Africa Mourns the Demise of Somali Poet Hadraawi

Africa Mourn the Demise of Somali Poet Hadraawi (News Central TV)

Renowned Somali poet Mohamed Ibrahim Warsame Hadraawi has died in the Somaliland capital, Hargeisa, aged 79. The great poet passed away after a protracted illness. .

Widely regarded as the greatest living Somali poet and dubbed by many as the Shakespeare of Somalia, Hadraawi was born in 1943 in Togdheer.

He was known to Somalis by his nickname Hadraawi, meaning “the master (or father) of speech”.

Hadraawi wrote the lyrics to more than 200 epic poems and the lyrics to more than 70 popular songs.

Some of his famous songs include Balawdweyn, Araxmaan, Hooyo, Saxarla, and many others. He also composed famous poems that have been translated into other languages, and played a prominent role in famous poetry chains, such as Deelay and Siinlay.

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His early work was broadcast across the region and in the 1970s he wrote poems that were critical of Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre’s government.

His creative activism got him jailed for five years. After his release, he went into exile in Djibouti, but continued his political criticism through a series of poems that were memorised and widely recited.

After the collapse of Somalia’s central government in 1991, Hadraawi led a caravan for peace, which tried to promote understanding and reconciliation across the Somali regions and the diaspora.

The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has also sent his deepest condolences to the family, relatives and the Somali nation, on the passing of Hadrawi.  

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The Minister of Interior of Somaliland Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, who is the Chairman of the National Funeral Arrangements Committee announced that the deceased will be buried today after Asr prayer, at the Baqiq Cemetery.

Hadraawi was awarded the Prince Claus Award in 2012. The award was presented to Hadraawi at a ceremony in Hargeisa on April 17, by Joost Reintjes, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Kenya.

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