When I turned 14, I started singing at Mogadishu’s nightclubs

“I was born in Galkayo. At the age of 6, my mother brought me to Mogadishu. When I turned 14, I started singing at Mogadishu’s nightclubs. By the time I was 16, I was employed by the then Somali government to become a full time national singer and it was all due to Ahmed Naji Sa’ad who helped me tremendously. I travelled all over the world, representing Somalia in musical festivals, it was amazing. I found love at the age of 20 and married and had children. At the onset of Somali civil war, my children and I were fleeing for 8 straight months. We entered Denmark and in Denmark, I created the Maryan Band that allowed me to tour the world and showcase the beauty of Somali music.”
“What hope do you have for the Somali people wherever they reside?”
“I have said it many times: ‘Oh my people, oh my people, promote peace. Oh Somalis, refuse shame for your land. Refuse abuse thrown at your life’. I first started singing that song 20 years ago and until this day, I still sing it. Even my own children feel ashamed of being Somali. They are bullied at school with lines such as: ‘look at these poor and starving Somalis’. I tell them, being Somali is a beautiful thing, and no one can take that away from you even though we are killing each other. I say to the Somali groups that kill and hate each other out of clannism or driven by foreign interests. For every Somali that is nonsensically killed, no matter what clan he/she hails from, a part of me dies and will never ever return. I go into a mourning mode for my people – the Somali race – are being killed and we are being reduced into extinction.”

(London, United Kingdom)

“Waxaan ku dhashay Gaalkaacyo, 6-jir markaa ahaa hooyday ii kaxaysay magaalada Xamar. Kadib, 14-kaygii waxaan bilaabay inaan ka heeso goobaha caweyska ee Xamar. Markaan gaaray 16-jir waxaan dawladii Soomaaliyeed ka dalbaday shaqo. Imtixaan u galay shaqada, waana ku guulaystay shaqadii. Dabadeedna waxaan noqday fanaanad qaran. Runtii Axmed Naaji Sacad igu gacan qabtay bilowgii fankayga. Adduunka meelo badan oo kamida waan so maray anigoo matalaya qarankii Soomaaliyeed. Wax laga sheekeen karo ma aha goobahaanu tagnay aniga iyo hobaladii waaberi. Day’du markay ahayd 20, waan guursaday, caruur baan dhalay. Bilowga dagaalkii sokeeye, waan soo qaxnay, aniga iyo caruurtayda. Muddo 8 bilood qax iyo rafaad kujirnay ugu danbayntii waxaanu soo gaarnay wadanka Dheenmaak . Markii aan imid Dheenmaak waxaan asaasay koox la yiraahdo Maryan Band. Goob faneed kala duwan heer caalami ahi ka qeyb galay anigoo dadka ajnabiga tusayey quruxda heesaha iyo fanka Soomaaliyeed.
“Rajo ma ka qabta dadka Soomaaliyeed, meelkasta ee ku noolyihin?”
“Hore u sheegay: Dadyow dadyow u dedaala nabad. Soomaali u diida Ceeb. Naftiina u diida Cay. Muddo 20 sano laga joogaa markaan heestas qaaday, ila hadda waan qaada. Xitaa ilmahaygii skuulka markay dhiganayaan waxaa la yiraahda waa Soomaalidii gaajada ahayd. Ayagoo ka xishoonaya Soomaalinimadii bey ii yimaadaan. Waanna u sheega, Soomaalinimo waa heybad iyo qurux, waana wax so jireen ah inkastoo aan is leyney. Waxaan u sheegaya, Soomaalida is neceb, oo is dilaya ama la kala wada. Toban nin oo Soomaali marka la dilo, Waa toban walaalahayga ah, qolo walba ha ahaadeen, aniga iga baxeen. Mana ii soo noqonayaan. Tacsi baa ii taala runti markaan maqlo geeri shaqsi Soomaaliyeed la dilay. Aad baan ugu naxaa, uu qaracmaa. Dadkaygii baa la baabinaya. Jinsiga Soomaaliyeed baa ku dhamaanaya. Ilaa eber nagala dhigo baa la raba.”

(London, Boqortooyada Ingiriiska)

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