Ahmed Ismail Hussein Hudeydi, considered one of the founders of modern Somali music, has died in London at the age of 92 after contracting Covid-19.
Known as “the King of Oud” – the instrument that he played – Hudeydi became a key figure “during the anti-colonial movement and decolonisation period” in Somalia, said Hanna Ali, director of the London-based Kayd Somali arts organisation.
“In short, his music embodied the sound of the long struggle to freedom and independence,” she added in a statement.
He was born in the port city of Berbera in 1928 and then grew up in Yemen but returned home as a young adult, Ms Ali said.
He moved to London in the 1990s during the civil war in Somalia.
Writer Nadifa Mohamed is quoted as saying that he transcribed the “independence journey into music and poetry”.