To a stranger, he’s quirky, but to those who know the famed Mr. Toilet, he’s the leader of the global sanitation revolution. He grew up in the slums of Singapore with a bucket for a toilet and knows the agonies first hand of what it’s like to go through life without having a proper loo. Using humor as his weapon, Mr. Toilet fights an uphill battle against taboos surrounding toilets asserting, “Poop culture will soon become pop culture.” But not everyone is thrilled with his unconventional methods—unabashedly using the word sh*t or referring to himself as the 007 of toilets because it spells loo upside down. After successfully creating the World Toilet Organization and convincing 193 countries to adopt United Nations World Toilet Day, Mr. Toilet has declared himself fit to help the 2.4 billion people without proper sanitation. But, as a toilet soldier who inherited an idealistic outlook, many conservatives and traditionalists feel threatened by Mr. Toilet’s approach.
Mr. Toilet: The World’s #2 Man participated in the 2016 Diversity Fellows Initiative (past program).
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Lily Zepeda is a veteran journalist and storyteller. After an interview with the award-winning Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation toilet innovator, Zepeda dove deeper into this taboo subject, researching these new technologically savvy loos in 2012. When she discovered that 40 percent of the world’s population does not have access to toilets, she was dumbfounded. This was not only a hygienic issue, but it was one that affected women who live in daily fear of rape and animal attacks. Zepeda decided it was time to share it with the world and give a voice to the 2.4 billion people who deserve safe sanitation.