Bonn (PP News Desk) — Abdi Ali Ba’alwaan, a Somali singer and actor, has died in a hospital in Germany, of COVID-19, according to members of his family.

The Somali Minister for Information Osman Abokor Dubbe sent a message of condolence to the family of Ba’alwan.

Dubbe remarked on the contribution of the late singer to Somali arts.

Ba’alwaan will always be remembered for his contribution to Somali arts

Ba’alwaan was born during the first half of the 1940s in Wardheer, a district in the Somali region of Ethiopia.

He moved to Mogadishu where he joined the Somali Army troupe (Xoogga) and in 1971 he joined the Waaberi (Dawn) troupe of the Information Ministry.

Ba’alwaan acted in popular plays around Somalia including Bad Jaceyl Badanaa, Jinni iyo Jaceyl, Xuskii Jaceylka and Dab Jaceyl Kari Waa. His acting skills and voice entertained generations of Somalis over five decades.

Ba’alwaan performing at the Somali National Theatre

In 2019 he paid a visit to Mogadishu where members of the Waaberi troupe welcomed him warmly after he had sought refuge in Kenya following the collapse of the state in 1991.

His song adigoon tacliin baran caashaqan ku dhaawacay (falling in love without going to school) was a morning fixture in the Radio Mogadishu morning programme for years.

Ba’alwaan had a great sense of humour and always deplored how the state collapse affected the arts. “Arts cannot flourish without a state” he told a reporter while reminiscing about arts festivals he participated in across several African and Middle Eastern countries.

This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post, 2020 and is republished with permission.

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