Popular Somali poet, playwright and musician Mohamud Abdullahi Isse (Sangub) is dead. Sangub died today in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, where he was undergoing treatment.
Sangub was born in 1944 in a rural area of the Somali regional state of Ethiopia.
In his early years, Sangub was famous for his performances in cultural heritage songs, popularly known as “Dhaanto”. In addition to that, he was also a great poet. At the time, there was no university education in the region and schools were uncommon in the country and so Sangub began his early life by learning the Qur’an (Koran).
In 1961, Sangub moved to Hargeisa to seek for a better life, and he was immediately invited to join Radio Hargeisa. However, in the same year, he proceeded to Mogadishu where he joined Radio Mogadishu, after emerging the best in an interview in which 21 people participated.
In 1964, Artiste Sangub joined the Somali Armed Forces as a singer. In the same year, the then Somali army chief, General Daud Abdullahi Hirsi ordered the transfer of Sangub to an area called Ina-Guha between Daror and Salahley towns to join troops there after clashes erupted between Somali and Ethiopian forces. Sangub was wounded in one of the battles.
After the confrontations between Somalia and Ethiopia ended, Sangub’s band was renamed (The Somali Armed Forces Band) and included, among other popular singers, Abdi Salad Berdila’she, Habon Abdullahi Farah, Zeynab Haji Ali Bahsan, Mohamud Abdullahi Sangub and Osman Adan Hussein (Osman Askari), who was appointed as the band leader.
In 1965, Sangub unveiled his first play which he called “Naga guur [Leave us]”, in which he castigated the British colonial power for interfering in the affairs of the Somali people. Fellow artistes Bahsan, Dhagjar, Berdila’she, Mejad Mige were among the actors who performed in the play.
Sangub was one of the Somali people’s wisest, most brilliant, most creative and funniest poets, playwrights and songwriters.