A wedding singer’s unlikely resemblance to the beloved Canadian Prime Minister has given him superstar status in his war-torn home country.
Abdul Salam Maftoon, a 29-year-old from a village in the remote and impoverished northeastern province of Badakhshan, is a wedding singer.
As if his profession isn’t gloriously noteworthy enough, some people think he bears a striking resemblance to none other than Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, and a politician widely rated as one of the more attractive leaders in the world.
The likeness was spotted when Maftoon entered a televised singing competition called Afghan Star which airs in Afghanistan, and is a little like The X Factor.
Unsurprisingly, he had never even heard of Justin Trudeau, until a judge on the popular television music contest pointed out the likeness.
Whether you see it or not is totally up to your subjective perception, of course, but I will say the more you look at the two men, the more the origins of the comparison becomes clear.
It’s a damn sight more interesting than our very own singing talent contest lookalike moment:
Maftoon told AFP he hopes the resemblance would help him win the televised singing competition, Afghan Star.
He added it’s sparked a bit of an identify crisis:
People have forgotten my name and now they just call me ‘Justin Trudeau’. I didn’t know anything about Justin Trudeau until I saw the photos on social media.
The resemblance has boosted my chances of winning the competition by 50 percent.
All the while, Maftoon is knocking it out the park on the TV talent show, and is wooing the audience at home with his renditions of romantic ballads befitting his day job.
You can watch him belt his heart out in the clip from Tolo TV below:
Maftoon is one of eight contestants that will vie for the chance to win Afghan Star, with the final set to be held on March 21, on the Persian new year’s eve.
The natural-born bilingual singer often performs in both the in both the Dari and Pashto languages…
And that’s more than you can say for Trudeau, I’ll wager.
Afghan-born Canadian musician Qais Ulfat is one of the four judges, and it was he who first pointed out Maftoon’s resemblance to Trudeau.
Ulfat gave a glowing review, exclaiming:
He looks like my prime minister. His voice is very satisfying. He has that god-gifted vocal ability. This guy could be the next Justin Bieber.
Maftoon is certainly proving a hit online, with lots of people commenting on the resemblance on Twitter.
With Justin Trudeau’s long lost Afghan brother. 😃 pic.twitter.com/zXzXISULXE
— Ramiz Bakhtiar (@RamizBakhtiar) January 10, 2019
I was 100% out on this Afghan Trudeau lookalike…
… and then I saw this photo:
— Ed Tubb (@EdTubb) January 14, 2019
WHY DOES SALAM MAFTOON LOOK LIKE JUSTIN TRUDEAU IM DYINFBSHAB pic.twitter.com/oegsGaFqR3
— bahar (@baharfirooz) January 11, 2019
Maftoon even said he would like to meet Trudeau one day, concluding:
I want to meet him if he wants to because he is a global personality and I am a poor man from a remote part of Afghanistan. We will see what happens.
Until now Maftoon has relied on singing and playing instruments at wedding and birthday parties to support his wife and four children. Watch this doppleganger-shaped space.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.