Tuesday, November 06, 2012
By ABDULKADIR KHALIF
Somali singer Zeinab Labadhagah receiving a certificate of appreciation in Kampala, Uganda November 5, 2012. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP
Popular Somali singer Zeinab Mohamed Haji alias Zeinab Labadhagah Monday night staged a show in the Ugandan capital Kampala.
She sung patriotic songs to encourage, particularly members of the Somali community in Uganda, said Ahmed Ali Sheikh, a music fan who attended the show at the Royal Theatre.
The singer was reportedly welcomed by a large number of Somali community members, waving her photos at the Entebbe airport.
Many paid tribute to her at Tagy Hotel where she was staying.
“Individuals from all walks of life saluted me, including Somali diplomats, students and community elders. Even traditional leaders greeted and visited me at the hotel,” she told the Africa Review on phone from Kampala.
“I am so happy to be here,” she added.
“I received a certificate of recognition from members of the Somali community in Kampala.”
Apart from her singing, Labadhagah established the International Art and Youth Initiative, a foundation working with a project named Partnership for Change, Empowering Youth through Art.
“The foundation and the scheme are meant to build the Somali youth’s confidence after 22 years of chaos,” remarked the singer.
She promised to return to Mogadishu to promote youth awareness on peace building and community integration.
Labadhagah was in Mogadishu in March when she delivered relief food to the people who fled the upcountry districts to the capital.
En route to Kampala, Labadhagah linked up with Ahmed Naji Sa’ad, a well known Somali singer and music composer, to Nairobi, Kenya.
The pair staged songs encouraging the new Somali Government to be more effective and responsive to the people.
“I live in Canada. Yes, in Canada, Toronto,” said the singer on phone before leaving Kampala.
Though Labadhagah lives thousands of miles away from her homeland, her songs are popular among Somalis and in the Horn of Africa region.
She has produced several albums in her career.