Somaliland: Well-known Somali Poet Dies in Hargeisa


Late Hasan Banfas

 “He was a national hero, struggler and had partaken Somaliland’s rebuilding and all Somali speaking people have lost this great Poet” President Silanyo

By: Mohamoud H. Qodah

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Ali Hassan Adan (Banfas), one of the most well-known Somali poets has today buried nationwide in Hargeisa after long illness.

The poet, Ali Hassan known as Banfas after struggling for a long time with diabetes and other medical complications was today held state burial where hundreds of people including politicians, composers, elders and family members attended.

All participant spoke profoundly the historical biography and the phenomenon poems of the late poet Banfas. Speakers have at the same time beseeched Allah to grant mercy and compassion to late Ali Hassan Aden (Banfas).

President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo has also sent his condolence and pleaded Allah to give the late poet his mercy and compassion.

The president of Somaliland Ahmed Silanyo pointed out that the late poet sacrificed his life to the people of Somaliland and contributed his miracle tongue to the realization of the long struggle of SNM.

“He was a national hero and has partaken the long journey of our people including; rebuilding and reconciliation process of Somaliland. All Somali speaking people lost this great Poet,” President Silanyo said this in his condolence message to Somali people particularly composers.

Ali Hassan Aden (Banfas) will be remembered and will be in the minds of Somaliland people for decades for that he recited many poems linked to the long journey of Somaliland people and the SNM struggle which Somaliland people had finally realized 30 years later and reclaimed their sovereignty which have lost in 1960 after Somaliland had unconditionally merged with Somalia.

The Poet was born in Dhabolaq, west of Hargeisa in 1948 and completed his lower education at Hargeisa city then joined teacher training school at Lafoole, the biggest education center located in Mogadishu at that time. Ali Banfas became the leader of the first Somali Students Association established in Somalia. He has been serving as a teacher since 1970’s where he also started lobbying activities about the establishment of high schools in Northern party of the greater Somalia (Somaliland).

Ali Banbas was charged for 30 years in prison by Sayid’s Security Court for that he composed a poem against the dictator regime of Sayid Barre which later overthrown by SNM fighters.

He took 1 and half years in Madhera prison. It was reported that unlike other prisoners Banfas was never tortured because of that he never concealed his view about SNM strugglers and his public criticism over the totalitarian regime of Siyad Bare who have massacred over 50 thousand innocent people from Somaliland in 8 years where he had also displaced more than 2 million others from their homes.

It was reported that the poet became the first person who publicly recited a poem against the regime before the judge of Sayid’s security court during the trail before he was given 30 years of custody.

Many prisoners including late poet Banfas, veteran fighters of Somali National Movement (SNM) and intellectuals from North released later after SNM fighters abducted Somali Airline and reached swap deal with Sayid Bare regime.