× HomeAbout usAdvertisementContact us
Somalia Community in UK  hard hit by COVID19 as top basket baller joins list of deceased 

Somalia Community in UK  hard hit by COVID19 as top basket baller joins list of deceased 

The Somalia community abroad have born the heavy brunt of the Corana virus.

The young, the old, the prominent and little know persons have succumbed to the illness, in faw away lands with no family to witness  their final send off.


On Wednesday morning, Somali basketball legend Bana Ali  who was one of the most well respected Somali community leaders in UK  passed away  due to COVID-19 . He had  been sick for past couple of weeks with no underlying disease.


The virus has claimed the lives of Somalis in Britain from all ages and backgrounds - from 13-year-old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab and former Somali Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein, 83, to popular musician Ahmed Ismail Hussein Hudeidi, 91.


Mohamed Abdulkadir Biriq, 59, a celebrated former footballer who lived in the UK since 1992, is among the COVID-19 victims. He had diabetes and was admitted to hospital after contracting the virus.

People used to call him "legend" and revered his football career in the 1970s in Somalia. He trained and supported young people in the diaspora.

But due to the lockdown, his funeral could only be attended by 11 people including seven of his eight children.

 Nur Hassan Hussein, the former prime minister, died in a London hospital on  after contracting the new coronavirus. Popularly known as Nur Adde, he was the East African country's prime minister from November 2007 to February 2009

The musician Ahmed Ismail Hudeidi, who has died aged 91, was the acknowledged king of the oud, a short-necked, lute-type instrument that is widely played across Africa and the Middle East. More than that, he developed a style on that instrument that came to epitomise modern Somali music.

In the 1950s he began to put traditional Somali folksongs to new instrumentation, and he also composed in a new “Qaraami” style, which, like the blues, could tell love stories as well as comment on life and society. Songs such as Ur Hooyo, Riftoon, Rogaal and Raheye became classics that have been reproduced by Somali musicians of every generation since – and remain popular still.

Although he was better known in Africa and the Middle East, later in life Hudeidi came to prominence further afield, when he moved to London in his 70s and began performing to world music fans and the Somali diaspora at concerts around Europe and the US.