Pakistan News

Video praising Panama Papers verdict goes viral

Video praising Panama Papers verdict goes viral

KARACHI: This weekend, while the tremors of the Panama Papers case verdict were still being felt in some parts of the country, a video released on social media by a group of youngsters that goes by the name of Karachi Vynz lent a lighter touch to the whole situation. By Wednesday, the track had gone viral.

Karachi Vynz have a popular Facebook page where they post videos, usually funny skits on the socio-political situation in the country. But this one was different. Mind you, they are not a musical band.

In the video, eight boys are seen standing waist-deep in a swimming pool. The boy in front begins the act with a line ‘Immu hamein aap pe bharosa sahi thi” (Imran our trust in you proved right) to which the other boys standing behind him chant “sahi tha”. The next line is: “aap ka mudda bhi dekho phir wahi thi” (the issue you raised was the same), and the rest of the boys go “wahi tha”. At the end of the less-than-a-minute video the boys splash-dance in the pool chanting “sahi tha, sahi tha, sahi tha…”

The Urdu-language track is inspired by a famous Marathi song Sonu. The adaptation did not get lost on cultural commentators on the other side of the Wagah border. One of their media outlets got in touch with the group and did a little feature on their performance.

Talking to Dawn, the leader of Karachi Vynz, Mansoor Qureshi, said: “We posted the video on Saturday and it went viral internationally. BBC interviewed us, blogs were written about us and even an Arab news channel expressed its interest in the video.”

The group think of themselves as ‘social media content creators’. They post videos on the subjects that inspire them. For quite a while they hadn’t been able to find an interesting topic to ‘comment’ on. Then the Panama Papers verdict came and the very next day they penned some interesting lines. Since they were aware of the Marathi song Sonu, they set their lyrics to that track.

“We were picnicking at a farm house. When this idea hit us, we shot it then and there in the swimming pool, uploaded it raw, without any edits. It became a huge hit, our biggest so far,” said Qureshi.

But the ‘content’ of the clip is political. This might lead, if it hasn’t already, some people to conjecture that the boys are politically motivated and favour the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf, the party which took the Panama Papers case to court.

Qureshi rejects the notion. “We are neutral. We only consider what’s trending on social media. We don’t have any political affiliations. If it hadn’t been Imran [Khan] and someone else would’ve been in the news for it, we would’ve written about him. We are artists. When we posted the video, almost 80 per cent of Muslim League-N supporters appreciated us. Yes, there were those as well who did not like it. We only want to show a positive image of the country.”

The Sonu video was uploaded on Saturday and in just two hours it had 250,000 views. By the end of the day, the number of views had gone up to 750,000. The group believes the number should have crossed the one million mark by Wednesday. The hits on YouTube are also encouraging.

According to Qureshi, Karachi Vynz was established by him and Danial Sheikh in 2014. They started off by making funny videos to be posted to Facebook. Their team consists of eight boys who have been working together for three years. These days they are also busy doing a show for a private TV channel.

Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2017

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