Spotlight On: Maymuna Mohamed
Maymuna Mohamed is a Somali poet by way of Toronto, Canada. Mohamed is a member of BAM! Youth Slam, and at only 18 years old she has opened for The Roots - a legendary Hip-Hop band, and Ms. Maymuna Mohamed is taking the poetry scene of Toronto by storm.
Mohamed told Pray, Say & Slay about her beginnings as a poet,
“I started writing raps when I was around 15 and slowly progressed into a spoken word kind of style. I have tons of horrible raps and poems I wrote, but which writer doesn’t? I started performing when I was 17, almost a year ago. I’ve progressed a lot within the past year, I’ve also gained confidence on and off the stage. I’m now part of on an amazing youth poetry team, with some of the most talented people I know. Before I started competing and performing I would just secretly write raps and study my favorite artists. I would describe my writing style as contumacious and blunt. I’m not a very blunt person in real life, but on stage I have time to say everything I ever wanted to say, so I waste no time.”
“Poetry has always had an important space in Somali culture. Somali poetry is sang over a drum beat, it’s so beautiful. It’s performed at special occasions, at wedding and parties and mostly used as a way to express one's love for their mother or lover. My mom always asks me when I’m going to write a poem about her, She doesn't know I’ve been trying to write a poem about her for about a year, it’s hard to put my love for her in words.”
- The Smell of War by Maymuna Mohamed
- Untitled by Maymuna Mohamed
“When I was a little girl, there were so many things I wish I heard. When I write poems now, I try my best to write about what the younger version of myself needed. From birth misogynoir is there to take you down. I write to combat that. I’ve just started my self-love journey, I write so that other Black girls know it’s okay to love and put your safety first.” Mohamed states.
Along with culture and womanhood, Mohamed attributes her faith to her writing as well,
I’m Muslim, the core of Islam is loving and worshiping God. And to me, loving God means you automatically channel your love into the universe and His all his creations. The more I’ve explored myself in Islam, the more forgiving and understanding of a person I‘ve become. Being Muslim also means to speak against injustices. And that's exactly how I portray my faith in poetry, I will always show love.”
- Before Anything Black by Maymuna Mohamed
When asked if she could open for anyone who would it be, Mohamed replied,
“I’d open for Beyonce. Why you may ask? Because, Beyonce. The other day I was going to buy Beyonce tickets for the Formation tour, they sold out in seconds. I was lowkey sad because I didn’t get tickets, but highkey happy a Black woman did that. If I opened for Beyonce, I would crown myself the best poet in the world solely based on that.”
We know Ms. Maymuna Mohamed and Beyonce would make the greatest show together, and hope she achieves these dreams. For more from
Maymuna Mohamed you can follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @maymunaftv