How 4 World's Richest People Have Silently Been Giving Kenyans Billions

  • Photo collage between Elon Musk and MacKenzie Scott
    Photo collage between Elon Musk and MacKenzie Scott
  • Four of the world's richest people have been donating billions of shillings that have directly been helping thousands of Kenyans in dire needs.

    Unlike other billionaires who give out money in full glare of cameras and with conditions, these four have kept their philanthropic works silent through the GiveDirectly organisation.

    The billionaires include MacKenzie Scott, the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Tesla Chief Executive Officer, Elon Musk, who is the World's richest person, 30-year-old crypto billionaire Sam Bankman-Fried and former Twitter boss, Jack Dorsey.

    According to Forbes, their donations have jumped to Ksh35 billion since 2020.

    A file photo of US billionaire Elon Musk
    A file photo of US billionaire Elon Musk.

    GiveDirectly, president and co-founder, Michael Faye, told Forbes that their nonprofit organisation operates in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Liberia, Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Morocco.

    In Kenya, the money donated by the four billionaires is channelled towards Universal Basic Income (UBI). This has been providing monthly transfers to recipients for over five years.

    "UBI programs intend to supplement or even entirely replace other financial, social programs and help those struggling financially. 

    "This financial aid aims to prevent vulnerable groups from falling deeper into poverty. In addition, it works toward alleviating national poverty on a wider scale," UBI website states.

    According to Forbes, at the height of the crypto boom in February 2021, Musk sent GiveDirectly Ksh1.1 million (USD10,000) worth of Dogecoin.

    Other than the four, other billionaires have also joined the philanthropic drive in Kenya and other African nations.

    Billionaires listed by Forbes include Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz - who has given Ksh6.8 billion to GiveDirectly since 2012.

    The founders of graphic design startup Canva, Melanie Perkins and Cliff Obrecht, are also contributing to this kitty which intends to expand and help more families in Kenya.

    Nairobi residents walking to work due to increased cost of tranport within the city.
    Nairobi residents walk to work due to the increased cost of transport within the city.