times that they are living in.

There is a joy in music that re-invigorates the spirit and enables a person to reach out across all barriers and smash any boundaries that would otherwise inhibit effective communication.

In Homecoming, we see the joy shared by Beyoncé’s fans, they are ecstatic and sing along to the songs.

They are people of different races, gender and ages and this affirms that music is a universal language.

Homecoming is a celebration of the diverse talents of the youth that is the powerhouse behind Beyoncé’s performance.

She provides the platform and they bring their infectious enthusiasm, energy and dedication which ensures an unforgettable performance.

They also share their own reactions to the performance and how special it makes them feel to be chosen to participate in the once in a lifetime show and the sense of community they felt.

Throughout the show, every interlude is introduced with a quote from outstanding great Black thinkers, e.g. Audre Lorde, Maya Angelou, W.E.B. DuBois and others.

This is quite powerful and it gives the performance a different dimension, one of focusing on the black experience and its particular struggles.

Beyoncé has become very vocal in the Black Lives Matter Movement and together with her husband Jay Z has also made scholarship donations to students who attend HBCUs.

Homecoming is a work of art that will live on to inspire many upcoming artistes in their craft.

 

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