KSI: ‘I wanted to make my parents proud through YouTube’
YouTuber KSI said that his parents were initially disappointed with his decision not to go to university.
The 26-year-old explained that his mother and father had saved money to send him to private school in the hope that he would become a lawyer or doctor.
Speaking to Louis Theroux on the Radioed Grounded podcast of Radio 4, KSI said he “didn’t want to disappoint his parents.”
“But in the end I decided, ‘you know what, fuck. I will make them proud through the whole YouTube.’
“As long as I can get rid of all their debts and make their lives comfortable, that’s all that matters.”
KSI joined YouTube in 2009 and initially uploaded videos of himself playing games like Fifa.
It has developed its following for several years and is now one of the site’s most popular personalities, with 21 million subscribers.
In recent years, he has entered the UK top 10 with his rap singles and has also participated in boxing matches with other YouTubers such as Logan Paul.
KSI said it had struggled “for a couple of years” with the anguish its parents felt about its decision not to go to university.
“My parents saved, they worked hard to put us in a private school and get us to go to university to be a lawyer or doctor, just to turn my back on me and go, ‘no, I want to do it.”
YouTube “Gold Mine”
Speaking of a Grounded episode released on Monday, KSI said his mother “just screamed” after getting a disappointing A-level result.
“I’ve never heard her scream so loud and she was just throwing glasses everywhere. My father was just disappointed, my father just looked down and didn’t know what to say or do. It was hard enough he just crushed me.
“So I said I would try again, but my campus didn’t allow me, so they kicked me out. My parents decided that the best thing to do was an international high school diploma, which I should have tried.”
The international baccalaureate is a two-year educational program aimed at young people aged 16 to 19, which provides a qualification to help with access to higher education and is recognized by many universities.
KSI has been doing this for 18 months, but said a turning point was when he found out that his earnings on YouTube meant making more money than one of his university professors.
“I remember asking a teacher, this is how I made it this month, it was around £ 1,500 and I remember she said ‘this is more than I do’.
“I looked at it and thought, that’s all, YouTube is that, it’s the gold mine. I have to push and push because I know I can become something and make my parents proud.”
Asked Theroux if the news that he is now worth around £ 16 million is true, KSI said: “I guess, I am rich yes. I have been doing YouTube for over 10 years, I have had a lot of money from different angles, in different areas so it makes sense to me to be worth eight digits, yes. “
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