- Somali music icon, Ahmed Naji Sa’ad, renowned for his contributions to Somali arts, dies in London.
- His vast career spanned almost seven decades, leaving a significant impact on Somali music, culture, and patriotism.
- President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and other influential figures pay tribute, celebrating his influential legacy.
Somalia and the global Somali community are mourning the loss of one of its most cherished musical luminaries, Ahmed Naji Sa’ad, who passed away in London following an illness. With an illustrious career spanning nearly 70 years, Naji was a beacon of peace, patriotism, and unity through his music.
Forced to flee Somalia during the outbreak of civil war in 1991, Naji resettled in London, which became his permanent residence. However, he frequently visited his homeland and continued to engage with the Somali community through his art.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud paid tribute, describing Naji as a “heavyweight Somali musician” who commanded immense respect from his compatriots. The president further acknowledged Naji’s invaluable contributions to Somali literature, patriotism, and culture.
Somalia’s Information Minister Daud Aweis, expressing his condolences on the platform X, remembered Naji’s unparalleled brilliance as a multifaceted artist and teacher.
Born in Mogadishu in 1939, Ahmed Naji Sa’ad’s passion for music blossomed during his school days. Embarking on his musical journey in 1954, he soon became an integral part of Somali’s vibrant arts scene. Abdullahi Mohamed Abukar, a fellow Somali songwriter, highlighted Naji’s profound influence on the nation’s music scene and his relentless spirit, which remained undeterred even amidst the civil war.
Naji’s association with Radio Mogadishu was particularly notable, where he took up the role of director of the music department after Somalia’s independence. His influence and contributions to the station remained significant throughout his life.
International figures also paid their respects, with the UN mission chief in Somalia, Catriona Lang, acknowledging the indelible mark Naji left on Somalia’s cultural landscape.
The music world may have lost a gem, but Ahmed Naji Sa’ad’s melodies and message of hope, peace, and unity will forever resonate in the hearts of many.