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Music: Behind the scenes with Aar Maanta

By Interview by Abdi Latif Dahir
Posted on Friday, 18 December 2015 16:10

Who are you currently listening to?

I’m listening to the Somali bands of the late 1970s and 1980s, especially Waaberi, Iftin and Dur-Dur. They all had distinct sounds in those days.

I recently had the opportunity to undertake some workshops with kids in school and I thoroughly enjoyed it

What was the last book you enjoyed reading?

Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed. I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptive storytelling and the historical context of her book. As a Somali immigrant myself, it was relatable to me on many levels.

Which football team do you support?

I support Wamy FC, an orphanage school team in Isiolo, Kenya. I became involved with them after the death of one of my closest friends in that area. I have no time to support clubs and players who know nothing about my people’s struggles.

Which famous deceased people would you have liked to host a dinner party for?


The Somali freedom fighter Sayid Mohamed Abdullah Hassan, the Somali nationalist Hawo Tako, Imam Ahmed Gurey and social activist Elman Ali Ahmed.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I watch [Eddie Murphy’s] Coming to America on repeat and can recite most of the script line by line.

What job would you do if you weren’t a musician?

Probably a teacher. I recently had the opportunity to undertake some workshops with kids in school and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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