Ghassaniy, Muyaka bin Haji al-

▪ Kenyan author
born 1776
died 1840

      Kenyan poet who was the first Swahili-language secular poet known by name.

      Ghassaniy is known particularly as an outstanding composer of quatrains (the most popular Swahili verse form for both philosophical and topical themes). Although he experimented little with prosody, his work ranged widely in type from didactic verse to love poems and from poems on domestic life (his shrewish second wife was a source of poetic inspiration) to political satire. His concern with the early 19th-century political situation is shown in poems that encourage the Mazrui rulers of the fort at Mombasa to oppose the overlordship of the sultan of Muscat, then rulers of the settlements along the Indian Ocean coast. The preface to his collected poems, Diwani ya Muyaka (“Collected Poems of Muyaka”), edited in 1940 by W. Hitchens, gives insight into his dual role as a commentator on his times and a voice of contemporary opinion.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kenya — Kenyan, adj., n. /ken yeuh, keen /, n. 1. a republic in E Africa: member of the Commonwealth of Nations; formerly a British crown colony and protectorate. 28,803,085; 223,478 sq. mi. (578,808 sq. km). Cap.: Nairobi. 2. Mount, an extinct volcano… …   Universalium

  • African literature — Introduction       the traditional oral and written literatures together with the mainly 20th century literature written mostly in European languages but also to an increasing extent in the many languages of the sub Saharan region. Traditional… …   Universalium

  • Literature of Kenya — Kenyan literature describes literature which comes from the African country of Kenya. Kenya has a long oral and written literary tradition, primarily in English and Swahili, the two official languages of the country.One of the best known pieces… …   Wikipedia

  • Robert, Shaaban — ▪ Tanzanian author born January 1909, Tanga, German East Africa died June 20, 1962, Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika       popular Swahili writer, Robert was the product of two cultures his father was a Christian, but Shaaban returned to Islām. His work …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.