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Teenager sings 'gigathon' in Spitalfields for Nepal earthquake victims

PUBLISHED: 07:00 07 August 2015

Shakila Karim

Shakila Karim

Karim family

Teenager Shakila Karim performs a gig in London’s East End tonight as part of a “marathon of gigs” to raise money for the victims of the Nepal earthquake.

Family made homeless in Nepal [photo: Russell Watkins, Dept for International Development]Family made homeless in Nepal [photo: Russell Watkins, Dept for International Development]

It is being staged in Spitalfields at the Canvas community café in Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane, one of the 26 venues in her ‘gigathon’.

The 17-year-old’s 26 bookings were inspired by watching this year’s 26-mile London Marathon.

“The news on Marathon Day was full of the terrible earthquake in Nepal,” Shakila recalled. “I thought about what I could do to help.

“I’m no marathon runner, but thought at least I could perform a ‘gigathon’ to help raise funds for the people get their lives back together.”

Devastation in Nepal after April's earthquake [photo: Russell Watkins, Dept for International Development]Devastation in Nepal after April's earthquake [photo: Russell Watkins, Dept for International Development]

Tonight’s rock and R&B performance at 7.30pm is the fourth in the ‘gigathon’ and the first in east London which returns her to her family roots.

She was brought up in Whitechapel and Poplar before the family—originally from Bangladesh—moved to Hertfordshire six years ago,

Shakila was also inspired by some of her schoolmates at Joyce Frankland Academy in Newport, Essex, who are from Nepal.

The gig at the Canvas is free—but Shakila is asking for donations for Nepal.

Britain sent out volunteers and gave £33 million in overseas relief aid following the disaster in April, which claimed 8,000 dead, 17,000 injured and tens-of-thousands made homeless.

The people of Nepal pay the price when the Himalayan mountains shudder—a nation mauled by nature, but not beaten by it.

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