The latest community icon to fall under the brutal attack of the Coronavirus is Ahmed Ismail Hussein, widely and fondly known as Hudaidi.
Hudaidi contracted the deadly virus which killed him at 92 in London, the United Kingdom.
The music icon was born a twin in Berbera in 1928 – then the commercial hub of the British Protectorate of Somaliland.
Hudaidi became an uncontested king of Oud.
The part he played in both colonial, freedom movements through his music, charm and leadership talents that glued Somaliland art circles together and on post-colonial periods, which projected him to wider Somali-speaking stages, are fondly remembered and well documented.
Hudaidi’s inspiration was not confined to Somalis alone. His influence was as such that young music aspirants of other nationalities tried played his pieces, too. “Two fo the Same Father’ – one of the songs he penned is played here by two of his non-Somali followers.
Hudeidi was also a composer and song writer. He wrote Labo aabo wada dhalay (Two born to the same father) in the beginning of 1970s. It was a dedication to his younger brother after Hudeidi left Somalia for Arabia. He says he could never forget the one who shared womb with him. pic.twitter.com/cUMRfQw5ZX
— African Protocol (@africaproto) April 8, 2020
In honour of Hudeidi ‘The King of Oud’ I am donating again to the @NPCCOVID19 through @EdnaAdanFdn. We must stop #COVID19 in its tracks. Please join me.https://t.co/1e7lc5CxCz pic.twitter.com/g3tLSTeLTF
— Prof Laura Hammond (@lhammondsoas) April 8, 2020
The music giant’s popularity is partially reflected by condolences pouring over all Somali social media accounts coming from far and wide, Somalis, non-Somalis, the young and old alike.
Thank you for all the good wishes, Hudeidi was loved all over the world and could make friends in a heartbeat.
I'm sorry I cannot reply individually but we are all overwhelmed by his sudden loss. He still had plans- to play in Djibouti, buy ouds in Turkey – he was full of life pic.twitter.com/HEsbnrQqBL
— Nadifa Mohamed (@thesailorsgirl) April 8, 2020
His Excellency the President of the Republic of Somaliland was among the first to mark his sorrow in a message of condolences to the family, friends, followers and to the whole Somali-speaking nation.
The president of the Republic of #Somaliland H.E @musebiihi sends his condolences to the families, friends, relatives, SL people and Somali ethnic society as whole for the death of one of the greatest Somali artists Ahmed Hussein Ismial (Hudeidi) who passed away in London. pic.twitter.com/ioDAmncE38
— Somaliland National Communication Center (@SLNCC01) April 8, 2020
Perhaps due to their communal habits and the traditional, close ties of the extended family system, Somalis in Europe and America had been adversely affected by COVID-19 making them the single most affected community in Europe and North America especially when juxtaposed against numbers in the areas affected.