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Veteran Somali Musician Ahmed Ismail Hussein Has Died

Considered one of the founding fathers of contemporary Somali music and affectionately known as 'Hudeydi', the musician has passed away from the coronavirus at age 92.

Veteran Somali musician Ahmed Ismail Hussein has passed away at the age of 92 according to reports by the BBC. Considered one of the founding fathers of contemporary Somali music, the musician passed away in London, England, after having tested positive for the coronavirus.


"Hudeydi" as he was affectionately known, and whose music career spanned over several decades, was famous for playing the oud, a stringed instrument similar to the modern lute and that originated from the Middle East.

Dubbed the "King of Oud", his contribution to music during the anti-colonial and decolonization period of the country made him a significant musician of that time according to Hanna Ali, director of the London-based Kayd Somali arts organization. Following the death of Hudeydi, Ali goes on to add that, "In short, his music embodied the sound of the long struggle to freedom and independence."

In 2018, Hussein was honored for his lifetime contribution to music at the International Somali Awards.

Currently, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Somalia stands at 7 with no reported deaths. On the other hand, the total number of coronavirus cases on the African continent has now surpassed 10 600 with at least 533 reported deaths according to BBC's Coronavirus in Africa tracker.

READ: These are the 52 African Countries That Have Reported Cases of Coronavirus

The musician becomes the latest African public figure to die from the coronavirus following Cameroonian jazz legend Manu Dibango, former president of the Marseilles football club, Pape Diouf, and several others.

Tributes have been pouring in for Hussein since the news of his death emerged.






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Vinegar Pap Smear Saving Women’s Lives In Malawi

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They say necessity is the mother of invention and in Malawi, the need for inexpensive Pap smears has resulted in a cost-effective and ingenious solution. Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) is the only form of cervical cancer screening affordable to most underprivileged women in Malawi, according to reports.

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Playlist: Stream Mx Blouse’s Exclusive Playlist Celebrating South African Queer Musicians

Mx Blouse, a South African writer and musician, has compiled a playlist — for OkayAfrica — that showcases musical excellence on the part of South African artists who just happen to be queer.

That house music and techno were born in Chicago and Detroit's queer scenes a few decades ago is a well-established fact. Unfortunately, it's a fact many would prefer to turn the volume down on. It's important to remind those who doubt or prefer to ignore our excellence that some of their favourites, the biggest and most revered musical icons to come from these parts, like the late Brenda Fassie and Lebo Mathosa were queer. That legacy continues.

We're in the midst of a heartbreaking spate of homophobic violence that has seen many lives lost in recent months. Almost weekly, we hear reports of yet another queer South African found murdered. Compiling this list without thinking of homophobic violence and murders is impossible. I also couldn't help crying tears of joy as I went through this music, and felt a deep sense of pride.

Our music is of a very high standard, that is quite easily comparable to the best in the world. Much as we are faced with this crisis, our music reminds me that we are indeed resilient and we relentlessly bring joy to many in spite of our own struggles.

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The 10 Most-Streamed South African Artists and Songs by Local Gen Z Audiences on Spotify

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