Veteran poet Abdalla Mwasimba dies aged 83


The artworld is mourning one of Kenya’s greatest Kiswahili poet and activist Abdalla Mwasimba who died aged 83.

His former colleague at the Voice of Kenya Abduk Sheikh made the announcement through his Facebook page.

Mwasimba died this morning at his Kaloleni home in Nairobi.

As a poet, he wrote and recited many poems which touched on many facets of life.

“Today we mourn the death of one of East Africa’s greatest poet and radio voice, Abdalla Mwasimba. I met Abdalla when I joined the national broadcaster VOK and later listening to his mesmerising poetic voice, I was taken aback by this great talent,” he said.

Abdalla Mwasimba was born in the year 1937. He was born in Matuga, Kwale County.

Mwasimba has previously worked as a radio presenter at Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC) while still known as the Voice of Kenya (VOK).

He will be remembered as a remarkable Kiswahili writer and for his role in promoting Kiswahili literature through his works.

KBC Deputy Editor in Chief Ngulamu Mwaviro eulogized the late Mwasimba as a versatile poet, creative actor as evidenced in programs that he participated in.

Mr Mwaviro met Abdalla Mwasimba in the year 1976 when he was a student at Starehe Boys Centre. Then, Mwasimba was living in Majengo.

He says, as a budding Kiswahili poet he used to visit the late Abdalla to learn more about his interests in Kiswahili poetry.

He fondly remembers the late poet as a selfless person.

“He really loved to pass knowledge to upcoming Kiswahili poets,” he added.

The late Abdalla will be remembered particularly for his Tv programme Janja na Janjaure, his Mashairi on Idhaa ya Kiswahili now Radio Taifa which was produced by legendary Khadija Ali.

“He wrote stories that resonated with realities. Through his ‘Ulevi unafaida gani’? You could be he was in touch with the realities facing Kenyans,” he said.

He was awarded a Head of State Commendation by President Uhuru Kenyatta two years ago.

He leaves behind three children and several grand and great-grandchildren.


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