the weeknd's $50,000 donation will help students in toronto learn ancient ethiopian

The cash will help establish a course on Ge'ez — an ancient Ethiopian script.

by i-D Staff
08 August 2016, 12:06pm

The Weeknd has given a hefty contribution to the University of Toronto. The Canadian-Ethiopian singer's $50,000 donation was secured by the Bikila Award organization -- a group which supports people of Ethiopian decent with awards and scholarships. Bikila has had ties with the singer for a while now; before Abel made it big, the organization honored him with its Profession Excellence Award.

The group reached out once more in the hopes of establishing a course on Ge'ez — an ancient Ethiopian language — at the university. Apparently, Abel accepted straight away. He's also encouraged his fans to donate on Twitter, and support "our brilliant and ancient history of Ethiopia." He concluded, "proud to support the studies in our homie town through @UofT and @bikilaaward."

While Abel himself is yet to attend University, Ethiopian language has always played a major role in his life. Abel's parents emigrated from Ethiopia to Canada in the 1980s: his first language was Amharic, a Semitic language from Ethiopia. You can learn more about the course here

The Weeknd
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Abel Tesfaye
University of Toronto