A dance band called Dur-Dur Band ruled the nightclub scene in 1980s Mogadishu, thanks to a unique sound made possible by access to Western culture and instruments. Hear the story, including the group’s exodus from Somalia during the conflict that gripped the country in the early 1990s, and some funktastic tunes from All Things Considered.
by Warsan Shire
My older sister soaps between her legs, her hair
a prayer of curls. When she was my age, she stole
the neighbour’s husband, burnt his name into her skin.
For weeks she smelt of cheap perfume and dying flesh.
It’s 4 a.m. and she winks at me, bending over the sink,
her small breasts bruised from sucking.
She smiles, pops her gum before saying,
boys are haram, don’t ever forget that.
Some nights I hear her in her room screaming.
We play Surah Al-Baqarah to drown her out.
Anything that leaves her mouth sounds like sex.
Our mother has banned her from saying God’s name.