Recently, singer Meesha Shafi shut down criticism about brother Faris Shafi, when academic and activist Nida Kirmani complained about the rapper only reinforcing the ‘class and ethnic privilege’ prevalent in the field of arts.
It all started when Nida Kirmani posted in a tweet that Faris Shafi’s rap may be ‘entertaining’, but claimed that people like Faris Shafi should not dabble into it, as according to her “Rap being an art form of the marginalised, adopted & transformed by folks from the inner city. This is why the rappers like Eva B coming from Lyari are part of a wider tradition. The elite should leave at least this.”
Class & ethnic privilege effect every field in Pakistan, but one of its most profound effects is on the arts. From music to literature to tv/film, most of those who make it big are members of the Punjabi elite. Coke studios throws in some Sindhis & Baloch as tokens but that’s it.
— Nida Kirmani (@NidaKirmani) January 31, 2022
Addressing the harsh and direct criticism, Meesha responded by putting out her and her brother’s background, and the struggle the two had to go through in their own respective artistic endeavours before finally getting a break in the industry.
That’s a bit flat and problematic as a general perspective. Faris and I were raised by an extremely hard working, very financially stressed single mother. We do not come from money. Are you suggesting, just because she put her sweat and tears into
— MEESHA SHAFI (@itsmeeshashafi) January 31, 2022
She also called attention to their present careers being a result of the struggles their mother Saba Hameed’s hard efforts who she explained raised them as a very ‘financially stressed single mother.’