African Hip-Hop Group Uses Music to Combat al-Qaeda-Affiliate Print
Written by Robert aka 'RB'   
Thursday, 29 December 2011 22:07

Take some anti-jihadist courage and mix it with musical talent and what do you get? An Islamist-fighting hip hop group, apparently.

Enter Waayaha Cusub (which means “New Era” or “New Dawn”), an 11-member music group intent on battling the al-Shabaab terror group and its violent ideology.

The hip-hop collaboration, comprised of Somalis, Kenyans, an Ethiopian and a Ugandan, was founded by 29-year-old Shine Ali in 2004. Just three years ago, Ali was shot by members of the terrorist group after they broke into his home. According to the Waayaha Cusub founder, it was his anti-radical message that incited the attack.

While this would have been enough to stop most people from proceeding, Ali and his group members are intent on continuing their mission to encourage young people to sheer clear of involving themselves in jihad. ”When they shot me, I knew that if I stopped the music, they would win but if I continued, my power would win,” says Ali.

The group has produced several albums and caught some major attention for its 2010 song, “No to al-Shabaab.” Waayaha Cusub’s songs are recorded in Nairobi and they are disseminated on CDs, though the radio and on the Internet. Aside from their peaceful calls against the terror group, the Guardian reports that the musicians tackle other issues like AIDS and clan rivalry.

Here’s the music video for “No to al-Shabaab”.

But the price members pay for their brave stance is a hefty one. One singer — a female — who was slashed across the face a few years ago remains in hiding. As Ali has learned, the positive and uplifting message the band is trying to spread could cost the singers their lives.