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Afghan rapper wins fans with message of peace

Written by: Staff
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KABUL, May 12 (Reuters) Rap may have been born on the gritty, violent streets of American cities but Afghan rapper DJ Besho says he wants to send a message of peace to the new generation of war-torn Afghanistan.

Besho, 28, looks the part with his baseball cap, dark glasses and combat trousers but he's no gangster.

He says young Afghans should unite, stay clear of drugs and study hard for the benefit of the country. And he says the pirates who have already started copying his music should be jailed.

''My message is peace, fight against drugs. People must try to learn something for this country ... It's very, very important,'' Besho said in an interview at Kabul's Tolo TV station where he was editing his new video.

''The right way for the new generation is to go to school, of course.'' Besho's real name is Bezhan Zafarmal. ''Besho'' is a family nickname.

He was born in the northern Afghan town of Kunduz just before the country slipped into decades of war. One day he was going to get ice cream with a friend when a rocket hit, killing his pal. Three of his uncles were killed in the war.

As violence consumed the country he left with his family, ending up in Germany where he has lived for the past 16 years.

Now he's back, brimming with energy and brash optimism.

''I didn't feel good in Germany ... I had everything but my heart was in Afghanistan. Because the people love me here, they know my feeling, they know my hip-hop because I do it in my own language.'' ''I think I can do something for my country. It is a big chance.'' He's also a keen footballer and wants to promote the sport among youngsters and help the national team.

MORE REUTERS SI RK0848

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