A feature on Zahrina Valley.
Aamir Khan’s recent Indian movie, Secret Superstar, has come to South African cinema. Amidst the familiar popcorn and the klanks of Suncoast casino comes a movie about a Muslim girl who finds a passion in singing. Except, she has to keep it a secret. The idea of a Muslim girl singing doesn’t sit well with everyone.
As The Brown Girl Society, we celebrate the ‘other’, the girls that transcend the constructs of a brown girl.
Introducing Zahrina Valley, an 18 year old matriculant. She recently posted a video on Instagram of herself singing.
Zahrina is a hijabi, just discovering her talent by the response she has received on Instagram.
We contacted Zahrina to understand her personal standpoint on singing;
TBGS: When did you first start singing?
Zahrina: I’ve never actually thought about when exactly it all started. I guess singing has always been in the family to a certain extent. For the longest time, I remember singing karaoke for fun at family functions. As I got older, I became shy around people and wouldn’t really sing anymore, aside from in my bedroom mirror, of course! I used to go for guitar lessons in primary school and in grade 6 and 7, but I never sang when we had performances or shows, but rather when I was alone in my room. I was even too shy to sing in front of my mom to be quite honest. Last year, I decided to post a video on Instagram for the fun of it and ever since, I haven’t stopped. I guess you could say that I started singing in 2016.
TBGS: How does singing make you feel?
Zahrina: When I’m singing, I feel nothing but happiness. To an extent I’d like to say that singing is actually the best stress-relieving mechanism for me. I’m in matric and finals have been the most stressful period of my entire high school career. Singing is my happy place.
TBGS: Do you usually get a good response when you sing in public?
Zahrina: The only public singing I’ve done is the videos I’ve posted on Instagram and a valedictory performance. But yes, I’ve mostly gotten really good feedback from people, and I can assure you my family and friends are excluded in making this conclusion. From my Instagram videos, the feedback is so surreal sometimes! People’s comments still amaze me and I appreciate everyone for their love and support.
TBGS: What are your goals and aspirations?
Zahrina: As cliché as it might seem, my goal is to be successful in life. If I’m being completely honest, singing has never been a career choice for me. I’d like to study Pharmacy next year, InShaAllah. But then again, we never know what might just happen.
TBGS: Where would you like to see your singing career in ten years?
Zahrina: I would love to keep doing what makes me happy, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up for being a huge star. I guess I’m stuck between taking the leap of faith and exploring my talent, and playing it safe and going off to study. I haven’t thought about it in depth because I never thought I’d be in this position. I never thought anything would ever come from my singing, to be honest.
Thank you so so much for joining us for a chat on the latest unsung singer. You can find Zahrina on Instagram, @ZahrinaValley .
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Love always, Sauda