File this under: Let’s not underestimate the power of a young Indian activist-rapstress. Sofia Ashraf can write and spit rhymes in a music video, get it launched with a call to action to sign a petition, and start stacking them views and signatures. She was the frontwoman in the “Kodaikanal Won’t” video that went viral two days after it launched in August 2015.
Starring Ashraf, born in Chennai, India, and directed by Rathindran R. Prasad, the rap video called out consumer goods giant, Unilever, for exposing people and the environment to toxic mercury in Kodaikanal, India.
Ashraf’s call to action to the people was: Sign the petition, which was spearheaded by jhatkaa.org, a grassroots mobilization agency in India. Unilever was being called out to clean up and compensate—even though a lawsuit back in 2006 raised the issue in court but to no avail.
Fast forward to March 9, when Ashraf gave the Internet an update on the issue with Unilever. In the video, she explains, “Hindustan Unilever has deigned to compensate 591 ex-mercury workers! … To every liker, every commenter, every person who shared, tweeted, blogged, you did it!”
Ashraf admits to her audience that all the work here is not yet done. But she it’s an inspiring video moment of shout outs to everyone that made the music video go viral, and influenced a company to rethink how it treats its workers.
She added, “For every social media activist out there: This one is for you.”