Christiaan Van Vuuren, AKA the Fully Sick Rapper, is making a name for himself on YouTube from the last place you would expect – a hospital quarantine room. Christiaan, who was diagnosed with tuberculosis in December of 2009, has spent over 100 days in quarantine in a hospital in Sydney, Australia. To pass the time and entertain his friends, he started making rap videos about his experience in quarantine. His videos have racked up hundreds of thousands of views in only a few months.
The Fully Sick Rapper raps about how he got sick and what life in quarantine is like, putting a humorous spin on a situation that could otherwise really get him down. On his YouTube page he says, I am trying my best to be creative in a time that has been pretty hard on me, and this is a way to share it with people.” YouTube has served as a channel for Christiaan to connect with the outside world from within his quarantined bubble, as well as to combat boredom and loneliness and spread awareness about tuberculosis.
When he first created his persona as the Fully Sick Rapper, Christiaan had no idea that his videos would be so popular. He simply needed an activity to fill his days, and thought that his friends at home would find his videos amusing. However, he was quickly discovered by YouTubers and appeared on Australia’s Today Show within two weeks.
Christiaan’s videos have also drawn the attention of the World Health Organization Stop TB program, which asked him to create a video for World Tuberculosis Day last month. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Christiaan says, “[Stop TB] told me that whether I know it or not, what I’m doing is actually really good for tuberculosis, letting people know it’s not just a Third World issue.”
Christiaan is a real inspiration, as he has taken a very tough situation and made light of it. In doing so, he has not only become a new web sensation but is also spreading awareness about tuberculosis, a disease that many people think is confined to third world nations and populations. What do you think of Christiaan’s video? Do you think he deserves the fame that this brush with tuberculosis has brought on?