MrBeast Gets ‘Canceled’ for Helping Provide Clean Drinking Water to Africa

American YouTuber MrBeast, also known as Jimmy Donaldson, has released a video featuring his initiative to build 100 wells across Africa, and not surprisingly, it drew a mixed response from online audiences. 

The video, published on Saturday, showcases Donaldson’s efforts to provide clean drinking water to over 500,000 people in Cameroon, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Additionally, an accompanying fundraiser has raised more than $300,000 to support local water aid organizations as of Monday morning.

In the 10-minute video, Donaldson is seen donating supplies to Kenyan schools, including furniture, soccer balls, computers, whiteboards, and projectors. He also constructed a bridge to connect a village with local schools and a hospital, and distributed bicycles to a Zimbabwean village to facilitate children’s access to education.

While Donaldson’s actions were praised by many, Kenyan activists and journalists also used the opportunity to shed light on their government’s perceived failures. Activist Boniface Mwangi criticized the Kenyan government for allocating resources to politicians while basic infrastructure, such as boreholes, remains neglected. 

Freelance journalist Ferdinand Omondi acknowledged Donaldson’s charity but expressed embarrassment that a YouTuber had to address issues that taxpayers’ money should have already resolved.

Saran Kaba Jones, CEO of FACE Africa, an organization dedicated to improving water infrastructure and sanitation in sub-Saharan Africa, commended the YouTuber for raising awareness but stressed the importance of sustainability in such initiatives. 

“I’ve been doing this for 15 years, but we’ve been struggling to continue the work because funding, awareness, and advocacy all take work,” she told CNN

“Overnight, this person comes along, who happens to be a white male figure with a huge platform, and all of a sudden, he gets all of the attention. It’s kind of frustrating, but it’s also understanding the nature of how the world is.”

This isn’t the first time that Donaldson has been accused of being a “white savior.” The nature of his work, which involves shooting videos of his philanthropy and promoting them to get more views, and as a result get more money to do more videos and philanthropy, has been tagged as “charity porn.”

Sustainability has also been a point of contention. As such, Kaba Jones highlighted the challenge of maintaining wells, stating that many become nonfunctional over time due to a lack of follow-up and repair infrastructure.

Donaldson, meanwhile, acknowledged the potential backlash, stating that he anticipated being “canceled” for helping people. Despite the controversy, he remained resolute in his efforts to make a positive impact.

Information for this story was found via CNN, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply