Kabul Tomorrow Sunny
Kandahar Tomorrow Sunny
Herat Tomorrow Sunny
Mazar-i-sharif Tomorrow Sunny
Ghazni Tomorrow Sunny
Jalalabad Tomorrow Sunny
Bamiyan Tomorrow Sunny
Zaranj Tomorrow Sunny
Mimana Tomorrow Sunny
The Killid Group
Fallen starWritten by Awarang Mukhtar
Saturday, 24 December 2011 13:21
Poverty has forced popular singer Abdul Hameed Kandahari to find work on the street.
Kandahari, 71, who has sung hundreds of songs in Dari, Pashto and Hindi has not received any financial support from the government. "Our government does not know the value of an artist," he lamented.
Born into a wealthy landed family he gave up his inheritance at the age of 20 to pursue his dream of music. He has sung and acted in several TV serials and films including Eshtabah (Mistake), De Mohabat Chapera (Slap of love), Mashhor Gunah Kar (The famous sinner), Zanakabaz Marouf (The famous adulterer), and Cheragh (The torch).
To make ends meet he has been selling food on the streets of Kabul. He said people who recognise him tell him "you are an artist. This work does not suit you. I tell them I do it because of compulsion." He acknowledged he was embarrassed about working on the street. "This is a shame for me as well as for the government," he reiterated.
Kandahari is proud of his voice and fame. "Some (religious) fanatics are against my singing. I am happy I am serving my country through my art," he said.
Fame but no money
The aged artist has sung on national radio and television. He has received many awards and letters of appreciation from Afghanistan and outside. "I chose this art to be able to work for my language and culture. To present our local music at the international level and to have a good life," he said. Then he goes back to airing his frustration with the government. "Though I have kept the name of the country very high on TV screens, I have sung hundreds of songs but the government has not helped improve my personal life."
Old age has taken a toll on Kandahari’s health. He said he suffers from body pain and illnesses. He has knocked on the doors of every high-ranking official in the culture and information ministries and departments but his pleas for financial help have not been heard. He said he has no firewood to heat his room in the winter. “When people watched me on TV they may have thought I am a wealthy person but in fact I am poor.”