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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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Photo by Monirul Bhuiyan via GettyImages

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