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Earlier this month, Nicki Minaj made an offer to her fans on Twitter. The rapper said she would cover their airfare – from any country – should they win a competition to meet her at her upcoming show in Las Vegas. Noting Minaj’s pledge, one fan, CJ, asked another question: ‘Well you wanna pay for my tuition?’
A woman of her word, Minaj said she’d cough up the cash if CJ could prove she was getting straight As. CJ could. So Minaj did.
Celebs have a history of helping fans through education. Lebron James, Will.i.am and Janet Jackson, for instance, have all setup scholarship funds in their name. While we love all examples of this sort of generosity, we think we have a new favourite.
And it comes in the shape of man of the moment: Stormzy.
On Monday, a friend of Oxford student and south Londoner Fiona Asiedu tweeted Stormzy to ask if he could RT Fiona’s crowdfunding page. Asiedu had been offered a place on a master’s programme at the prestigious Harvard University, and while she’d received a scholarship, she still needed an extra £12,000 to cover the huge costs of the Ivy League school.
Stormzy obliged. Less than a day later, Asiedu’s fund was up £9,000, thanks to a single donor: Michael Ebenazer Kwadjo Omari Owuo Junior. Yep, that’s the Shut Up rapper’s real name. With a little help from Stormzy, Fiona will start her course in human development and psychology at Harvard in August.
Now, we love Stormzy. You love Stormzy. We love his music; we love his honesty about his mental health struggles; we love that his mum was in the video for Know Me From. But most of all, we love that he was able to help a fellow south Londoner fulfill her education at one of the best universities in the world.
Ever the humble superstar, Stormzy has since made his donation anonymous. He also hasn’t mentioned it all, bar agreeing to Fiona’s thank you offer of a Nando’s – a Halal gesture we can all get behind:
As sad as it makes the aspiring celebrities/rappers in the Ummahsonic office, most of us won’t achieve Stormzy/Nicki Minaj-like success. However, one way to get a little closer to that goal is to prioritise your education. Even if it’s not in the form of a generous donation from an MC, you will be rewarded for sticking to it.
To pay it forward, Fiona is now working on a foundation that will help more low-income black British students get into universities like Oxford and Harvard.