YouTuber KSI has said his parents were initially disappointed with his decision not to go to university.
The 26-year-old explained his mum and dad had put their savings into sending him to private school in the hope he would become a lawyer or doctor.
Speaking to Louis Theroux on Radio 4’s Grounded podcast, KSI said he “didn’t want to let his parents down”.
“But eventually I decided, ‘you know what, screw it. I’m going to 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 such as Fifa.
He grew his following over several years and is now one of the site’s most popular personalities, with 21 million subscribers.
In recent years, he has broken into the UK top 10 with his own rap singles and also taken part in boxing matches with other YouTubers such as Logan Paul.
KSI said he struggled “for a couple of years” with the anguish his parents felt about his decision not to go to university.
“My parents saved up, worked hard to put us in private school and to make us go into university to be a lawyer or doctor, for me to just turn my back on them and just go, ‘no I want to do this’.”
Speaking on an episode of Grounded released on Monday, KSI said his mum “just screamed” after he got a disappointing A-level result.
“I’ve never heard her scream so loud and she was just throwing glasses everywhere. My dad was just disappointed, my dad just looked on the ground and he just didn’t know what to say or do. It was quite hard, it just crushed me.
“So I said that I would try it again but my campus they didn’t allow it, so they just kicked me out. My parents decided the next best thing was an international baccalaureate, that I should try that.”
The international baccalaureate diploma is a two-year educational programme aimed at 16-to-19-year-olds, which provides a qualification to help with entry into higher education and is recognised by many universities.
KSI did that for 18 months but said a key turning point was when he found out his YouTube earnings meant he was making more money than one of his college lecturers.
“I remember I asked a teacher, this is how I made this month, it was about £1,500 and I remember him telling me ‘that’s more than I make’.
“I looked at it and I thought, that’s it, YouTube is the one, it is the goldmine. I need to push and push because I know I can become something and make my parents proud.”
Asked by Theroux if reports that he is now worth around £16 million are true, KSI said: “I guess, I am wealthy yes. I’ve been doing YouTube for 10-plus years, I had a lot of money coming from different angles, in different areas so it makes sense for me to be worth eight figures yeah.”
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