- 21 Apr - 27 Apr, 2018
Socially yours; the stars of social media
- 28 Apr - 04 May, 2018
If you fall upon Aladdin’s magic lamp and ask the genie to make you a sensation overnight, the genie will probably scoff and advise you to make a presence on social media first; for starters. Yes, that’s the power and prowess social media has. You need no genie; you need an account and humongous servings of talent. There is no dearth of talent in Pakistan, and the nation has produced some of its very own internet sensations.
Nothing rocks the Pakistani conscience like Junaid Akram’s videos. His on-the-mark, satirical commentary over the many issues that Pakistani commoners face every day is blatant, relatable and hilarious. Famous for his pet phrase, “Khali karao!” which is an Arabic word meaning ‘rafa dafa karo’, Junaid had been doing stand-up comedy for some time before he decided he’d use what he does best to connect with the Pakistani awaam. His distinct political satire and social commentary is not just good for a few guffaws; it mostly serves as a reckoning and a wakening message for the masses. The most impressive thing about his videos? They aren’t scripted. The man’s continued vent and frustrations over the social issues in the country come out in a heartfelt, in-the-moment and awfully relatable manner. The fact that his commentary echoes the woes and unaired frustration of every Pakistani heart makes him a social success. What started with a few fun videos made in the name of light-hearted entertainment and mild social awakening, made Junaid go viral on the social media.
Born Ehtesham Idrees, he started off as a successful singer-song writer, MC and record producer known for singles such as Bolo Na, Pyar Hoa and Fame and a Girl. His mainstream recording debut in the summer of 2012 with Bolo Na, topped the UK Asian charts. With his songs and other work gaining popularity, Sham soon joined the social media starlet bandwagon with his official Facebook page, gaining about six million followers. Many of his acts and vlogs are associated with Zaid Ali Tariq, and another famed comedian Shahveer Jaffri with whom the star has very ‘bro’ terms. His glassy coloured eyes, an American tan and broad-shouldered physique has wooed scores of fans over the social media landscape. Many of his videos are about everyday cookie-cutter problems of a brown guy, most of them carrying a significant message at the end. His wit and acting has earned him a lot of praise by the viewers. He often features his best friend and fellow Vlogger, Queen Froggie in his videos. Recently, Sham winded up in an internet controversy, when a video of him in an accident went viral. The video which was uploaded by the star, showed him and Queen Froggie at the scene of a horrible car accident, with Sham bleeding profusely from the mouth, as he filmed the video despite his injuries. Many viewers and fans speculated that the video and its content were fake, and was staged to fetch him more followers on social media.
The comedy scene in Pakistan heavily capitalises on jovial takes on the norms of desi culture and while there is a plethora of content dedicated to this niche, Pakistanis simply can’t have enough! One such digital influencer is Rukhsar, famed for her channel BrownGirlProblems, whose comedic take on socially relevant issues has earned her 200,000 Instagram followers. Every video of hers hits the viral notch. Based in UK, Rukhsar’s videos are an airlift from blue moods with the social media starlet’s bubbling personality and on-point sense of humour. As the channel’s name says for itself, the content is driven by the everyday issues a brown girl has to endure in a desi, patriarchal society. Many of her videos have an inspiring story, an aspect that makes them rather cheery to watch.
Zaid Ali Tariq
A household favourite, with a Facebook page garnering an astounding two million likes, 2.2 million followers on Instagram and a YouTube channel with just as many subscribers, Zaid is quiet the brown peoples’ favourite. Every update from this comedian and vlogger earns him hundreds of shares and likes within a matter of seconds. A disarming smile, some impeccable acting skills, and outclass jokes channelling the desi frustration with typical Asian cultural norms, Zaid has his viewers rolling with laughter. The comedian mostly acts in his own videos, with some regular appearances by his mother, and as of late his friends and his wife. Zaid was subjected to a few controversies and backlash some time back, with people accusing him of plagiarism, but the vlogger denied the allegations, saying that all his content has been original. Zaid recently tied the knot with wife, Yumna, and naturally the internet had a field day with the news, congratulating Zaid on finally finding his “Mariam” (a fictional woman and love interest of Zaid in many of his videos, whom Zaid was hilariously filmed pursuing).
Known by her social media title Queen Froggy, Jannat is another name that has made viral presence over the social media. This Pakistani girl has been everyone’s favourite, with her distinctive acting skills, often imitating the woes and joys of atypical brown girl. She started off as making several singles together with her best friend and famous vlogger Sham Idrees. The two have also released several singles together including Jaane Jaan and Woh Pal. In 2016, the duo took to social media to announce that they would star together in a drama serial called Jaana. The show premiered in August 2016. Known for sharing photos of her and Sham together on Instagram, she has also appeared in short comedy sketches with him. On her own Instagram, she has a following that exceeds 410,000.
Eemanji makes for a true social media queen, who has created marvellous comedic, lifestyle, beauty and often poetic content, earning her many fans. She started off with her YouTube channel in the year 2013, initially making short films of her singing. Over the years, she added slices of lifestyle and beauty driven content into her vlogs. Starting with only a handful of subscribers, her YouTube channel now has a whopping 30,000 subscribers. Following her fame on YouTube, the star made it big on other social platforms as well, including musical.ly, Instagram and YouNow. She also has a secondary channel called Extra Eeman.
DhoomBros are the Pakistani-American clan with members Hussain Asif, Shehryar Asif, Waqas Riaz and Atif Khan. The group of all-rounder entertainers, shot to fame on social media with the creation of their channel DhoomBros 2008. It has been more than a decade and the clan has been giving masses heavy servings of entertainment. Many of their videos are fun-filled mehndi dances whole much of their content involves hilarious parodies of the life of brown people, giving an amusing insight into the mainstream desi culture. They created a web drama called Hum Kahan Chal Diye which began airing in 2016. Their collaborative channel has amassed more than 230,000 subscribers.
Another viral name the social media follows and loves is AksTainment. This is an actress, model, and director who swept the social media away with the launch of her account where she has a good following of over 140,000 fans. The star first experimented with a Twitter account in her early days, but soon fell out of it. Her Facebook, Instagram and YouTube channel have brought her most fandom. She did a duet with Johnny Orlando on musical.ly as part of the #AllMyFriendsChallenge.
Many of us have seen Shahveer star alongside Zaid Ali Tariq in many of their collaborative videos. The comedic video creator is another one of the social media cult favourites, who often has us rolling in laughter with his ridiculously relatable digs at desi, specifically South Asian-Canadian, family culture, traditions and traits. With over 2.3 million likes on Facebook and a large subscribership on his YouTube channel exceeding 850,000 subscribers, he has been a local and international favourite. The star started by creating digital content in 2013, but wasn’t met with instant success or hits. He gradually began posting more on his social media and after many collaborative efforts with other vloggers, Shahveer made it big finally.
Imagine being so bored and listless with your law degree that you go about being a social media rave-queen instead. Sounds fictional? It’s not! Faiza Saleem is a lawyer-turned-comedienne who rose to stardom on social media with her expert entertaining skills. Becoming a social media rage and for comedy, is a floor dominated by men, amongst such dominance, Faiza is said to be the first female social media entertainer in Pakistan. She has been the steering force behind making the first-ever girls comedy troupe, The Khawtoons and leads Pakistan's first all-female platform for standup comedy, The Auratnaak Show. Despite the competition from her male counterparts who were well-established before Faiza even started off, she has seamlessly reigned the comedy scene in Pakistan for a good few years now. Often hailed as the Queen of comedy and even Improv Queen by many, her talent is not limited to social media’s stage; the starlet has given many performances in several cities across Pakistan. Faiza continually calibrates her fame to her massive social media fan following. Her powerful fandom on the social sites allowed her to make massive leaps into the entertainment industry. She ventured into the Pakistani TV and film industry with her performance in the prestigious Lux Style Awards, debut in a telefilm, and special appearance in the film Parchi. She is credited at large for transforming the comedy scene in Pakistan by making her mark and even introducing other women in an otherwise male dominated field.
- 07 Apr - 13 Apr, 2018
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