M.I.A: 'I came from war... I didn’t think I’d live past 25'
Rapper M.I.A. says she is surprised to be alive after a childhood marked by civil war — and never thought she would be old enough to become a mother herself. The star, 40, whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, was born in Hounslow but moved to Sri Lanka with her parents when she was six months old. When war broke out between the government and Tamil rebels her father, who was involved in the Tamil separatist movement, remained in Sri Lanka while Arulpragasam and the rest of the family fled to India.
“I’m surprised I’m still alive, to be honest. I came from war. When I was growing up I didn’t really think I’d live beyond about 25.
“I never thought I would be old enough to drive or have a house or raise a child. Having to do it is really difficult.”
She acknowledged criticism of her work with the chain, saying: “I’m brown. So the first thing people will say is that brown people make the clothes in the factory — what are you doing repping the other side and not addressing this?”
But she said that, as a mainstream brand, H&M was “brave” for addressing the green issue.