Mohammed Wardi

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Mohammed Osman Wardi
محمد عثمان حسن وردي
Mohammed Wardi.jpg
Background information
Birth nameMohammed Osman Hassan Salih Wardi
Born(1932-07-19)19 July 1932[1]
OriginSwarda, Wadi Halfa, Sudan[1]
Died18 February 2012(2012-02-18) (aged 79)[2]
Khartoum[2]
GenresMusic of Sudan, Nobiin, Arabic music
Occupation(s)singer-songwriter, teacher
InstrumentsSinging, oud, tanbur, multiple instruments
Years active1957 – 2012

Mohammed Osman Hassan Salih Wardi (Arabic: محمد عثمان حسن وردي‎; born 19 July 1932 – 18 February 2012) was a Muslim Nubian Sudanese singer and songwriter.[1]

Early life[edit]

Wardi was born on 19 July 1932 in a small village called Sawarda close to Wadi Halfa Northern Sudan.[1] His mother, Batool Badri, died when he was an infant.[1] His father, Osman Hassan Wardi, died when he was nine years old.[1] He was brought up in a diverse and culturally rich background and developed an interest in poetry, literature, music and singing.[1] Wardi traveled to Shendi to complete his education, and returned to Wadi Halfa as a secondary school teacher.[1]

Music career[edit]

In 1953, Wardi went to Khartoum for the first time to attend a convention as a teaching representative for his area.[1] He moved to Khartoum and started his career as a musical performer.[1] In 1957, Omdurman Radio chose him to record and sing on national broadcast in an arena with singers such as Abdelaziz Mohamed Dauod, Hassan Atia, Ahmed Almustafa, Osman Hussaein and Ibrahim Awad.[1] Wardi recorded 17 songs in his first year.[1]

He had a collaboration with poet Ismail Hassan, resulting in more than 23 songs.

Wardi performed using a variety of instruments including the Nubian tanbur and sang in both Arabic and Nubian languages.[1] He has been described as "Africa's top singer", with fans mainly in the Horn of Africa.[1] His songs address topics such as romance, passion, Nubian folklore, heritage, revolution and patriotism with some of his political songs resulting in him being jailed.[1] After the military coup in 1989, he left Sudan to voluntary exile in Cairo and Los Angeles.[1] In 1990, Wardi played a concert for 250,000 Sudanese refugees at a refugee camp in Itang, Ethiopia.[3] He returned to Sudan in May 2002.[1]

In 2005, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Khartoum.

Death[edit]

Wardi suffered from renal failure later in his life. He eventually underwent a kidney transplant after one of his fans donated a kidney to him in 2002. He died on 18 February 2012 at 10:30 pm and was buried in Farouk Cemetery in Khartoum.[4]

Views on Darfur[edit]

In a 2006 interview with journalist Dan Morrison, Wardi stated: "There is no rape in Darfur. The Sudanese people don't rape. Maybe the African Union are doing it. But not the Sudanese people."[5]

Poets/Songwriters with whom Wardi collaborated[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q "Mohammed Wardi Sudanese legend and musical encyclopedia". Capital. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Iconic Sudanese singer Mohammed Wardi dies". Statesman. Associated Press. 19 February 2012.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "Sudan mourns singer Mohammed Wardi". BBC. 20 February 2012.
  4. ^ "The death of Sudanese artist Mohammed Wardi". Al Jazeera (in Arabic). 21 February 2012.
  5. ^ Morrison, Dan (August 2010). The Black Nile. Penguin.