NAIROBI ( SPR ) Waayaha Cusub, a Somali hip hop band, steps into the public scene once again to promote peace and to help combat terrorism. On several occasions, the group received threatening phone calls because of their artistic expression and peaceful campaigns targeting the youth.
The second Eastleigh Peace Festival was held in Nairobi to raise public awareness on a myriad of issues facing the Somali youth such as unemployment and global terrorism. Through live performances and traditional poetry readings, Waayaha Cusub celebrated with the predominant Somali community in Eastleigh, a vibrant suburban and commercial area of Nairobi.
Participants of the event were largely made up of Somali youth who are thrilled and attracted by the creative appeal and power of the group’s music, but also other sections of the Somali community came in full support of the festival.
Over 250 of well-designed T-Shirts were distributed to the youth and supporters. The symbolic inscriptions on T-Shirts and wall posters read as “Nabadi waa nololeh, dhalinyarooy nageeh,” which when translated could best mean that “life is sustained by peace; so let our youth remember that always”.
A similar event is slated to be held on the 1st of July, which will coincide with the political independence of Somalia.
The lead singer as well as the group leader of Waayaha Cusub, Shiine Akhyaar, told Somali Public Radio (SPR) that the chief theme of the event was to promote the value of peace and to protect the vulnerable sections of our society such as the youth from the evil lures of al-Shabaab, a destructive global force that controls a large swathe of territory in southern Somalia.
“As a long-time member of Waayaha Cusub, I am actively engaged with my own community in order to campaign for a new and better life and to create opportunities for the upcoming stars of Somalia,” said Shiine Akhiyar in an interview with SPR.
“Down to Al-Shabaab, down to al-Qaida,” chanted Shiine before a huge audience with serious and grave concern and with renewed sense of patriotism.
Lixle Muxiyidin, another member, likewise told SPR that his band would not rest working until they succeed in reaching out to Somali youth through their songs and lyrics about peace, tolerance and human rights.
Social and economic experts consider economic disparity, unemployment and lack of opportunities for training in life-enhancing skills draw the youth to violent and aberrant behaviors.