Malala Yousafzai in ‘We Are Lady Parts’ is the cameo of the year

<div>Malala Yousafzai in ‘We Are Lady Parts’ is the cameo of the year</div>
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Malala Yousafzai sits on a fake horse in the show

An absolute banger of country track inspired by Malala Yousafzai in a TV show is one thing, but an appearance from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate herself in full Beyoncé mode? Find me a better cameo, I dare you.

In Nida Manzoor’s highly-awaited second season of We Are Lady Parts, the titular all-female Muslim punk outfit — made up of Amina (Anjana Vasan), Saira (Sarah Kameela Impey), Ayesha (Juliette Motamed), Bisma (Faith Omole), and Momtaz (Lucie Shorthouse) — not only write a rollicking jam about the Pakistani girls education activist but managed to get Yousafzai on the show.

And friends, it’s the cameo of the year.

In Season 2, the band are facing significant hurdles including eviction, a rival band on tour, and the staggering prospect of recording their first album. But in episode 2, the band’s vocalist and bassist, Bisma, is in her own personal pickle, after her daughter Imani (Edesiri Okepnerho) is suspended from school for chucking eggs at her teacher — he wanted to remove slavery from the Year 7 curriculum, so, fair enough, Imani.

“I did what Malala would do,” Imani tells her mum. “You know she fights for girls’ education every day.”

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“Malala would not throw eggs at Mr Appleby, Imani!” Bisma responds, deeply dismayed.

But while Bisma is initially concerned by her daughter’s whole food-based projectile protest strategy, Imani’s stand in advocating her right to learn challenges her mum’s understanding of her own rebellion. “You’re in a punk band and pretend to be this badass edgelord but you know what you are? You’re a people pleaser,” Imani says.

Freaked out by her reaction to Imani’s demonstration, Bisma’s experience inspires the band to write a song: “Malala Made Me Do It”. It’s an absolute series highlight, as big a deal as the band’s unforgettable track “Voldemort Under My Headscarf!” from Season 1 but more biographical.

Behold, the glorious lyrics to “Malala Made Me Do It” by Lady Parts:

They named her Malala

Malala Yousafzai

Rode into town and made the Talibanis cry

Born in Swat Valley up in northern Pakistan

Advocating for the rights of the woman

Nobel Prize at 17

The baddest bitch you’ve ever seen

Cross your heart and hope to die

It’s Malala Yousafzai

Nothing could stop her

Not the bullet that she took

She cried “One pen and one child and one teacher and one book”

She headed for adventure like her brother Frodo did 

Prizoner of Azkaban got nothin’ on this kid

Noble, wise, and so serene 

The baddest bitch you’ve ever seen

Cross your heart and hope to die

It’s Malala Yousafzai

Stole biscuits from the staffroom

Malala made her do it

Skipped choir to chase the boys

Malala made her do it

Hidin’ in the girls’ loos

To while away those Monday blues

Malala made her do that too

It’s Malala Yousafzai

But if these Western stylings from our beloved punk feminists aren’t enough, Yousafzai herself makes a superb cameo in the episode, channelling her inner Beyoncé and riding into a full-on Cowboy Carter moment.

Malala Yousafzai sits on a fake horse in front of the band Lady Parts in the show "We Are Lady Parts"

Credit: Channel 4 / Peacock

In a fantasy moment during the song, Yousafzai appears in a surrealist landscape on a fake horse wearing a bewjewelled, fringed cowboy hat over a dupattā, and a gorgeous blue dress. It’s a 100 percent stunning moment, seeing the activist glorified among fake cacti and neon clouds in what appears to be a nod to the cover of Beyoncé’s latest country album, as the band dance and play the song around her — at one point getting their own fake horses.

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Yousafzai told Vogue she met series creator Manzoor at the premiere for her film Polite Society, and Manzoor reached out to her personally in a letter to get her involved in Season 2 of We Are Lady Parts.

Malala Yousafzai sits on a fake horse in the show "We Are Lady Parts"

Credit: Channel 4 / Peacock

Yousafzai has fiercely advocated for gender equality since she was just 11 years old — at 15, she was shot by the Taliban for speaking up for girls and their right to an education. Now 26, she’s not only the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient and an Oxford graduate, she stands up for injustice on YouTube, co-authored the book We Are Displaced: My Journey and Stories from Refugee Girls Around the World, and runs her own nonprofit that invests in education programmes to help girls go to school. 

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She’s absolute feminist punk rock in every sense, and her cameo in We Are Lady Parts is pure, warranted, adoration. We’ll be singing “Malala Made Me Do It” forever as we throw eggs at school curriculum conservatives, thank you very much.

How to watch: We Are Lady Parts Season 2 premieres May 30 on Peacock in the U.S. and Channel 4 in the UK.


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