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Balwo is a style of music and poetry practiced in Somalia as well as Djibouti. Its lyrical contents often deal with love and passion. Balwo was founded by Abdi Sinimo.[1]


Below is a sample from a poem by Abdi Sinimo which he first hummed while repairing a broken truck in 1943. This came to start the Balwo-genre and Northern Somali song tradition.[2]

Balwoy! Hoy balwoy

Waha i baleyey mooyaan Waha i baleyey babur Waha i baleyey berguba. . . .

Translation: (Balwoy! O' Balwoy I know not what made me suffer It is a truck that made me suffer

She is berguba [a girl's name] who made me suffer. . . .)

Abdi Sinimo, Historical Dictionary of Somalia,2003



  1. ^ Abdullahi, Mohamed Diriye (2001). Culture and Customs of Somalia. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 172. ISBN 978-0-313-31333-2. 
  2. ^ Mukhtar, Mohamed Haji (2003-02-25). Historical Dictionary of Somalia. Scarecrow Press. p. 12. ISBN 9780810866041. 

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