Article by: Mr. Ahmed Jahangeer Khan
Today our article is based on a struggle of a man who used to be a shepherd, belonged to a poor family, a man with big dreams and fewer opportunities, Mr. Muhammad Akhtar Channal Zehri. Basically Mr. Akhtar Channal belongs from Sohrab Sir Jungle but his grandfather settled his family in Kalat, Balochistan and their the great singer of Balochistan Mr. Akhtar Channal was born.The name of Mr. Muhammad Akhtar Channal Zehri and his services to his country describes his personalitythat the Muhammad in his name proves his Love for Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Channal word for his nation his cast and the word Zehri for the tribe from which he belongs to.
Mr. Akhtar Channal’s Father Mr. Jummah Khan used to do a Warden Job in Police Department and Mr. Akhtar Channal used to help his father in shepherd business to run his family. Mr. Akhtar Channal was the only and alone source of his family for the fulfillment of their dreams. He started to gain education in 1959 in Kalat, Mr. Akhtar Channal had also a great love for education, when his father’s job posted to Loralai and again from Loralai to Khuzdar and then Mastung in 1963 yet he did not let his education and continued his studies. When he shifted to Mastung with his father he did not knew that here his life will take a big turning point, He saw their a traditions which he never knew about it, People singing in front of crowds and appreciated called Mehfils (Programs/Gathering), One of the great singer Ustad Haji Khan (The First Teacher Of Akhtar Channal) was the famous singer of Programs at that time in Kalat who lived in the neighborhood of Mr. Akhtar Channal and was also a great friend of Mr. Akhtar Channal’s father, Ustaad Haji Khan requested Mr. Jummah Khan to be accompanied with Mr. Akhtar Channal in night program.
As Mr. Akhtar Channal was connected with Ustaad Hajij Khan and was joining many programs Mr. Akhtar Channal started to gain interest and used to sing in some Programs in which he signed his first song at Mastung Concert. Sometime later in 1964 Mr. Akhtar Channal Married in Mastung and as time was passing by he started to thought that now it’s time to find a career and in 1968 he joined Police Department but still he didn’t let go his singing and attended many functions, In 1970 he was transferred to Sibbi and as continuing his both careers he reached Kalat his homeland with 2 months of leave from job, his friends were happy to see him after so many time and they suggested him to transfer himself to Kalat, And after two months Mr. Akhtar Channal was transferred to Kalat with his multi career struggle and was attending many functions and becoming popular day by day and soon Became so much popular that in 1973 he recorded his first song for Radio Pakistan by the name of (Zebal –ata-Zeba) and in 1974 recorded another song for PTV (Pakistan Television) by the name of (Deer Deer Kewa). In 1974 Mr. Talib Hussain a very close friend of Mr. Akhtar Channal Suggested him to learn Harmonium from the great Ustad Sadiq Ali as it will help him in his career, Mr. Akhtar Channal started to learn harmonium from Ustad Sadiq Ali,Mr. Akhtar Channal’s growing career in singing strengthened his belief that this is his real career for what he is made for so Mr. Akhtar Channal Got retirement from police in 1978 and choose singing as his career and became more famous, after his most famous and popular song which still is on every persons tongue named (Dana Pa Dana).
Mr.Akhtar Channal Had represented Pakistan in many countries which consists of United States of America (U.S.A) in 1991, Netherland 1993, Europe, England and Japan. Mr. Akhtar Channal have also been awarded by many awards which contains Pride of Performance by Pakistan Government in 1998 by the hand of Rafiq Tarad, Radio Pakistan Golden Anniversary Award, Balochistan Excellence Award, National Excellence Award, Sufi International Award, Turkey Award, France Award by the hand of Mayor Leon.