Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

Afghan singer becomes famous as Justin Trudeau’s ‘lost twin’

Abdul Salam Maftoon had never heard of the Canadian leader

An Afghan wedding singer has become famous at home and on social media for his resemblance to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Abdul Salam Maftoon, 29, from the north-eastern province of Badakhshan, is a contestant on Afghan Star, a talent show modelled on The X Factor in Britain and the US.

He did not know who Mr Trudeau was when he entered the competition, let alone that he looked like him. He only realised when a judge on the music show noted the similarity between the two.

Footage of the singer appearing on Afghan Star started to spread on social media, gaining hundreds of retweets.

The Trudeau doppelganger is still in the competition and hopes to win. His uncanny resemblance to the Canadian leader might now boost his popularity and see him win the contest. He is down to the last eight contestants and is set to compete in the March 21 final.

Afghans are now suggesting that the pair were separated at birth. “Trudeau’s lost twin,” wrote one person on social media.

Another said: "This is truly the copy of Trudeau. I'd love to see our Trudeau win this year's Afghan Star."

Mr Maftoon makes his living from performing at weddings and, while the resemblance is unlikely to give him a new career, he will be more in demand for events in his home country.

Although he has little chance of going to Canada any time soon, he has hopes of one day meeting his Canadian double.

"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," he told AFP.

“We will see what happens.”

Updated: January 14, 2019 05:20 PM