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Category: Interviews »

Subject: The Arts »

Khalid Abdulwahib, youth development worker, MAV, 2008

Andrew Jakubowicz.

Khalid Abdulwahib (aka MC Azmarino in Diafrix hip hop) discusses issues in developing opportunities for emerging artists from new communities. He is also interviewed on the Mix It Up videos.



Date Added:

12 January 2011


source not available


mov (Quicktime);

File size:

3.6 MB





My name is Khalid Abdulwahib. I come from Eritrea which is on the east coast of Africa. I came to Australia in 2000 by myself and then I basically moved to Melbourne basically to restart my life. Everyone back in Africa is struggling with such, and it’s like you’re in a place and nothing is getting better. Things are just everyday are getting worse and worse and worse. And people don’t think that Africa’s going to get better and so on. So that, your mission is everyday is to wake up, and to think about how you’re going to get out and go overseas. It’s not about coming to Australia, or getting to Italy or getting to Germany, in fact some people go anywhere like China or even Vietnam. [They’re just] trying to get out of Africa step by step…

0: 53

I was an asylum seeker for six years, I came in here with a tourist passport, so I came in here and I just decided I wanted to stay. So yes it was a big struggle for me being an asylum seeker, it took me six years for me to get my papers.

I had a lot of interest in arts and stuff, but because I came here by myself I was getting into a lot of trouble as well, and then step by step at school they offered us a hip hop workshop through the Fitzroy Arts Centre…. And then that’s how my passion for hip hop started. And then so and so on, then we created a group called Diafrix, And that led to a you know other suburbs started started forming outside of Footscray and we started to get recognized


And the beautiful thing about Multicultural Arts Victoria they book us for one gig and said “here’s your pay”. And they said “you guys are artists, do you two guys need any help, can we help you” and stuff like that. And we found that really interesting because that never happened to us before. And so and so on.


MAV helped us apply for grants. We used to hear about grants but we used to think it was such a complicated process you know, it’s like school going back to assignments and stuff like that. That’s not what we wanted to do, so yes, they helped us out, then we got our first hit “The First Sample”, and that’s when Diafrix really took off and started playing all around Australia, and had rotation on TripleJ from the first EP “Where’re you from?”, and so yes how everything took off, and then I started to recognise the work that MAV did, because the more we took off the more I had to drop into the office, in and out. I was really interested in politics, no not politics, more the movement of the nation, the movement how people come to Australia, how hard it is for communities to settle down.