Singer Kehlani has discussed her approach to activism and charity, revealing she has made care packages for Black Lives Matter protestors, donating so much her manager had to ‘put a cap’ on her charitable spending.
She said: “When I do feel it, which I do, acknowledging that I have a way to assist others is the biggest balance for me.”
“There's literally nothing that feels better than being of some type of service. So when I hit the point of ‘I’m feeling all of this’ I find it helpful to acknowledge that I can do s**t about it in other ways,” she continued.
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Kehlani, who has a one year old daughter named Adeya Nomi, said she couldn’t attend Black Lives Matter protests in person out of concern for her daughter’s health.
However, she found other ways to support protestors: “I just dropped off some bath salt and CBD to a bunch of the homies the other day who were out protesting and got arrested, and their bodies were all sore.”
“So even being able to know that I can't show up for this protest because there's a lot of exposure to people and I don't want to bring a virus home to my baby, but what I can do is go take care of the people who've been protesting.”
The story revealed Kehlani’s management had ‘put a cap’ on American payment apps Cash App and Venmo, as they worried she would donate too much and put her own finances at risk.
The singer also revealed she was deeply affected by the death of 19 year old Oluwatoyin 'Toyin' Salau, a Black Lives Matter activist, who was kidnapped, raped and killed by a Black man named Aaron Glee. Kehlani said: “She was out there fighting for the very life of the person that took her off this planet.”
It was also reported that Kehlani has been donating to homeless charities in her hometown Oakland.
The star experienced homelessness herself after her time with her music group PopLyfe (who competed on America’s Got Talent) came to an end.
Speaking to XXL Mag in 2015, she said her life had done a “complete 180”: “You know, I went from broke and homeless sleeping on couches. Couldn’t even figure out what I was doing in Los Angeles. Now, I’m paying my own bills, I’m about to move my mama in with me at 19.”
She previously told the Los Angeles Times: “I literally remember having to wash my underwear in the shower and blow-drying them ... and I’m banned from [a few] grocery stores from stealing stupid groceries just to eat.”
AGT host Nick Cannon revealed he had also helped support her during that time. Cannon told VladTV: “There’s a 16-year-old homeless and everyone in the town was like ‘she’s all tatted up now’ and I was like f**k all that, I don’t care about the tats. I just want to make sure she’s okay, found her, ended up having a conversation with her guardian at the time because her mom wasn’t doing too well.”
He claimed he would “take care of everything else”, on the condition that Kehlani finished high school. Kehlani has since gone on to score two Grammy nominations and been nominated for three BET awards.