Ahmed Yusuf (Gobroon)

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Ahmed Yusuf
أحمد يوسف
4th Sultan of the Geledi sultanate
Reign 1848-1878
Predecessor Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim
Successor Osman Ahmed
Born Afgooye
Dynasty Geledi sultanate
Religion Islam

Ahmed Yusuf (Somali: Ahmed Yuusuf, Arabic: أحمد يوسف‎‎) was a Somali ruler. He was the fourth Sultan of the Geledi sultanate, reigning from 1848 to 1878.


Yusuf was born in the town of Afgooye, where he stayed until the age of seven. His father subsequently sent him to Qur'anic schools in Barawa for studies.

Ahmed Yusuf was considered to be the most powerful king in east Africa in his time. He managed to gather 20 thousand brave & strong Somali troops and invaded the Zanzibar island near Tanzania and he captured the Islands, slaughtered all the Arabic troops and freed the Bantu slaves and through his military dominance, Sultan Yusuf managed to exact tribute from the Omani king in the coastal town of Lamu.[1]

He and his brother, Abukar Yusuf, were eventually defeated in the Battle of Cagaraan against the powerful military clan of the Bimal. Their bodies were taken to Merca by the Bimal sultan, where they were then displayed in front of a large crowd as a show of triumph. Upon seeing the bodies of the dead men, the women of the Bimal reportedly marvelled at the beauty of Ahmed Yusuf, which resulted in a public uproar with women demanding a proper funeral for the late Sultan.[2]

The Istunka tournament was developed in the Ajuran period, and was celebrated subsequently each year during the Somali new year alongside other festivals such as Nowruz. It was not until the Geledi sultanate and the reign of Sultan Ahmed Yusuf that the martial art festival became a centralized tournament with separate teams each supported by an assembly of poets, female vocalists and dance groups throughout the duration of the contest.


  1. ^ Sudan Notes and Records - Page 147
  2. ^ Luling, p.26.

See also[edit]


Preceded by
Yusuf Mahamud Ibrahim
Geledi sultanate Succeeded by
Osman Ahmed