MrBeast, the most popular YouTuber in the world, has had 100 wells built on the African continent. In total, about half a million Africans will be able to benefit from the drinkable water. The charity campaign has received a lot of praise, but also criticism from some quarters.
Jimmy ‘MrBeast’ Donaldson is an online phenomenon. With more than 200 million subscribers, he is the most popular YouTuber on earth. And there is a good chance that he has made himself even more popular with his latest video. The 25-year-old American had no fewer than 100 wells built across various African countries. The new wells will provide clean drinking water to around 500,000 people in Cameroon, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda and Zimbabwe. An accompanying fundraising campaign also raised more than $300,000 on Monday.
The 10-minute video shows how MrBeast himself is present at the commissioning of a number of new wells. He also personally donates a lot of items to schools in Kenya: from furniture to footballs to computers… The American YouTuber even opens a bridge over a river so that a village has safe access to local schools and the hospital.
Everywhere he is welcomed as a hero. And MrBeast also receives a lot of praise from his fans online. Kenyan journalist Ferdinand Omondi also praises the American’s efforts, but he says it is “embarrassing that a YouTuber has flown to Kenya for a charity tour to carry out tasks that our taxes should have done a long time ago.”
Others call the video “charity porn.” According to Kenyan politician Francis Gaitho, this perpetuates the stereotype that Africa is “dependent on handouts and philanthropic actions.” It is not the first time that MrBeast has organized a large-scale charity campaign. For example, he previously sponsored eye operations for around 1,000 visually impaired people and bought 2,000 prosthetics for people with amputations.
The criticism that he exploits vulnerable people to generate views and income is not heard for the first time. But MrBeast himself says he will always use his channel to help people and inspire his followers to do the same.