Sunday, April 13, 2008

In Defense of a Wronged Legend: Mohamud Abdullahi Isse (Singub)

When a young man from a village near Aware town, ambushed and murdered Mohamed Moge Liban, he just avenged the death of one of his clansmen; by slaying a prominent member of ‘the rival clan’. It all amounted to that, for him. He had no idea of the colossal loss he had inflicted on all of us - the Somali nation; by cutting short the life of one of the most illustrious singers of the nation. A tragic loss to Somali art and entertainment! Not to mention, the visionary zeal of revolution in the deceased’s heart, that is buried with him. A vision, nowadays twisted to other trivialities, by few who care less about the true beliefs of the hero; and more about a new found ‘chants of convenience’.

Equally, when a group of secessionists hatched an insidious plot to defile the name of Mohamud Abdullahi Cisse (Singub), it was all about settling an old score with a partisan ‘FAQASH’ of the rival clan. They had no idea they were sculpting a gigantic sarcophagus for an untimely burial of Somali art and poetry. For the man they zoomed in, in their vindictive pursuit of clan vendetta is irreplaceable; and an instantiation of Somali culture and folklore. A genius, some analysts compared to Shakespeare, in terms of the influence both men had in their respective languages.

‘A prophet is not revered at home’, they say. And it is true Singub is not a prophet. But he isn’t an ordinary man either. He is a man of intellect, a possessor of wisdom and a literary genius. A gifted actor, poet, and philosopher! Heaven knows how from a monotonous life of the Hawd, a shining star of a nation came. By all measures, Mohamud has already overachieved! And has no more to prove.

From Xoriyo to Qabyo, from Qabrigii Jacaylka to Waa Maadays Aduunyadu, who among us had not twinkled with awe and appreciation when Mohamud let out the barrage of allegories and metaphors: giving us stories, guiding us to moral principles, warning us of vice and most of all refreshing our minds. And who hasn’t put palm to palm and cheered in standing ovations to his stupendous performances in those unfittingly small theater houses of the defunct country. Unfitting, because for a man of such stature and intuition, - a man in the pedigree of Mozart and Bach, the opera edifices of Vienna and Sydney would have been fortunate to host!

If, however, Somali language is still a language of few millions of nomadic people in East Africa, and hence, the works of the man has no global appeal at that, it is not his mistake. He is just an ill-fated man.

And as if his fame among this tiny people is menacing, sick minds have unearthed all the stones they could dig, to sully the reputation and regal standing of Singub. Because, allegedly, at the start of the Somali civil war, he has taken sides. I am in no mood to delve into whether he had or not, or whether he should have or not; but the fact remains, Mohamud Abdullahi Isse’s patriotism and nationalism are categorical. All his works bear out that assertion.

If he had affronted some groups with his political aligning of the yesteryears, it is a choice he made based on either pragmatic grounds; or at worst an error of judgment. That is why if he had supported the falling regime, as alleged by the secessionists, it looks he was prophetic enough to foresee what is to transpire, and had chosen to throw his lot with the lesser of the evil. A bad Republic would still have been better than the carnage that ensued after the demise of Siyad Barre, and a united Somalia is far more sacred than a constellation of tiny banana republics.

Looking at what has come of Somalia, and the unsavory intent of few who are hell-bent in curving out miniature ‘forts of loot’ from the ribs of a giant nation - driven by sheer ignorance, avarice and/ or hate; who would bet against the unassailability of the judgment of citizens who stood up to confront those who were wrecking the boat?

In total disregard for Somali societal decorum, and with mirthful exploitation of loopholes in western laws, they rushed to quench an insatiable craving for his blood. And god knows pain they inflicted! But for a man who has swam in the tumultuous waters of the unpredictable life of Hawd and who single-handedly made himself, tenacity and patience are hardly an asset he longs for. He has it, and in time, the pain will be gone. The mind-numbing pain goes to the Somali nation, though. When will we finally lay down the bottles filled with clan venom, strapped around our waists, and treat national figures as public treasures well beyond and above the fray of messy clan feuds?

The Pre-eminence of Singub’s works has withstood time and the competition of many other great Somali artists, and it is apparent it will survive the avalanche of lies and distortions of the marauding secessionists. If history is not ‘a fable agreed upon’ as Napoleon would like us believe, the day of deliverance is beckoning!

And the day will come when grateful men and women of our nation will assemble and pay tribute anew to the mastermind and do honour to the toasts for him. In my mind, I see people lining up in bookstores and libraries, in theaters and exhibition halls to get a glimpse of the art and wisdom the man conferred to us. One day, some day. Meet you there!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace. The Somali people have lost a hero, a poet, an artist; irreplaceable for many years to come. I mourn the death of a great man-our brother, Sangub.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous Read the post before posting.

Sangub waa la dulmiyey illaah haka qabto dadka beenta ka abuuraya