Pakistani vocalist treats Durban to Islamic music

2010-05-01 00:00

THE well-known NMJ Hall in Mor­ningside, Durban, rang with melody last night as an audience of an estimated 1 000 people was treated to a rare privilege — a performance by the well-known Pakistani recording artist, Junaid Jamshed (46).

A devout Muslim, Jamshed performs Islamic vocal music and has recorded four albums. He performs praise poetry or naats, and praise songs or nasheeds. Traditional Muslim music is performed a capella or with percussion instruments only.

The well-known vocalist was supported by several local Muslim vocal percussion or beat-boxing perfor­mers, the Waahid group, Idris Rajab, Areef Subrathie, Hoosein Kalla and Inayet Petker.

Jamshed is in the country under the auspices of the UK-based Muslim Charity organisation. The group is staging a “Seven-City Mission of Mercy” fundraising tour of South Africa, Mozambique and Malawi. Proceeds from the performances will go to building the first specialised gynaecological hospital in Malawi and to purchase equipment for three local schools. This includes chairs, computers and other school supplies for iSibonelo High School in KwaMashu and computers for South Coast Madressa School and Addington Primary School.

Twenty Gecko eco-friendly computers were presented to the principals of each of the three schools at a handing-over ceremony hosted by Clifton School yesterday.

Jamshed, a member of Jamaat , an international group dedicated to encouraging Muslims in their practice of Islam, was not always a committed believer. He started out studying to be an aeronautical engineer and saw music as just a hobby. He became the lead singer of Pakistan’s first pop group, Vital Signs, in 1986, and the group recorded a single Dil Dil Pakistan in 1987. The song was released to mark the country’s 30th national anniversary and instantly became a smash hit.

In an international poll conducted in 2003 by BBC World Service, the song was voted third in a list of the 10 most famous songs of all time.

The group, the first Pakistani band to perform outside the country, recorded four albums and toured the U.S.

Vital Signs split up in 1995 after which Jamshed embarked on a solo career and released a number of hit albums. He turned his back on the world of pop music in 2002 to devote his life to Islam.

• Jamshed and the supporting performers will be appearing in the Truro Hall in Northdale, Pietermaritzburg on Sunday night at 6pm. Contact Fathima 033 397 9911.

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