King of words: Lamu DJ using poetry to preach peace, unity and love for Islam

Lamu DJ uses poetry to preach Ramadhan message of goodwill

As Muslims observe the Holy Month of Ramadhan with solemn periods of prayer and fasting, Hashim Said Mohamed, alias DJ Fakhrudin, is playing his part in spreading messages of goodwill through his poetic pieces. 

For him, a poem can go a long way to soothe, encourage, warn, and entertain—all in a simple composition. 

Normally, DJ Fakhrudin, 36, recites the poems on the streets of Lamu Old Town or social barazas, diligently pouring his heart out in well-thought out pieces in Swahili language.

Blessed with a resounding voice and an even greater mastery of the language, he has devoted most of his time, especially during the Holy Month of Ramadhan, to remind humankind of the virtues of peace, unity, goodwill, honesty, love, and respect.

Ramadhan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is one of the most sacred times for Muslims.

In an interview with Nation.Africa, DJ Fakhrudin says his actions are a pure sacrifice for the love of Islam, and he expects no pay.

“Ramadhan is a time the Islamic faithful ought to let go of worldly pleasures and completely devote themselves to Allah (God). To ensure this agenda sticks in the minds of our people here in Lamu, I have resorted to walking freely along the streets and barazas of the Old Town, and sometimes even going door-to-door, talking, preaching, and presenting poems that are Ramadhan-themed,” he says.

Hashim Said Mohamed, alias DJ Fakhrudin.

Hashim Said Mohamed, alias DJ Fakhrudin, practices before a poem recitation in one of the barazas of Lamu Old Town.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

His actions have earned him great friendship from both Muslims and non-Muslims who love his poetry and delivery.

Apart from spreading peace, love, and unity, DJ Fakhrudin’s poems also have strong messages.

“My poetry pieces always advise on the right things to do as faithful observing the Holy Month. I entertain but at the same time air messages on what the Quran teaches us, and what we can do better to receive full blessings from Allah (God). I have poems stressing on helping the needy, visiting the sick, offering assistance to the orphans and widows, among others,” he says.

His fans told Nation.Africa that his poems give them the drive and motivation required to get through Ramadhan.

Kassim Shee, 80, says the poems enable them to avoid temptations as they carry on with their fasting.

“His messages and advice passed through words in the form of poems are more concrete, realistic, and intellectual than the normal preaching. We love DJ Fakhrudin. He makes us remain focused and steadfast all along,” says Mr Shee.

Hashim Said Mohamed, alias DJ Fakhrudin.

Hashim Said Mohamed, alias DJ Fakhrudin, with fans in Lamu Old Town.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

Mohamed Haji compares DJ Fakhrudin’s actions to a philanthropist, as he always does the poems freely and wholeheartedly.

“The DJ is always smiling while conveying an idea, message, warning, or emotion through his beautifully-packaged language in the form of poems. I can’t dare miss his daily performances,” said Mr Haji.

Hamadi Mahmoud, a Muslim cleric in Lamu, says that though presented in a sugar-coated form, DJ Fakhrudin’s poems provide a moral guide that has imparted moral lessons to many in the town.

“DJ Fakhrudin’s poems encourage people to read the Quran, attend prayers in mosques, and have the heart to assist. As a cleric, I love the artiste's way of doing things,” said Mr Mahmoud.

Some of the poems DJ Fakhrudin has so far composed specifically for Ramadhan are: Karibu Mgeni Mwema-Mtukufu Ramadhani, Tufungeni Ramadhani-Mtukufu Mwezi Mwema, Waumini Ramadhanini-Someni Kurani, and Ewe Mola Jalia-Ramadhani Enye Kheri.

DJ Fakhrudin was born in Kizingitini Village in Lamu East Sub-County, and went to Kizingitini Primary School.

He is the seventh of eight children.

Hashim Said Mohamed, alias DJ Fakhrudin.

Hashim Said Mohamed, alias DJ Fakhrudin, with fans in Lamu Old Town.

Photo credit: Kalume Kazungu | Nation Media Group

His poetry journey began when he was in primary school—he would present poems to guests during school education days, parents' meetings, and other events.

DJ Fakhrudin is now a sought-after poet, especially during political campaigns.

His poetry has enabled him to share podiums with prominent people, among them Kenyan heads of state Mwai Kibaki, Uhuru Kenyatta, and William Samoei Ruto, and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua.

DJ Fakhrudin has also participated in Kiswahili programmes on various radio stations, reciting poems at KBC’s Pwani FM-Mombasa, Radio Rahma, Bahari FM, Msenangu FM, among others.

He started out as a local DJ and MC within Lamu Old Town, doing music mixing in weddings and public events for over five years before switching to poetry. His stage name DJ Fakhrudin stuck, and he now uses it even when he performs poetry.

DJ Fakhrudin says he is interested in working for Lamu as a county brand ambassador for culture, tourism, and heritage, as well as engaging various media in their entertainment programmes.

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