MINGORA, 21 July: Banr Mohallah of Mingora is a well-known place for promoting performing art. A number of female Pashto singers, including Nazia Iqbal, late Ghazala Javed, Neelo and Pukhraj Begum belonged to this locality.
Now Sadia Shah, an emerging talent from the same area, is making endeavors to follow in the footprints of above mentioned singers who scaled new heights in Pashto singing. Ghazala Javed, who was gunned down in Peshawar in June 2012, was her cousin.
During an exclusive chat with TNN, the 15-year-old singer said that her fans not only appreciate her voice but also her skill of playing harmonium. She claimed that she is the only singer in Banr Mohallah after Nazia Iqbal who plays harmonium with command. Sadia said she respects all her teachers but her senior teachers, Umaray Ustaz and Fayazay Ustaz, are her favourites.
“Peace has been restored in (once militancy-plagued) Swat. Army has also been deployed here and there is no fear (of militants’ return). I have also worked in Peshawar. People in Kabul and Balochistan highly admire my singing,” Sadia said.
The teenaged singer said she gives about five hours daily to her rehearsal. She said no one has discouraged her so far and hoped that she will attain excellence in the art of music with the passage of time.
Sadia said Banr Mohallah is usually famous for producing female dancers, but she has no inclination towards dancing. She said singing is her family profession and she wants to excel in this field like her slain cousin Ghazala and Dilraj.
To a question, she said her parents love her and fully support her for attaining fame in singing. “My mother doesn’t allow me to work at home because she thinks that it will affect my health,” she said in a light tone.
About her marriage plans, Sadia said she is fully focussed on her art and has no time for any such thinking. “My three albums had been released so far, but I haven’t performed in movies as yet. In future, I want to sing for the Pashto movies,” she said.
Her father, Jehangir told TNN that he can foresee that her daughter will become a top Pashto singer one day. He said he fully supports his daughter to achieve excellence in her filed.
The teenaged singer from Banr is also gaining popularity among the fans. One of her fans said, “She has performed well. Her songs have been aired on Radio Pakistan, Pakistan Television and other private television channels. If she kept on working hard, she would emerge as a very good singer.”
Banr Mohallah not only serves as a source of entertainment for the people of Swat but also produce eminent national level singers. Swat is fast emerging as a fertile land for emerging female singers and Sadia is just one of them.