The Weeknd, or Abel Tesfaye, dropped out of high school, of course, though it seems he is keen to emphasise the importance of education. The Canadian R&B star, it turns out, wants to hammer home this importance by donating $50,000 to the University of Toronto. This is said to help the school and a local organization develop an Ethiopic Studies program.
According to Toronto press, the donation came after the Bikila Award organization, which “foster[s] academic, professional and business excellence and promote volunteerism among persons of Ethiopian origin”, made what they thought to be an audacious bid to secure funding from the star. The singer was more than happy to comply, though.
“It’s unbelievable,” Bikila Award board member, Tam Gebeyehu, gushed. “He grew up in Toronto as an Ethiopian-Canadian, and now he’s giving back to the community”. In 2014, the Bikila Award presented the star with its Professional Excellence Award before blowing up worldwide.
“Back then he was doing a lot of stuff, but was still a boy from Scarborough just rising to fame,” said Gebeyehu. “His donation helps us preserve our culture and share it with everyone else”.
With his donation, the Bikila Awards have raised more than $170,000 for the program. The funds will go toward establishing a course on Ge’ez, an ancient Ethiopian script and language.