French Montana was honored with the 2022 Innovator Award for his humanitarian efforts in Africa.
French Montana’s philanthropic work was celebrated at the Pencils of Promise Gala on Thursday night, as he received the 2022 Innovator Award for his humanitarian efforts in Africa. Montana has helped raise $226 million for healthcare in Uganda, as well as having helped finance the Budondo Suubi “Hope” Health Center.
“MAKING MORE HISTORY FOR MY PEOPLE!” Montana captioned a screenshot of TMZ covering the story. “Thank you @pencilsofpromise for honoring me with the Innovator Award at last night’s gala.”
He continued: “Healthcare and education is a fundamental part of our human rights and should be accessible across the globe. I’m grateful for PoP acknowledging my work in maternal healthcare in Africa. PoP is doing groundbreaking work globally to keep kids in school and make sure they have a safe environment to learn.”
Montana’s philanthropy goes back years, having passed out turkeys in New York for Thanksgiving in 2020, and much more.
Also honored at the event was Paul Walker’s daughter, Meadow, who received the Activist Award for her achievements as PoP’s Global Ambassador.
Earlier this year, Montana shared his latest album, Montega, a collaborative project with producer Harry Fraud.
Check out Montana’s recent Instagram post below.
Is French Montana African and which part of Africa does he come from?
Karim Kharbouch, better known by his stage name French Montana, is a Moroccan-American rapper. Born and raised in Morocco, he emigrated to the United States with his family when he was 13.
The Kingdom of Morocco is a Muslim country in western North Africa, with coastlines on the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Montana is the biggest star in hip-hop to come out of Morocco. And while he mentions growing up listening to Arab composer Chalf Hassan, his musical forebears are Bronx-based MCs like Big Pun, Fat Joe, KRS-One, Slick Rick, and the Cold Crush Brothers. But in hip-hop today, Africa is in, and French Montana knows it.
His native languages are Arabic and French. After immigrating to the U.S., and later dropping out of high school, he learned English on the streets of the South Bronx.
His skin was warm beige, hair smooth and dark, beard thick and textured, Montana would often be mistaken for Dominican while growing up in the Bronx. “They’d talk to me in Spanish all day,” he says.
His African root was widely discussed after the release of his song “Unforgettable”. Shot in Kampala, Uganda, the “Unforgettable” music video features the Triplets Ghetto Kids, a group of nine young dancers Montana discovered while surfing video clips on YouTube.
“Why wouldn’t I go back to my homeland and show the people this is what ya should be paying attention to?” he says of the motivation for the video. “That’s what I did with the kids. When I met them, they were dancing in the mud and puddles of water for money. Now I’m flying them out to come perform with me at BET.”
He is the founder of Coke Boys Records and its predecessor Cocaine City Records. After years of independent material, he signed a joint-venture record deal with Puff Daddy’s Bad Boy Records and Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group in 2012.
Kharbouch released his debut mixtape in 2007 and had his first breakthrough with the single “Choppa Choppa Down” in 2010. He released his debut studio album Excuse My French on May 21, 2013. In July 2017, Montana released his second studio album, Jungle Rules, which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. The album was supported by the single “Unforgettable” (featuring Swae Lee), which was Montana’s only song as a lead artist to reach the top 10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.