Sahra Axmed Jaamac

Sahra Axmed Jaamac was a Somali singer known for her powerful voice, humanitarian work and patriotic songs, who became famous in the late 1960s to early 1970s. Born and raised in Hargeisa, Axmed began her singing career at the young age of 13 in 1969. She learned to sing from her mother and by listening to the radio, and was naturally gifted in singing despite growing up without access to formal education. She developed a passion for poetry and literature, which can be seen in the lyrics of her songs. Axmed joined the Somali National Theatre in Hargeisa and was one of the first female singers to perform publicly, gaining popularity through her voice and patriotic songs celebrating Somali culture and identity. She was a part of Waaberi, a state-sponsored music and theater troupe that toured and competed internationally. She performed in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya and represented Somalia at the Pan-African Festival of Algiers where she won first prize for her song “Soomaaliyey Toosoo” (Somalis, Stand Up). 

During the civil war, Axmed fled to Ethiopia, and throughout her career, she persisted through many challenges, including suffering from diabetes and hypertension. Even in exile, she continued to perform and raised awareness about the crisis in Somalia abroad. After retiring from musical performance, Axmed lived a quiet life in Hargeisa until her passing in 2018. She is widely remembered as one of the most prominent singers in Somalia’s “Golden Age” of music.