Abdullahi Qarshe

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Abdullahi Qarshe
عبد الله خارسهي
Birth name Cabdullahi Qarshe
Born 1924
Moshi, Tanzania
Origin Somali
Died 1994 (aged 69–70)
Genres Somali music
Instruments Oud, piano, guitar, lute
Years active 1940s–1970s
Labels Wadani
Associated acts Waaberi

Abdullahi Qarshe (Somali: Cabdullahi Kharshee, Arabic: عبد الله خارسهي‎) (1924–1994) was a Somali musician, poet and playwright known as the "Father of Somali music".[1]


Karshe was born in 1924 in the Somali expatriate community in Moshi, Tanzania. He belonged to a family which mainly inhabits in Sanaag region of Somalia. In 1931, at the behest of his family, he left Tanzania and settled in Aden, Yemen for his education. It is in Aden where Abdullahi had his first encounter with cinema and radio playing western films and Indian and Arabic music, which inspired him to buy a lute to accomplish his new goal of creating music in the Somali language. He was married to Adaiya Karshe whom he had four children with, Rukiyo Karshe, Safiyo Karshe, Anab Karshe and Mahad Karshe.

Karshe, along with other first generation artists such as Ali Feiruz and Mohamed Nahari, was among the pioneers of modern Somali music.

An innovative musician, Karshe often employed a wide variety of instruments in his art, such as the guitar, piano and oud. He was also known for his poems and his theatrical work at Mogadishu and Hargeisa venues.

In addition, Karshe was a member of the pioneering Somali musical ensemble Waaberi.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Johnson, p.82