Some 15 years ago, he penned a poem to recall his escape from 1964 atrocities in his homeland, Zanzibar. The tale is about the journey and the new settlement in his new home – Dubai. The poem was beautifully recited by the late Said Hamad (May Allah Bless Him). Enjoy it.
It was just a simple idea from her seven-year-old daughter – who was not even born in Zanzibar – that changed the whole holiday story into a charity that is now touching lives of hundreds of young Zanzibaris in remote villages. The Bigger Heart Zanzibar was established by Leyla Mohammed Yahya and her Wales-born daughter, Nawal.
It was the hot summer of 1966 that was his first experience in the land that would be his new home – Dubai, all the way from tropical islands of Zanzibar. Today Sheikh Mohammed Abdulmuttalib ‘Mutta’ is recalling his first days in the foreign land and how the government of Dubai did all it takes to comfort Zanzibari refugees.
He is in the A-List of the contemporary Swahili poets. With his own efforts, he has been able to publish four books – Mama Usihuzunike being the latest. He is joining me in the CHAT to tell us his journey into the world of poetry.
He left Zanzibar some 50 years ago with a heavily broken heart after his country was invaded and his people, including his own father, massacred. More than a half century later, he sits with me in GUMZO to recall the bitter days but, quite amazingly, appealing for reconciliation and new beginnings for this generation.
Reading his verses and stanzas written in pure coastal Swahili, one can hardly notice that Bashiru Abdallah was born and raised far away from the sea shores of Tanzania. His mastery of the language is mind-blowing.
As one of the founders of Maridhiano, Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad, now the first vice president of Zanzibar, is laying down his vision and mission on the process of political reconciliation started in November 2009 by him and the then-president, Amani Karume. The speech was made in Pemba in the early days of January 2021.