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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 Amy Sussman/Getty Images for Warner Music)

Burna Boy Set to Perform at the Grammys 2021 Premiere Ceremony

The Nigerian star is nominated in the Best Global Music category.

The African giant Burna Boy will perform at the 2021 Grammy pre-show which will be livestreamed on GRAMMY.com at 3 p.m. EST on March 14.

The premiere ceremony will be hosted by Jhene Aiko. It will kick off with an ensemble of previous Grammy nominees including Gregory Porter, Afro-Peruvian Jazz Orchestra, Regina Carter, and Kamasi Washington performing "Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)" in tribute to the late legend Marvin Gaye.

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Politics

#LGBTRightsGhana: Ghanaians Rally Support For the LGBT+ Community

Pro-LGBT+ advocacy in Ghana is at an all-time high as members of the community face public backlash.

The LGBT+ community in the West African country of Ghana is a fast growing group, but they are also highly marginalized. In recent times, the nation's LGBT+ population has faced increased backlash from members of Ghana's society who are opposed to the rights of the community. Many members of the community are forced to live secret or suppressed lives, as those who are open about their sexuality face discrimination and oppression in various forms and degrees, as a result of living in a society that lacks progressiveness and regard for basic human rights for all individuals regardless of sexual orientation.

At the moment both the backlash and the advocacy for the cause is currently at a climax, sparked by recent events concerning Ghana's LGBT+ support group and the public opposition against it by Ghana's society and the nation's government. Ghana's official LGBT+ support group, called LGBT+ Rights Ghana, established their headquarters in Accra on January 31, 2021. The office was intended to be a safe space and avenue of support for all LGBT+ Ghanaians. On February 24, 2021. the office was shut down by members of Ghana's national security force together with the police, on orders issued by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, after the center became the subject of a furious public backlash.

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Interview: In The Beginning Was Manana

Manana on his debut album 'In The Beginning Was The End', a relatable love story narrated backwards.

Ndumiso Manana had just purchased a microphone to complete his home studio setup when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a hard lockdown in 2020.

Unable to tour with his Seba Kaapstad family due to travel restrictions implemented as part of measures to curb the spread of the novel Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, he did what many musicians in his circles, and around the world, were doing: he diverted his attention to something else.

In his case, the diversion led to one of 2020's most beguiling releases, In The Beginning Was The End, an album so perfect, so polished yet raw; so whole yet sparse; so sophisticated yet, strangely, relatable.

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Several Cultural Figures Sign Petition Supporting Ghana's LGBT Community

Naomi Campbell, Idris Elba, Edward Enninful and several others have signed a petition calling on Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo to support and protect the LGBT community which is under continued targeting.