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.Image

The music icon was born a twin in Berbera in 1928 – then the commercial hub of the British Protectorate of Somaliland.

He later moved to Aden, Yemen, where he got most of his earlier education and a flare which brought out his talent in the Arabian, wide-bellied musical instrument known as the Oud.

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.

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.

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.

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.