Kanye West rose to fame as a rapper and producer. But in the years since, the Grammy-winning artist has expanded her footprint into other areas of life and culture. And in his many business ventures, West has made sure to include a key element: his late mother, Donda West.
Kanye West had a close relationship with his mother Donda West
Donda West was a distinguished college professor and chair of Chicago State University’s Department of English, Communications, Media and Theater. She died in 2007 after complications from cosmetic surgery.
The impact of his mother’s death on the West continues to this day. In the summer of 2020, Ulysses Blakely, his mother’s lifelong boyfriend and Kanye’s caretaker, revealed page six that his erratic behavior was partly due to the grief he was still dealing with.
“My personal feeling — just from someone I know — is that there is this unresolved grief,” Blakely said. “He hasn’t recovered from the loss of his mother. They had such a close relationship.” In a 2015 interview, West himself admitted that “my mother was my everything”.
Throughout the years, West has switched from his production company to a new line of electronics on his highly anticipated tenth album named Donda.
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Kanye West is opening a school in Donda’s honor
West’s latest effort pays tribute to his mother and her history as a teacher. He is starting Donda Academy in Southern California, a one-of-a-kind school with its own basketball team.
“Using an ethic of honesty and caring, Donda Academy prepares students to become the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators by providing a world-class education that includes a rigorous core curriculum and an emphasis on sustainability, creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving,” reads a statement on its website.
Donda Academy is focused on “equipping students with an education that will last in an ever-changing world” and is set on “finding the gap between faith and innovation of the future”.
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Donda Academy will have a basketball team
In addition to its academic schedule, the school in Simi Valley, California is expected to have a basketball team that includes some of the best talent in the country. The prep school is backed by athletics giant Adidas.
Jakhi Howard, a promising player, confirms going to school instagram, saying, “I’m moving to California and I’m transferring to Donda Academy.”
Jalen Hook, a 6-foot-7 high school junior from Indiana, told Indianapolis Star That proceeding to join the team was a no-brainer. “It’s one of those things you can’t pass up,” he said. “It was more than a family decision as well. We all felt this was my chance to reach and grow to my full potential and get ready for college level. “
West has reportedly contacted the players personally on Instagram, with one of the Yahoo! Play “It’s crazy that he reached out. But he’s making a great team with the players I want to play with and it’s in LA in a good market so me and my family have to think about that.”