Meet A 16-Year- Old Afghan Girl Who Escaped Child Marriage by Rapping About It
- IWB Post
- October 21, 2015
Sonita Alizadeh didn’t even hit her puberty when her family decided to sell her in order to raise money for her brother’s education. It was amusing to know how this girl decided to change her destiny with the power of music.
Born in Afghanistan, Sonita worked in an NGO and learnt to read and write there. She found solace in rap music, and even though she couldn’t understand Eminem’s words, he became her favourite, inspiring her to share her own story through lyrics. It’s around this time the ‘marriage proposals’ started pouring in her life. At the age of 10, she was prepared to be sold to an older man.
Then born the song ‘Brides for Sale’ that changed her life forever.
In her recent appearance at the Women in the World summit, she said, “I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t speak. When my mother told me they would have to sell me, my heart broke down. Again, I realized against my brother, I have no value. And they couldn’t understand me … It was an experience of death.”
After the song was uploaded, Sonita switched off her phone expecting the worst. But the video was appreciated nationally, and broadcast on television, which made her mother change her mind. At the interview, Sonita said, “My mother said it was good. She didn’t say, ‘Wow, it’s very good. I’m proud of you.’ She didn’t show me so much emotion, but for me it was a big change in my life.”
After the recognition, the rapper was awarded a full scholarship by the Strongheart Group, to study in the USA. Finally a happy ending…or shall we say a beautiful beginning?
We’ll always keep Sonita’s words in mind – “When my mother made a decision to sell me, I didn’t give up because I had designed a shiny future in my mind for myself.”