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British Pakistani boy raises Covid-19 awareness through music, poetry

The News International logo The News International 13/06/2020 Murtaza Ali Shah
a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by The News International

LONDON: Nine-year-old British Pakistani Ibraheem Usmani has gained a lot of attention with his new COVID-19 awareness platform.

The young British Pakistani seeks to encourage people to create music, art, write songs, and to spread awareness about COVID-19 and related issues like isolation, mental health, domestic abuse and social responsibility.

Ibraheem's start-up HopeCast has caused ripples across the world with Academy Award winner Colin Firth, Pop-star Meg Myers and Children’s author Katherine Rundell recently recording their favourite poems on HopeCast's YoutTube Channel. The not for profit platform is supported by Ibraheem’s father, Arsalan Usmani.

In an exclusive conversation with The News, Ibraheem said: "I always wanted to be a You-tuber, as I had many ideas that I wanted to share with the world through my music and creativity. When the coronavirus started, we all got locked down, I couldn’t play any sports, meet my friends, go to school etc."

Ibraheem mentioned how there was a lot of misinformation being spread about the virus and he wanted to play his part in the fight against COVID-19.

The 9 year old British Pakistani said: "I wanted to do something that can not only inspire us all to be creative but to also comfort each other in these uncertain times. I also wanted other children, my friends etc. to get involved in some activity instead of wasting time just playing video games all day so, my dad and I thought of making a platform, something for the people, by the people." Ibraheem has been featured in various international platforms like BBC News and ITV.

His channel is now releasing videos in 14 languages, with original contributions from as far as Japan and celebrities such as Colin Firth, Meg Myers, Lzzy Hale and Junoon's Salman Ahmed have taken part.

The family is not only focusing on big names and celebrities but also wants regular people like them to contribute to the platform. Ibraheem's vision for his platform is to make it the biggest platform in the world for creative collaboration.

He said: "This can be a perfect place for songwriters, musicians, poets and artist to express their voices and collaborate with each other. We started this is as a non-profit venture, so we plan to start a charity through the money we may earn from the views, to help people affected by COVID-19 and other issues." Commenting on his son's achievements at such a young age, Ibraheem's father Arsalan Usmani said: "I personally think it’s amazing for a normal school boy to come this far and have a lot of people, around the world, supporting his dream.”

Ibraheem who aims to win a Grammy through his work is highly motivated to spread COVID-19 awareness. He told The News how dreams could be fulfilled if one had the potential to work hard and make an effort to pursue them.

He said: "My message is that if you imagine something, it can happen but you’ll need to put in a lot of effort and hard work for your idea to come alive. We should all try to contribute some positivity around the world we see, no matter how small. You never know, any idea can grow and become big. The key is to have focus and do the hard work. When the situation improves, we plan to release our first collaborative, spoken-word album. Who knows, may be we can win a Grammy or two?"

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