Sonita Alizadeh was just 10-years-old when her mother spoke of “selling her as a bride”. What led her to freedom from child marriage and to have an opinion was her way with words and talent as a musician.
I was looking for a way to share my feelings, so I started to rap to talk about the painful experience of being a girl.
Sonita opened with a powerful performance of her rap song Bride for Sale at the Women in the World New York Summit that took place on 6 April.
At the tender age of 10, her family fled to Iran to escape the Taliban. At the age of 16 Sonita’s parents brought up “marriage” and “sell” again. Her mother told Sonita that she was to be sold for $9,000 in order to pay the dowry for her brother’s marriage.
Heartbroken, Sonita turned to music for comfort. This is when an Iranian filmmaker Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami, who was initially filming Sonita for an immigration story came to the rescue.
Rokhsareh paid the Alizadeh family $2,000 so Sonita could stay back in Iran and create the now sensational music video, Bride for Sale.
I am perplexed by this tradition of my people / They sell girls for money, no right to choose. Tell me what can I do to prove my personhood.
The song created waves and Sonita received a scholarship to study music at a school in the US. With a barcode on her forehead, a black eye, and headscarf, Sonita stars in a music video that has left many spellbound, including her mother.
My music was a nightmare for her. Now she is one of my biggest fans.
Sonita on her mother
Watch her mesmerizing performance at the Women in the World Summit below.
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