15 year old rapper Saniya making waves at Mumbai’s slum

Usually rap songs are visually and physically loud, but here is a young girl of fifteen, rapping with the loudness of her lyrics than any other.

“I was in class 8th when I first heard Emiway’s rap and decided that i will be a rapper one day,” says Saniya Mistri Qaiyummuddin who lives in Shivaji Nagar (Govandi), M East Ward of Mumbai. And now, after clearing her board exams, Saniya is focused on writing raps in her free time.

With basic editing and videographing, Saniya’s songs stand out for the strength of her words. “I do not have many resources like some rich kids, everything I am doing is on my own,” Saniya says.

“I’ve grown up in a slum and have seen poverty very closely, I know what it is like to sleep empty stomach every other night, my father is a autodriver and my mother runs a small confectionery but they have still provided me and my brother the best they could,” Saniya says to Maktoob.

Schooled in Urdu medium, Saniya is guided by Mc Heam, after she requested him. And since the pandemic, she takes his classes online. “I take daily an hour class on WhatsApp and sir also gives me tddp projects to do,” says Saniya.

Saniya built her place from basics, “I wanted to start a YouTube channel, but I had zero knowledge on how to start one. So I started asking people and made a YouTube channel,” says Saniya who rose to fame from her YouTube videos.

Saniya’s first rap was based on an NGO which is based in Shivaji. And recently, she wrote a rap on COVID-19 and people seem to have liked it a lot. “I think that is because they related with my words”, says Saniya.

“Chaalon pe chaleein hain, janta gumraah,
Ache din aaenge, saari afwaah”
– (“All the tricky manoeuvres only and only to astray the public. Good days are coming, was all just a fake promise.”) Lately, the lines from Saniya’s rap got viral on Instagram and a lot people were seen appreciating this little bundle of talent.

“My father drives auto and during lockdowns he could hardly earn, my mother’s income went on a minus. Only god know how we survived”, shared Saniya.

Struggling through the lockdowns in her slum, The fifteen year old has quite a few questions to government. “When will this end’? Why are you always failing to bring us the answers ? Why are you always failing to bring us the solutions?”

Sharing her concerns for poorest of poor, Saniya said “And I feel so sad for the people who live on footpath, this pandemic has made their life absolutely terrible.”

M East Ward where Saniya lives, is ranked the lowest out of 24 wards in Mumbai with respect to the human development index.

“Rather than addressing the real problems around the government is busy hiding their flaws and creating chaos between communities which is only creates more tension in our lives,” Saniya further adds.

Clarifying that she does not support any political party particularly, Saniya says, “Through my raps I’ve tried to convey all the questions on the behalf on every Indian. And my questions are for each and everyone one who always made bigger promises of safety & security and then immensely failed.”

“Waah re hukumat tune kya na karaaya?
Corona bhaagane ko thaali bajaaya..
Jab chaha janta ka popat banaya,
Alag alag Masle mey kursi bachaya”
– (Oh Highness, how brilliantly you brainwashed all of us. Made us bang the plates in the name of avoiding corona. Only tried to save your seats no matter what, clearly only made fool of the public as and when you wanted.)

With her graceful courage, Saniya promising the Indian rap world of diversity both in lyrics and performance.