TAT EXclusive: From Homelessness to Heroism: Amadou Keita’s Generosity Triggers Million-Dalasi Windfalls

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Amadou Hugs famous TikToker Zachery Derenioski after surprising him with $5000

Barely 72 hours after his heartwarming video showcasing his selfless act of kindness towards a man went viral on the internet, Amadou Keita received an overwhelming outpour of support from people all over the world, including a full scholarship to complete his PhD education, a brand-new car to facilitate his transportation, a laptop to enhance his digital skills, and a whopping sum of $100,000 raised by supporters inspired by his actions in a video captured in a moment that famous TikToker Zachery Derenioski couldn’t resist sharing with his followers on social media.

In a rare media interview with the editor of The Alkamba Times, Keita provided details on how the story unfolded after Zachery approached him in a library and asked if he could offer food.

Amadou, a kind-hearted man, offered his last coins to Zachery, a stranger in need, unaware that this act of kindness would begin a life-changing experience for him. Touched by Amadou’s generosity, Zachery was amazed and gave $5000 as a token of appreciation to Keita. 

The Young Amadou

“Zachery approached me in a secluded corner of the library, expressing hunger. Unable to provide food, I offered my coins, totaling eleven dollars and fifty cents. Without me knowing, our interaction was filmed, capturing the essence of spontaneous kindness. The rest could be seen from the video,” Keita calmly told Alkamba Times from his base in Canada. 

A fundraising campaign was launched to support his PhD in Mathematics dream when his video went viral.

“While I can’t confirm the exact amount, the outpouring of support has been overwhelming. As donations continue to come in, surpassing $80,000, it’s evident that kindness resonates universally, transcending borders and cultures.” 

On the overwhelming response to his story’s impact, Kieta said: ” The response has been profoundly humbling. It reaffirms the power of kindness and its ability to unite communities globally. Witnessing such widespread appreciation has ignited my desire to cultivate compassion and empathy further. There is great sweetness in being kind, and the responses have engraved that sweetness in my heart. By supporting each other, we are helping ourselves.” 

Video not stage

Responding to some online critics who claimed the video was staged, Amadou clarified the situation.

“The authenticity of the video is undeniable. I was unaware of being filmed and only learned it days later through friends. Their reassurance and genuine reactions helped dispel doubts, reaffirming the sincerity of the moment.” 

He said the funds are earmarked for his education, a testament to the investment in human potential.

“Prioritising education ensures a ripple effect, positively impacting future generations. As for specifics, I prefer to wait until the funds are secured before outlining concrete plans.” 

Amidst life’s troubles and challenges, Kieta recommends kindness.

“To those inspired by my story, I urge you to embrace selflessness wholeheartedly. Every act of kindness, no matter how small, contributes to a brighter future for all. Let love and compassion guide your actions, enriching your life and those around you.” 

“While I may not consider my impact significant, I’m driven by a desire to effect meaningful change. To fellow youth, I emphasize the importance of authenticity, perseverance, and community engagement. We can collectively shape a better world by focusing on endeavors that uplift and empower. Our contributions count. After all, fractions make a whole.” 

He expressed gratitude and appreciation to those inspired by his story.”I’m deeply touched by the overwhelming support and heartfelt comments. Your encouragement fuels my commitment to kindness and personal growth.” 

Amadou Keita, a 34-year-old Gambian, hails from humble beginnings, born to two hardworking farmers with a singular dream: to provide their son with a quality education. Amadou’s academic journey has taken him across borders and disciplines. He holds master’s degrees in Mathematical Sciences from Ghana, Mathematics and Its Applications from Hungary, and Machine Intelligence from Senegal. He is immersed in the second year of his Ph.D. program in Mathematics at the University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Amadou’s pursuit of knowledge was facilitated by a study leave granted by the University of The Gambia, where he serves as academic staff, enabling him to pursue advanced studies in Canada. Beyond academia, Amadou is deeply committed to community development, channeling his passion through volunteerism to create positive change.

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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