KINGSTON, Jamaica – Osbourne ‘Peanut Dread’ Ellis is a bonafide social media star. But, three years since rocketing to fame with his catchphrase ‘Radam’, the popular storyteller is living in destitution.
“I’m living a rough life right now,” a teary-eyed Ellis told OBSERVER ONLINE when a news team visited his home in Papine, St Andrew on Wednesday.
Twice destroyed by fire, Ellis’ home is an unfinished zinc-roofed structure that lacks basic amenities such as a proper bed, a kitchen, and a visible bathroom.
Currently, he is using a sponge for his resting place and two blocks covered by a piece of zinc to prepare meals.
According to Ellis, when asked about his earnings, while others have profited off his fame, he has earned little from it. He said, up to recently, he had been clueless about his own finances.
“Dem have mi all over the world and if me could a monitor my ting, mi would a better off,” said Ellis, who recently parted ways with his manager.
“Mi see posters put up seh mi to come to Canada and mi nuh know who put up dat poster right now because nobody nuh consult me,” Ellis added.
Peanut Dread, who earned the name as a peanut vendor, became an internet sensation when a video of him using the catchphrase ‘Radam’ went viral. Since then, he has garnered over 72,000 subscribers on YouTube and has even been featured in songs and music videos.
But the fame hasn’t enhanced his livelihood, and among his worries is a leg injury he suffered five years ago, as a result of falling off his bike, that has become infected. His leg now needs medical attention and this, he says, has slowed down his daily life including tending to his nearby farm and accepting job opportunities.
“My leg bone break and they put wire and some bead to resist infection because it was infected. Is five years now and di bone set an then it wasn’t giving any trouble den all of a sudden mi si it burst out an started running infection,” Ellis said.
“I have a problem man with this foot here man. Oh God oh God oh God! It a slow mi up cause mi have me work an have mi ting fi do fi get around wid it. Mi jus confused. Mi wouldn’t mind nex week mi guh [hospital] an dem look after it cause it bad yuh know,” he lamented.
As such, he has pleaded for help from those who are willing to offer assistance to provide some form of “comfort” as he aims to get a hold of his life.
“I would ask di whole worl if dem can come togedda an give mi sum attention cause mi would feel so much better,” he said. “Because mi really need some attention, but jus true a bear scamming ting a gwaan wid I and I cyah help it, I affi seh fram mi doh sick an nah feel any pain, wen rain fall mi nuh wet an mi can find someting fi eat, but dat is not good enough. Mi need some comfort.”
To his delight, Ellis has gained support from the Real Helping Hands, the first crowd funding platform in the Caribbean that helps those in need to raise funds online.
Anyone who is willing to help Ellis can do so at the National Commercial Bank via account number 404074808 or donate to his campaign on the Real Helping Hands official website at https://realhelpinghands.com/campaign/peanut-dread-need-our-help-to-do-a-medical-operation-and-finish-building-his-house/