TACOMA, Washington — Rapper Nicki Minaj has gathered quite a following since her debut in 2007. In the past thirteen years, Minaj has contributed to many philanthropic efforts. She donated $25,000 after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017 and reportedly helped select fans pay off college debt. Even though Minaj’s philanthropic efforts are no secret, many were surprised to find out that she is sending money to small villages in India.
Nicki’s Relationship with Poverty
Nicki Minaj was born in the Saint James district in the Port of Spain in the early ’80s. Her family immigrated to Queens in New York when Minaj was five. However, when they arrived, it was not the American dream like they hoped. Nicki has been open about her childhood life and how it affected her. Her father was a drug addict and abused her mother many times. Going as far as to even set the house on fire while they were in it, in an attempt to kill Nicki’s mother. Nicki told Rolling Stone, “When I first came to America, I would go in my room and kneel down at the foot of my bed and pray that God would make me rich so that I could take care of my mother.” While this is a horrible past, it is what drove her to become who she is today.
The three villages in question are Ennore, Kolathur and Atipattu, which are all located in the Indian city of Chennai. Chennai is the fourth largest city in India and one of the fastest-growing at that. Though the people in the city itself are relatively well off, the accompanying villages cannot say the same. A growing number of people live in informal settlements that have no running water or basic sanitation services. Families rely on their children to go to work rather than a school to help make ends meet. Thankfully, the people of Chennai, want to learn and educate themselves, they just do not have the resources.
A New Life
In 2017, Nicki revealed through an Instagram post that she has been sending money to these Indian villages. Showing that Minaj’s philanthropic efforts extend beyond helping those at home. All the donations went through her pastor, Lydia Sloley. With her money, she was able to donate two computer centers, one in the village of Ennore and the other in Kolathur. The sewing center is also in the village of Ennore, along with two water wells in Atipattu.
Sloley and Minaj also created partnerships with two churches in India so the villages can continue to have places to worship. In her post, she said, “we complain about the most ridiculous little things when some [people]don’t even have clean water. Blessings to India. Our work is far from done.”
Minaj has said on many occasions that her childhood is to thank for her strong moral compass and view on life. By helping these villages, she is proving that she is using her wealth for good. The lives of the people in Chennai will be changed forever, thanks to Nicki. They can now educate themselves, have places to worship, and never have to worry about running out of water. Many expect to hear of many more of Nicki Minaj’s philanthropic efforts in the future, should she choose to reveal them.
– Bailey Sparks