At Self’Projections we have started a brand new series named “Pakistan’s Social Media Stars” in the series we will be featuring top 5 Pakistani social media stars.
The first one needs no introduction as his ganji swag is making people drool over his wit & humor. We are talking about our personal favorite Junaid Akram, J has showed us the true example of how to follow your heart & be the king. His videos are shared and liked over a million times and his special naughty desi touch makes them more special. Recently he won the stand up comedy contest on The Kris Fade Show on Virgin Radio and will be doing the opening for South Africa’s best Darren “Whackhead” Simpson on November 3rd at DUCTAC Theater.
And not only this Junaid Akram is a brand now and owns his merchandise. The merchandise consists of his favorite one liners and witty abbreviations he use. And to start our latest series what could be better than Junaid Akram and now we must Khalli Karaoa to the rest. Enjoy the interview & his vision for future.
The first one needs no introduction as his ganji swag is making people drool over his wit & humor.
Enjoy the interview & his vision for future.
SP: Tell us about your journey.
J: Well, my journey is not so different from anyone coming from a middle class Pakistani family that goes through their ups and downs in life. Due to certain financial constraints, I started working very early in life which started as a waiter for a restaurant and part time selling burgers. I had keen interest in acquiring knowledge so I kept myself well aware of my environment and global affairs through newspaper and TV. Humor runs in the family so I was blessed to have such a good practice arena. Turn of events and I found a lot of my friends suggesting me to take my humor to a meaningful stage. I personally was also a fan of comedy so I started performing at open mics, then further went onto making YouTube videos. I moved to Dubai for a job opportunity but continued to do stand up on the side and making videos and here I am. It wasn’t an easy journey but I learned a lot.
SP: Why would a person like you with a settled job & educational background will come towards something like comedy?
J: This really saddens me how our economical dynamics only see us as money making machine. Society teaches us to be selfish, get a degree, get a job, get married, get kids, send them to school and get them married before you die. In all of this, you were only doing things for yourself. How about those who can’t keep up with the fast pace of life? Who’s going to take care of them? I personally believe we all have a social responsibility towards others. I take comedy as a service to those who are having a bad day or a bad week. If my words can make them forget their problems for a bit and make them smile, I find it very empowering. I consider it as a service to God.
SP: What drives you to be the voice of many? And what do you think about the word miraasi?
J: Like I said, I genuinely feel I’m put on this earth to do good for others and not just live for myself. Being older than most of the people who follow me, I genuinely try to teach them something so they don’t end up making mistakes which I did. If I can teach something from my own personal experiences helping them to avoid, that’s the best thing. So I try to be that voice to help them understand things that their university wont teach them. As for the word miraasi, the word itself is not bad. It’s the way it’s implied is. We live in a society where art is considered as an option or those who couldn’t score enough to get science subjects. Also, pursuing arts is considered as ill-advised. We’re still circling around doctors and engineers ideology. And we like to look down upon people who pursue arts. We call them farigh or time wasters. The problem is with the society, not lies with the artist.
SP: What makes you different from other social media stars?
J: That’s for the people to decide. I just try to do my thing and my part and hope to educate somehow through the tool of humor.
SP: To what extent humor is necessary part of life? And did you develop some skills for being humorous or just born talent?
J: Some things are innate, you can’t help it. Some, you can develop over time provided you can see in black and white. Some people are delusional about their talents and some who are very talented undermine themselves a lot. It’s called the Dunning Kruger effect in psychology. I think humor is a good thing to have. It helps you get by especially during the time of distress. I believe there’s humor in everything if only you have the eye to see it.
SP: Who has been your inspiration? From where do you get your source material from?
J: The inspirations are so many both local and international. As for the material, well I observe a lot and I’ve lived in Pakistan for 28 years, which is ample time to form an opinion. I believe Pakistan is a very funny society the way we handle things in life so that’s where I extract my material from.
SP: According to you which are the things Pakistanis find funny?
J: Pakistan is a society of 180 million people coming from different social strata. Similarly, they’re also divided in terms of humor as well. There was a time when we found content funnier like in case of 50/50 but now we mostly find action comedy, people slipping off a banana peel, making faces or weird noises. It reflects that we’re steeping down in education which is largely affecting our ability to understand humour as well. Case in point, Bulbuley.
SP: Do you consider yourself as an established comedian or just an upcoming one?
J: I’ve been doing this for almost 5 years, on and off, so I think upcoming would be an understatement here.
SP: What else would you like to try away from comedy genre?
J: Since my focus is mostly about society and it’s behaviour and aimed at its betterment, I would really like to be engaged in a project that would cover some sort of social issue and provide solution for it.
SP: Our little meow (kitty) told us that you will be acting in a big venture, what’s in for future?
J: I’m not an actor. I cant act to save my life. But lets see what future holds for me.
SP: Your video about Lahoris made many offensive, what’s your response?
J: The one I made at Atif Aslam’s concert? Well, it wasn’t aimed to mean bad but I can only say things, understanding what’s being said is audience’s part. In comedy, you have hit and miss so that’s okay.
SP: Whom do you like to Khalli karao?
J: Anyone who’s wasting their time and energy on things that hold no value in life. People should show more compassion towards others and be nice. If they can’t, they should be khalli’d.
SP: Rate the following social media stars on the basis of sex appeal?
Taimur aka Mooroo
Ghazanfar from Bekaar Vines
J: Ganjiswag of course.
SP: Which team is doing the best work?
Sham idrees team
J: I can’t rate anyone because everyone’s working according to their knowledge and their target audience. I just hope they all do well.
SP: Why don’t we see more girl Vloggers /Social media stars in Pakistan?
J: Because we’re a “log kya kahenge” qoum.
SP: What would you like to say to our readers?
J: Nobody is born with special powers. You all have the ability to change the course of the world provided if you try because trying and failing is better than failing to try. Be good to others.
Did You Know:
Junaid Akram was born in 18/07/1983 and his star sign is cancer. He likes people who stand by what they believe in and dislike those who are high on miscommitment. He loves being on his own and hate being around people who bring no value also he wants to travel extensively.
Via Self Projections