Skip to main content

Popular Somali singer, a former Minnesota resident, killed in Mogadishu

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A Somali singing star who left her life in Minnesota to return to her homeland and serve in parliament was killed Wednesday in a drive-by shooting in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

The folk singer Saado Ali Warsame, who the Star Tribune reports lived in St. Cloud and Minneapolis from 2007 to 2012, was a household name in Somalia.

She left Minnesota in 2012 to become a lawmaker in the troubled Horn of Africa nation, the Associated Press reports.

Warsame performed in St. Cloud during a 2010 Somali independence celebration, the St. Cloud Times reports.

“She was legendary,” Ahmed Ali Said, who grew up in Somalia but now lives in St. Cloud, told the Star Tribune. “She was like Michael Jackson to Somalis.”

Somali community activist Omar Jamal told FOX 9, “For the last 40 years, she was on the frontline of the arts, theater and performance. She was very popular, very well-loved and liked in the community – not only in Somalia but in East Africa.”

The Islamist extremist militant group al-Shabab took responsibility for the killing, the BBC reports. A group spokesman told the BBC she was slain for her politics, not her music.

Warsame and her driver were both killed when gunmen ambushed their car as they made their way to a hotel, the Associated Press reports. She was the fourth member of parliament killed this year.

The singer was the victim of terrorists aiming "to cripple the country,” Mohamed Ali, a Somali lawmaker, told the AP.

The nation's prime minister hailed Warsame in a tweet:

The BBC reports the singer had a "daring" career because she was critical of those in power. The song that made her famous was "Land Cruiser," in which she sings that former President Siad Barre – who was overthrown in 1991 – drove around in fancy cars and then sought international aid to feed the nation's starving citizens, the BBC notes.

FOX 9 reports the Brian Coyle Center in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood is organizing a Thursday night event to help celebrate Warsame's life.

In this video, Warsame speaks at an engagement in St. Cloud:

http://youtu.be/Up8YN4yldio?t=2m41s

FOX 9's report:

This embed is invalid

Next Up

Marcus Foligno

Foligno's OT winner gives Wild fans a happy Hockey Day

A slow start gave way to the Wild's fifth win in the past six games.

snow

Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.

Wilf

Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.

Payton Willis

Willis carries shorthanded Gophers to beat Rutgers

The senior scored a career-high 32 points to end a four-game losing streak.

MARCUS ALEXANDER STEICHEN

Charges: St. Paul man had sexual contact 'multiple times' with 12-year-old girl

Marcus Steichen, 21, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Charges: Mom killed infant son just weeks after getting him back from foster care

The 10-month-old died in her care in Brooklyn Park last April.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Arrests made following fentanyl bust in St. Cloud

Authorities searched two St. Cloud apartments Friday morning.

potatoes 2

Minnesota's 'frozen potato freeway' closure attracts plenty of comment

It was, let's face it, a very Minnesotan reason for a freeway closure.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 9.07.54 AM

U of M fraternity raises money for chef's knee surgery

The GoFundMe has raised around $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-22 at 7.47.53 AM

Woman fatally shot in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

It's the fourth homicide so far this year in St. Paul.

Wild

Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Related

A safer Mogadishu beckons Somali-Americans

Once regarded as one of the world's most dangerous cities, the Somali capital of Mogadishu is seeing a bit of a revival, and that has helped lure some young Somali-Americans to the city of their birth for the first time since civil war erupted 21 years ago, MPR reports.