Kanye West opens private Christian school called Donda Academy

The mission is to ‘prepare students to become the next generation of leaders’ by way of ‘an ethic of integrity and care’

Peony Hirwani
Friday 16 September 2022 07:08 BST
Kanye West hands out free Yeezy footwear to Ugandan children

Kanye West has opened a private Christian school called Donda Academy.

According to the school’s website, the mission is to “prepare students to become the next generation of leaders” by way of “an ethic of integrity and care.”

The school is based in Simi Valley, California, and is a tuition-based, Christianity-rooted preparatory school.

Students will apparently engage in “full school worship; core classes of language arts, math and science; lunch and recess; enrichment courses including world language, visual art, film, choir, and parkour”.

Two anonymous sources told Rolling Stone that families who wish to enroll in Donda Academy must sign a non-disclosure agreement.

West, who legally changed his name to Ye, collaborated with producer Malik Yusef for the initiative.

“I want to be emphatic that there’s never been a time that Kanye West did not want to do this,” Yusef told the music magazine. “I think people don’t understand the gravity of that.”

He continued: “This man always wanted to create a school in his mama’s name… Look at what we’re doing with the choir and the fashion in school – I don’t think there’s a venture capitalist or anybody that’s had a vision this clear on what education can look like for you.”


There is currently no further information about the structure or educational format of Donda Academy.

The Independent has contacted Ye’s representative for comment.

This news comes after the “Follow God” rapper’s company Yeezy announced this week that it will be terminating its contract with Gap Inc.

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The decision, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, was outlined in a letter shared by the rapper’s lawyer. According to CNBC, the letter cites Gap’s alleged failure to meet obligations detailed in the agreement, which included distributing Yeezy products in its stores by the second half of 2021 and creating dedicated Yeezy Gap stores.

“Yeezy notified Gap of its concerns in August and gave the company a contractually-designated 30 days to cure its breaches,” Nicholas Gravante, a lawyer for the rapper, told CNBC, adding that Gap took “no action”.

In the past month, Ye also addressed some of the issues he was facing with Adidas, his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner, and his co-parenting struggles on social media.

(Getty Images for Fast Company)

He challenged Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, asking point blank if the pair were going to boot him off Instagram.

“iiiiiiiiiit’s uuuuuuup. Hilary and Mark are you blocking meeee :)” the “Flashing Lights” rapper began in the thread, before asking if Zuckerberg had any plans for taking him off Instagram.

In another post, Ye lashed out at his ex-wife’s mother over her parenting skills.

“Don’t let Kris make you do Playboy like she made [Kylie] and Kim do,” West, who legally changed his name to Ye last year, wrote in a since-deleted post.

He seemed to be referring to the 2019 and 2007 Playboy magazine shoots Kylie and Kim did in the past.

However, in an Instagram post from last week, Ye declared he’s “releasing all grudges” in a tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, following her death on Thursday (8 September).

“Life is precious,” Ye wrote on Instagram on Friday (9 September). “Releasing all grudges today. Leaning into the light.”

The Donda rapper also posted two photos of the late monarch along with his post.

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