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Somali Music between Good and Goth; Tani waa

waalli cas!

Since Ill mostly be talking to Somali music fans, it would probably make
great sense if I cleverly based this piece around a wise snippet from a
Somali song. Alas, my anaemic knowledge in this area isnt throwing out
any appropriate lyrics. Will Markaan da'da jiray 15 do?

I have recently read an article by Bashir Goth where he heroically defends

Somali music and culture from the encroaching threat of the Wahhabi
Mullahs and reveals to us - the silent majority that these Mullahs are
nothing but fifth columns for Al Shabab, ISIS, Taliban and every Jihadi cult
in the world. Bashir Goth is great, hes a prolific and (often) entertaining
writer. Yet in this article of his and all the others that talk about Somali
Music one cant help but get the feeling hes singing about bygone days
(markuu dada jiray..).

I have also come across various video clips by Abdi Good where, he too,
gallantly defends and attempts to straighten the path of Somali music.
Goods videos are full of memorable catch phrases, funny exclamations
and endless lamentations about the demise of Somali culture.

The aim is the same, to preserve Somali music and culture (the two are
interchangeable in the minds of both men). However, where Goth chooses
eloquence and intellectuality to get his point across, Good opts for the
rough but very effective tollaay. Goth paints vivid pictures of his
younger days with a peaceful and happy Somalia. He obsesses about
womens dress, mens manliness and the twirling, spitting and altogether
psychedelic Mullahs of his good old days. He uses this lovely (and almost
mythical) picture in comparison to todays poverty, war and extreme faith.
But is he being fair in seeming to blame all Somalias current ills on Al
Shabab or Wahabi Mullahs?

Abdi Good loves Somali music and spends a lot of his time listening to it,
discussing it and criticising it. Therefore he cant be classed as a Wahhabi
(or at least not according to Goths understanding). However, Abdi Good
despises naughty lyrics and video clips. Like the Wahhabis Goth is riling
against, Good questions the upbringing of some female singers and
actresses in video clips. He often asks where their families are and why
isnt the Somali community protecting our delicate daughters from the
evils of Music clips.
Crude Good wants censorship, he wants to listen to and view Somali
music that only adheres to what he and he alone considers decent. Good
comes from the same generation as Goth. Both talk of Dhaqan but one
wants to ban Mullahs and the other wants to ban artists. Goth
sensationalises his argument by warning of an active Jihad against music
and linking it to the savages of Al Shabab and ISIS even when history
shows that the debate over Music has been raging for centuries, in fact
long before the founder of the Wahhabi cult was even born. In his zeal to
protect and defend Somali music he employs the effective but very
tiresome methods of Al Shabab in pointing his finger at some hidden and
clandestine powers hell bent on destroying Somali Music. Al Shabab blame
the CIA and mysterious Zionist organisations, Goth blames nameless
Mullahs who use phone conferences and pseudonyms to hide their names
from the authorities. Do they really need to go through all this trouble just
so they can persuade Hibo Nuura not to sing? (I personally wanted to ask
that female singer with the blonde afro to stop singing but Ill now take
Goths hint and call myself Abu Kaban before I phone her and tell her to
stop torturing us all).

Funnily enough, I am (for the most part) in agreement with both Good and
Goth. I agree with Goth that singers should be free to sing without any
coercion or threats. I also agree with Good that bad songs should be
ridiculed. Nonetheless, I think Goth insults all Somali artists when he
places the blame at the feet of the Mullahs. For if he truly wants a free
Somali world, as most his articles prove, he should allow the Mullahs the
freedom to persuade, convert and convince whomever they want. Hibbo
Nuura is over sixty and is old enough to make her own mind up. Besides,
the future of Somali music does not lie in the hands of washed up artists
such as her. At any rate, what stops Goth from setting up his own
teleconferences to counter this existential threat to Somali music? It
worked for the Mullahs.

When Good watches video clips showing barley dressed young men and
women he calls for such clips to be banned and begs Somali governments
to severely deal with such filth. But who says such clips are filthy? Goths
golden age of Somali music had worse things in it and was more titillating
than the tepid pictures of young topless men tweaking their own nipples
in front of mirrors or girls writhing in beds. Who sets the bar for what is
acceptable and decent, Good or Goth?

Daahir ya Shamis!

By: Ahmed Hadeed

The views of the above article are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of SIR team.

Somali Investigative Reports (SIR)