Ethiopian-born Canadian singer-songwriter, musician and producer « The Weeknd », whose real name is Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, has proven time and again that he is a philanthropist. The Toronto native has just donated 1 million dollars (more than 556.5 million FCFA) to Ethiopia. To what end?
Canadian artist Abel Makkonen Tesfaye aka « The Weeknd » keeps proving his philanthropy. The Toronto native has just donated $1 million (more than CFAF 556.5 million) to hunger relief efforts in Ethiopia, amidst the ongoing internal conflict in the country, and more specifically in Tigray. The artist announced the news of the donation via his respective social media channels on Sunday, April 4, urging others to do the same.
« My heart breaks for my Ethiopian people as innocent civilians ranging from small children to the elderly are senselessly murdered and entire villages are displaced out of fear and destruction, » The Weeknd wrote. « I will donate $1 million (more than CFAF 556.5 million) to provide 2 million meals through the UN World Food Programme and encourage those who can to donate as well, » he concluded, adding that the donation link for those interested would be in his biography.
The conflict in the Tigray region, which has left many innocent civilians displaced or dead, stems from tensions between the government in Addis Ababa and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) rebels. Last month, an internal US government report obtained by the New York Times described Ethiopian officials as « conducting a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing » in the Tigray region.
This is not a first for The Weeknd, whose parents both migrated to Canada from Ethiopia decades ago. The Canadian artist has previously lent a hand to other humanitarian efforts such as Covid-19 relief and racial justice causes like Black Lives Matter and Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights camp. He also donated $300,000 (167 million FCFA) to Lebanon to help those affected by the Beirut explosion.