LONDON: A 14-year-old British Pakistani girl who lost sight at the age of 10 has become a huge sensation in ITV’s famous hit show – Britain’s Got Talent – hoping to make it to the final of the popular show.
Sirine Jahnagir, who is the only contestant of Pakistani origin on the hit show, is the granddaughter of Sahibzada Jahangir, who presently serves as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s spokesperson on Trade & Investment in UK & Europe. Fauzia Kasuri is Sirin’s aunt and the late pop and nasheed singer Junaid Jamshed was her uncle.
Sirine has become an instant hit after outperforming her rivals through her amazing music performances – and winning approval from judges Simon Cowell, Alesha Dixon, Amanda Holden and David Walliams.
Sirine was born in 2005 in London. Until the age of five, she excelled in everything including sports, with dancing being her favourite pastime. Her family discovered when Sirine was five years old that she had lost her vision totally in one eye and although the other eye was perfect, there was a danger it may deteriorate.
Over time, the worst fears of the family were realised as Sirine lost vision slowly in her remaining good eye until the age of 10 when she lost it all.
A family friend told The News and Geo that those 5 years were very traumatic for Sirine as she could not do many things and slowly she learnt Braille and started to read books again. Her parents and family were supportive throughout this time and helped Sirine, who wanted to make it big in the world.
Her parents had to move to Mill Hill, in North London, when she reached the age of 12, as there were no secondary schools in central London that could cater to her special needs. In her new school, Sirine had access to expertise that helped her learn other skills. It was around this time that she delved into music. She learnt how to play the piano by herself and started singing and writing music.
Sirine has never looked back and her passion took her, after a gruelling process of selection, to Britain’s Got Talent.
On Saturday, she will appear in the audition stages of Britain’s Got Talent on ITV.
When contacted by The News and Geo, Sahibzada Jahangir confirmed that Sirine would be appearing before the celebrity panel.
He said: “We are all very proud of Sirine. She is hard-working, lovely and passionate. When there is a disability in someone, Allah gifts that person with some other exceptional talent. Sirine’s parents have been exceptional in bringing her up and giving her everything she needed. She does charity work and helps others. She wants to thank Allah for what she has and for the blessings in her life.”
Kafeel Jahangir, Sirine’s father, told The News and Geo that Sirine taught herself how to write, compose and play music.
“We are all very proud of Sirine. Music is her passion and Britain will give her the right platform to share her music with others. She is very excited. She did the auditions by herself for BGT. One day she told me to come along with her. I went along and was shocked that she was performing before 3,000 people. She taught herself how to play music.”
Kafeel said that during his trips to the UK, the late Junaid Jamshed used to sing with Sirine and teach her about music.
Sirine uses music and her story to inspire other people with disabilities. Every Monday she goes to a school and teaches a young 6-year-old boy who has the same condition as her and she teaches him Braille and gives him confidence in seeing the future and believing he can do anything as well.