Somali Magazine – US YouTuber and philanthropist Mr Beast, an influencer globally recognized with 207 million YouTube subscribers, has recently stirred a storm after sharing his program of building 100 wells in Africa. The video, which has been viewed more than 48 million times since its release, showcased his construction of 52 wells in rural Kenyan communities and 48 other wells in Zimbabwe, Uganda, Somalia, and Cameroon.
Praise and Criticism
Several people have applauded Mr Beast for helping rural communities, while faulting African governments for embezzling funds meant for such projects that are apparntly not too difficult to do. Mr Beast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, said of his motivation for the project, “I know it’s weird that a YouTuber has to do all this stuff, but someone’s got to do it. And if no-one else is, we’re going to do it. It really does change the lives of the communities where we build them”.
However, some Africans and Americans have criticized him, saying that his video perpetuates the stereotype of Africa as an impoverished continent. Others have raised concern over the environmental impact of the wells, saying they could contribute to depleting groundwater.
Mr Beast’s Response
In response to the criticism, Mr Beast defended his philanthropy, saying that he will always use his platform to help people and inspire others to do the same. This event has sparked a global conversation about the role of influencers in philanthropy and the complexities of aid in Africa.
The Impact of the Wells
The wells constructed by Mr Beast are expected to provide clean water to thousands of people in the rural communities where they were built. Access to clean water is a fundamental human right and is crucial for maintaining public health, particularly in regions where waterborne diseases are prevalent.
However, the construction of wells can have unintended environmental consequences. Groundwater extraction can lead to land subsidence, a phenomenon where the ground sinks due to the removal of water from underground aquifers. This can damage infrastructure and disrupt ecosystems.
The Role of Influencers in Philanthropy
The controversy surrounding Mr Beast’s wells highlights the growing role of influencers in philanthropy. With their large followings, influencers have the power to raise awareness and funds for important causes. However, their actions can also spark controversy and debate, particularly when they involve complex issues like development aid.
The Future of Aid in Africa
The debate over Mr Beast’s wells also raises important questions about the future of aid in Africa. While foreign aid can play a crucial role in addressing poverty and inequality, it is also important to ensure that aid efforts are sustainable and respectful of local cultures and environments. This event underscores the need for a nuanced and informed approach to aid in Africa.