Featured People

Could this be Cape Town’s latest vocal star?

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 .


Please feel free to get in touch with us by leaving a comment or via our social media (IG: @thebrowngirlsociety and Facebook: The Brown Girl Society) and remember to stay up to date with future posts by adding in your email and hitting that follow button at the bottom of this page.

Love always, Sauda








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