They say children are the hope and future of a nation, and 11-year-old Hammad Safi from Peshawar truly gives us that ray of hope for Pakistan.
A groomed little fellow with hair gelled and combed neatly to the side, he appears at events and on TV and his YouTube channel wearing crisp shalwar kameez or three-piece-suits to motivate the youth (and adults) and give them a sense of purpose.
Armed with extraordinary confidence and drive, he calls himself a student-cum-professor, TV anchor, freelancer, graphic designer and motivational speaker. He captured the attention of his teachers with his spark, enthusiasm, patriotism and unwavering thirst for learning. While he was studying in school, he was also enrolled at the University of Spoken English and Computer Sciences (USECS) in Peshawar. And once he left school, he joined the USECS permanently and began to give motivational speeches. He is called Nannha Professor (young professor) by his teachers who are extremely proud of his commitment at this young age.
My pleasure meeting with Hamad Safi, Nanha Professor & a super kid, Mazhar Hussain, Abdul Waheed from Government College University Lahore. Waheed used to be interpreting for Madam Peng, wife of President Xi Jinping during her visit to Pakistan. He is now teaching Chinese. pic.twitter.com/TJt9xgcfkK
— Lijian Zhao 赵立坚 (@zlj517) January 15, 2018
When he’s not engrossed in books or giving motivational speeches, you’ll find this little guy pursuing yet another one of his passions – photography.
In an interaction with AFP his father, Abdul Rehman Khan, said,
“He is not an ordinary child. People have seen something in him. I have myself seen abilities in him. That’s why I have appointed special teachers for him. I want him to become a special leader. I’m very proud… For his abilities, for his intelligence, he is God-gifted.”
Hammad draws inspiration from Allama Iqbal’s thoughts and writings. Moreover, he encourages people, especially the youth to read and enact Iqbal’s philosophies for a better future. One of his most famous speeches is about how failure is an important step to success.
In an interview with AFP he said,
“I am an inspiration, not only for Pakistan but for the world. I inspire the entire universe.”
When I hear the word #Pakistan, I remember some names like @wasimakramlive, @shoaib100mph and @SAfridiOfficial. But today, I saw one news about a #Pakistani boy @HammadSafi786. Then I searched his video on YouTube and now the list of name is increased by one. #HammadSafi.
— Rahul Kr. Sharma (@IamRahul_07) June 8, 2018
He believes that Pakistan is home to people with immense potential and talent; however, most of them are not able to hone their talent and skills due to lack of proper facilities, guidance and leadership. According to him,
“I believe that bringing a revolution is not possible unless the latest standards of education are met. I believe that if our entire system is restructured in which teaching computer skills is mandatory, Pakistan will soon become a world leader in providing the best education to the youth who, I think, is the future of this country.”
There is no doubt that old and young alike, listen to his speeches.
However, although Hammad has gained a following of 145,000 subscribers on his own YouTube channel in a short span of time, there are some who have their concerns about this young prodigy’s steep rise to success. Bakht Zaman, a professor at Peshawar University, while speaking to AFP said, “Where’s the child in him? He’s gone, because he thinks above his age. (He) is a good motivational coach but he lacks intellectual depth. He can become what they want to do with him, but it will take time.”
Similarly, Hassan Amir Shah, the Vice Chancellor of the public university of Lahore, where Safi gave a speech, told AFP that he is concerned that the attention the young boy is getting must not drive him crazy. “He still has a long way to go, many books to read. We will only be able to judge him in 20 years, when he is an adult” he added.
We can only hope that Hammad is able to rise to his true potential and the people, especially the youth, who follow him can learn from this inspirational young man and take this country to the peaks of success!