Afghanistan’s First Female Rapper, Paradise Sorouri Finds a Voice for Women

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Vanessa Obioha

In a country where 87% of women have endured physical or sexual violence, Paradise Sorouri’s audacious step to kick against gender inequality in post-Taliban Afghanistan is sparking controversy.

The 27-year-old has been living a life of seclusion in the past seven years due to constant threat to her life by her countrymen for daring to speak out for women in a way that is deemed inappropriate. She’s been forced to flee her country twice, angrily beaten by men and sent rape threats if she doesn’t quit her campaign for women’s rights.

Defying traditions, the rapper whose lyrics are doused in discrimination against women finds her own identity by covering her head with a baseball cap instead of a hijab.

Her love for music was spurred at a tender age listening to great acts like Tupac, Eminem and Beyoncé. With a painful childhood spent in Iran where she was born, Paradise felt the odd one out until she met Diverse another refugee Diverse. They started making music together in 2008 despite the rising odds against them in Herat, the third largest city in Afghan. Known as the 143band, they started writing and producing songs. In 2o11, they released ‘Faryad-e Zan’ (Woman’s Shout), the first song ever to feature a female Afghan rapper, ushering a wave of new female rappers.

Their first taste of fame came in 2014. Paradise who received sad news about her cousins who burnt themselves alive for fear of being married to older men, penned the song ‘Nalestan’. The song won international attention, with 143Band named Afghanistan’s best rap artist at the 2014 Rumi world music awards. In 2013, Paradise was recognised by the UN in 2013 and won the Afghan ATN network’s award for best rap act in 2015. The duo are nominated again this year.

Last year Paradise and Diverse were among the more than one million migrants who fled the Middle East to Germany. They have been touring Germany and will release their first music video in two years next month for the song ‘Bosaye Eshgh’. They’ve just headlined at the international FeminEast festival in Stockholm, and Rebel Beats, a documentary about Paradise’s struggle as Afghanistan’s first female rapper, will appear in European film festivals early next year.
•Source: The Guardian UK.

REGINA KING TO PLAY AN ANGRY MOTHER IN ‘SEVEN SECONDS’
In the upcoming Netflix’s racial crime drama series, ‘Seven Seconds’, Emmy winner Regina King will play the role of a devout churchgoer and proud mother whose ire was drawn when she found out secrets about her injured son. King’s character, Latrice Butler has a 15-year-old son, Brenton, who was involved in an incident. The accident happened shortly after she and her family moved out of the projects and become first-time homeowners in New Jersey.

Devastated by her son’s accident, she was more frustrated at the realization that there was more to Brenton than she and her husband were aware of. This realization triggered an explosive anger at her son’s predicament, an anger that will ultimately change her life, her relationship with her husband and more.

Seven Seconds’ narrative explores the rising tensions between African-American citizens and Caucasian police officers in Jersey City, where a teenage African-American boy is critically injured by a cop.
Produced by Fox 21, the first ten episodes of the series will feature actors like Daviud Lyons, Michael Mosley, Russell Homsby and Beau Knapp.

DRAKE, RIHANNA DOMINATES
SPOTIFY’S STREAMING SERVICE
Drake continues his dominating streak as he recently was awarded the most streamed artist of the 2016. He garnered more than 4.7 billion views on the streaming platform for his latest album ‘Views’, owing to his record breaking single ‘One Dance’. The figure is more than a double of his 1.8billion views last year. Justin Bieber, Kanye West, Coldplay and Twenty One Pilots were the next most streamed male artists after Drake

Rihanna on the otrher led the female categoiry with 2.5 billion streams both in the UK and globally for second year in a row following the release of her eighth album,Anti. Sia, Adele, Ariana Grande and Beyoncé featured in the female top five.

NICHOLAS CAGE TAKES THE LEAD IN A NEW SCI-FI MOVIE
The Face-off star will play the lead actor on a new sci-fi movie about climate change: ‘The Humanity Project’. Set in 2030 in Midwest of America, the plot depicts a world ravaged by climate change.

The Humanity Project is a government agency that exiles people it felyt were un[roductive and banished them to a colony, New Eden. Cage plays a caseworker seeking to appeal the exile of a single mother (Sarah Lind) and her son (Jakob Davies).
Scripted by Dave Schultz, will be directed by Rob King, and is due to start shooting in British Columbia this week.

NETFLIX OFFERS USERS OFFLINE SERVICES
The online streaming service recently announced that users worldwide can now download some videos to their mobile devices instead of streaming them over mobile data.
Initially, Netflix announced that only some of the content in its library will be available offline via the feature, available in the latest version of its app on phones and tablets using iOS or Android. The company did not specify how many programs would become available for download later but indicated more to come.

Customers who watch only a limited amount of video before incurring overage fees with their cellular carriers are more likely to stop watching videos, while those boarding a plane or on a road trip can download through Wi-Fi before the signal disappears.