Students at the University of Toronto will soon have a new program: Ethiopian studies. And it’s thanks in large part to The Weeknd. The singer, who is of Ethiopian descent, donated $50,000 to help establish the program, USA Today reported yesterday.
“His donation helps us preserve our culture and share it with everyone else,” Tam Gebeyehu, a board member of the Bikila Award, told the Toronto Star. The Bikila Award gave The Weeknd its Professional Excellence Award in 2014. It is an organization for the promotion of Ethiopian culture in Canada.
Professor Michael Gervers first took up the cause of creating an Ethiopian studies program. The program will cover Ethiopian history and the ancient Ethiopian language Ge’ez. It’s important to the Toronto community because so many people of Ethiopian descent live there. 70 percent of the Ethiopian-descent population live in Ontario, the province where Toronto is located.
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