A Modern Hero: Alexander Abedian-Rawhani AKA Dr Smile

Judges were beyond impressed with this month’s Instagram Hero in the Creator category: Alexander Abedian-Rawhani, known affectionately as Dr Smile. Theresho Selesho (CEO of Matchbox Live) was at the helm of this month’s judging panel, remarking on Abedian-Rawhani’s ability to translate his personality and reflect it so honestly on Instagram. This multi-talented creative is the oral technician for many of Mzansi’s A-listers, but is also a jewellery designer, musician and community man: an all-round hero! He’s the March 2021 recipient of the ongoing Instagram Heroes award, highlighting the best in class of Instagram creative and business.

April submissions for the Instagram Heroes awards series are now open. Enter here.

Abedian-Rawhani has become a local celeb and arguably an unintentional influencer. A community of followers have grown over the years (172k), largely due to his entertaining and uplifting online presence. Most recently, he appeared on Expresso with his wife, filmmaker and med school student Katya Abedian-Rawhani. He may be a celebrity dentist to the stars, but also expands his private practice to those who don’t have the means – using Project Smile to offer free dental care to those who need it most.

Abedian-Rawhani’s music is as multifaceted as his talents. He merges cultures and sonics from the Middle East, Western Africa, local gqom and vernac to create his unique “AfroPersian” sound. All of his pursuits in life are woven together though key pillars of the Bahai faith: service to humanity, racial and gender equality, social upliftment as well as the importance of education. If you follow him on Instagram, you’ll find an abundance of examples of how his music (be it hip hop or simply an acoustic guitar) changes the moods of his audience for the better.

Inspired by his late mother, Abedian-Rawhani also began @ShohrehCustomMade, for showcasing his custom jewellery – is there anything he can’t do? He speaks about how his projects often change to become more formalised businesses, but at the core, this is a natural evolution of his creativity.

Transparent about his beliefs on Instagram, he has said, “What’s the point of using social media if not to improve people’s lives?” Abedian-Rawhani is an excellent example of how to translate one’s creative energy through social media for the betterment of humanity. Making him a worthy winner of the “1000 Grams of Likes” trophy.

Are you an Instagram Hero?

If you’re a creator or business owner in Sub-Saharan Africa using IG to grow your practice or build your brand, you qualify to enter our monthly Instagram Heroes awards series. The Creator category includes art, design and craft, as well as creatives and makers across all fields. The Business category is for local entrepreneurs, agencies, start-ups and well-established enterprises. Submit your work here.

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