DAVIDO celebrated his 29th birthday on Sunday, the 21st of November 2021, but his birthday —no matter how glamorous he intended it to be— could not outshine his gesture the day before. The birthday itself served as a closing ceremony to a sensational climax.
David Adeleke must have some of the greatest planners on his team or he truly has a beautiful mind. The playful request for donations to help him “clear my Rolls Royce” has now transcended being a mere flex of influence to philanthropy with a touch of wisdom.
Davido has officially handed the ₦200 million received from the “clear my Rolls Royce” donations plus ₦50 million from his own pocket to charity, that is 250 million Naira for children in orphanages across Nigeria. This cannot be show-business.
Davido has set an example to his fellow celebrities, people in business, clergymen, and public office holders. He is teaching us the power of philanthropy and its ability to dignify personal image. This young man has been living the best life in terms of opportunities and privileges, but he is also mindful of the need to sustain his image and cement his influence on those who look up to him. Even if this isn’t all part of an image-polishing strategy, that end is still achieved for a thoughtful Davido.
Daddy Freeze, the popular media personality, wrote on his Instagram page over the weekend: “They gave Davido money for Rolls Royce, he gave it to the needy. While pastors receive money through offerings meant for the needy and used it to buy Rolls Royce.
“Yet Davido is worldly and your pastors are spiritual.”
This short post from Daddy Freeze, who’s notoriously known for calling many pastors and churches to order, is an obvious indictment. He is criticising the hypocrisy of so-called religious leaders as usual but the criticism attacks most of us. We must learn to be more empathetic in our thoughts and philanthropic with our actions.
Freeze knows that there are many people —politicians, CEOs, professionals— who are abusing the immense amount of wealth and resources at their disposal without giving a thought to the less privileged in our society. Davido, who is always subject to criticism from others for being extravagant and for appreciating his own privilege, has now set the tone. Nothing should stop the holy clergy and the woke crowd to borrow a page from his book now.
The second indictment is coming from a complicated rant of Baba Fryo, a music star from the early 2000s, who believes Davido neglected him when he was “depressed”:
“There is something that I have been seeing on social media that someone gifted orphanages N250m. To me, the thing is funny. I remember when I was depressed, they tagged many of my colleagues; they tagged Davido, Tuface, and others but none of them responded. It was people that have never seen me in this life, people that do not know me that responded.
“This N200m that I am hearing about and seeing on social media is surprising to me. If someone like me who is popular and well known was not helped, it is people and orphanages that no one knows that is being helped; they are being given N250m, it is so funny. I will advise Nigerians and Black people to be wise and stop all these things.
“...If I see someone doing good, I appreciate them; I am not saying it is a bad thing. I just want to ask people why someone like me that people know, who cried out; why did they not help the person that they know? It is the people that they do not know or can see their faces that they are helping out with N250m. Let’s all think; will we call that wickedness or ignorance?"
It is hard to take all of this as one full thought. On the one hand, Baba Fryo is happy that something good is to be done for the orphanages. On the other hand, he is unhappy that something similar was not done for him when he needed the support. Perhaps he thinks helping “orphans who are unknown” has no value compared to aiding “known” persons.
But this is wrong again, help should be rendered to everyone and not determined by who we know. For starters, even Baba Fryo who says it’s “funny” to help people we don’t know was helped by who didn’t know him. Yes, neglect is bad but Davido was not responsible to Fryo. He —or whatever circumstance he might be in— decides whether he reaches out to lend a helping hand or not.
Philanthropy is a willing and impartial sacrifice, we should not demean it with feeble arguments about the intention of some givers or one-sided accusations of neglect. Davido did something wholesome. We love it because the weak got a lift.