Picture: for illustration purposes

Mr Beast Embroiled in Controversy over Exploitation of Cape Town Orphanage

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

International YouTuber phenomenon, Mr Beast (real name Jimmy Donaldson), currently finds himself at the heart of controversy due to allegations of exploiting Cape Town's Baphumelele Children’s Home and its inhabitants for personal gain. Mr Beast, ranked as one of the world's richest YouTube content creators, has been accused of leveraging the plight of South African orphans to rake in views on his popular YouTube channel.

In a recent video that Donaldson uploaded on his channel, he presents his involvement in the reconstruction of Baphumelele Children’s Home. Having invested sizeable funds into the recording of the project, the video rapidly gained traction and accumulated over 15 million views within days of its posting.

However, the supposed charitable act has drawn scrutiny from international circles. Lourenza Foghill of Hope and Homes for Children pinpointed the exploitative promotional tactics as an example of ‘white saviourism’.

The allegations emphasize Donaldson's violation of the right of Baphumelele's children to grow up in a conventional family setting. Echoing the charity's concerns, findings reveal that a considerable 80% ratio of the 5.4 million children housed in orphanages worldwide are not orphans, and that they have existing family structures capable of caring for them.

Champions of children's rights argue that prolonged institutional upbringing results in dire outcomes, including abuse, neglect, homelessness, and susceptibility to mental health issues and criminal tendencies.

Donaldson, characteristically known for his profligate blogosphere antics which involve, among others, lavish gifting, reportedly possesses a staggering estimated net worth exceeding $500 million (R9.5 billion). In response to the allegations, he defiantly responded to his critics on the social media platform X (previously known as Twitter).

To view the comprehensive report, visit the Daily Mail’s website.

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