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3 April, 2020 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 3 April, 2020 12:08:53 AM
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Raba Khan in this year’s 30 Under 30 Asia list

www.forbes.com
Raba Khan in this year’s 
30 Under 30 Asia list

When it comes to this year’s 30 Under 30 Asia list, saying something like “youth is wasted on the young” doesn’t hold truth. Featuring 20 inspiring individuals who are 21 years old or younger, the list is living proof of Gen Z’s determination to break barriers and stereotypes about age—and in some cases gender—as well as inspire others.

Take, for instance, Bangladesh’s Raba Khan, often dubbed as the country’s first female comedian. She had her fair share of challenges doing what she loves most: entertaining people.

When Khan launched her YouTube channel “The Jhakanaka Project” in 2014, the then 15-year-old already had her mind set on creating a lifestyle brand. “I saw myself not only making videos, but also releasing merchandise, having a clothing line and creating an agency of my own,” she says.

Fast forward six years and Khan, now 20, is well on her way to building a Jhakanaka brand. She now models and sells her JKNK fashion line on Instagram, turning many of her 430,000 followers into customers of her saris, tunics and coats. But her greatest achievement, she says, is finding her niche as Bangladesh’s first female comedian. Khan has become a household name among young Bangladeshis for her amusing videos. Some are satiric, addressing social issues and stereotypes, while others feature Khan singing or lip-syncing, or reenacting old TV commercials.

Khan’s book Bandhobi (Bangladeshi slang for “girlfriend”), which chronicles the lives of nine young women in Dhaka, was pulled by her publisher just eight days after its launch last February. While the book delves into sensitive issues such as divorce, adoption and anxiety, it was its casual use of traditional language—it is written in English laced with Bengali expressions—that caused a local stir. “Because I was a comedian, people had problems associating me with a book,” says Khan. “My book was literally judged by its cover.” The book was nonetheless a bestseller on Bangladesh’s largest online bookstore, rokomari.com, during its brief run.

Khan, who was selected by Unicef in November 2018 as a Youth Ambassador for children’s rights, plans to keep doing what she loves most while addressing stereotypes in a humorous way. “Being in front of the camera makes me happy, and my content makes people happy too, which is a bonus,” she says.

Featured highlights on the ‘30 Under 30 Asia’ list include-- The Arts (Art & Style, Food & Drink): Latesha Randall, 29, New Zealand, Cofounder, Raglan Coconut Yoghurt; Entertainment & Sports: Nor “Phoenix” Diana, 20, Malaysia, Professional wrestler; Finance & Venture Capital: Aditya Prasad, Harsh Pokharna and Gaurav Kumar, 26, 28 and 28, India, Cofounders, OkCredit; Media, Marketing & Advertising: Raba Khan, 20, Bangladesh, Entertainer, The Jhakanaka Project; Retail & E-Commerce: Donald Kng and Nico Li, 29 and 28, China, Cofounders, Vetreska; Enterprise Technology: Hyunsoo Kim, 29, South Korea, Cofounder and CEO, Superb AI Industry, Manufacturing & Energy: Marius Suntanu, 29, Indonesia, Cofounder, Yummy Corp; Healthcare & Science: Milad Mohammadzadeh and Sadaf Monajemi, both 29, Singapore, Cofounders, See-Mode; Social Entrepreneurs: Louise Mabulo, 21, The Philippines, Founder, The Cacao Project and Consumer Technology: Shota Iwasaki, 24, Japan, Founder, Shukatsunet.

 

Photo : courtesy

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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