The Weeknd Donates $50,000 To University Of Toronto

Abel Tesfaye, also known as The Weeknd, has donated a substantial amount of money to the University of Toronto to kick-start an Ethiopic Studies program at the school.

He gave them $50,000, in fact.

The musician, who hails from nearby Scarborough and whose parents emigrated to Canada from Ethiopia, and reports say that The Weeknd’s generous funds will be used to create a course on the Ethiopian language Ge’ez. He donated the money after U of T professor Michael Gervers, of the Department of Historical and Cultural Studies, offered $50,000 of his own money if it were matched by the Ethiopian community, so they then reached out to Tesfaye.

The Bikila Award, named after Ethiopian Olympic hero Abebe Bikila, is an organization designed to help further academic, professional and business excellence and promote volunteerism among Ethiopian-Canadians, and it was awarded to Tesfaye back in 2014. “Back then he was doing a lot of stuff, but was still a boy from Scarborough just rising to fame,” Tam Gebeyehu, board member of the Bikila Award told the Star. “His donation helps us preserve our culture and share it with everyone else… It’s unbelievable. He grew up in Toronto as an Ethiopian-Canadian, and now he’s giving back to the community.”

Photo: FayesVision/