As published by The Guardian and Lush Film Fund. Run time: 15 minutes.
In the 1970s and 80s Mogadishu's airwaves were filled with Somali funk, disco, soul and reggae. Musicians rocking afros and bell-bottom trousers would perform at the city's trendiest nightclubs during the height of the country's golden era of music. But it was short-lived: a brutal civil war began, musicians fled to all corners of the world and the vibrant music scene came to an end.
Habib and Abdulkadir, two former band mates and best friends, lost touch after the war started, and neither knew if the other was alive. But both kept playing music.
Somali Night Fever tells the story of the people keeping Somali music alive, including these two friends, separated by war but united by the music of the golden era.
Filmed and edited by Rachel Clara Reed
Produced by Megan Iacobini de Fazio
Animations by Joseph Pierce
Executive Producer Shanida Scotland
Here, Abdulkadir holds up two photos he preserved for the past 40 years, him on the left and Habib on the right, in matching band uniforms. “You can’t tell who is who between us!” he told us gleefully.
Months later, we met Habib on another continent, and he told us he had long lost all of his old photos. Here is his reaction when we pulled out scanned copies of Abdulkadir’s originals.