Muyaka bin Haji al-Ghassaniy

Muyaka bin Haji al-Ghassaniy (1776–1840) was the earliest secular Swahili poet whose identity is known. He has been credited with bringing Swahili verse “out of the mosque and into the marketplace” with his commentary on daily life in Mombasa and its frequent battles defending its independence against the Omani Empire. He also popularized the mashairi quatrain form that serves to this day as the predominant form of Swahili verse.


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