All across Mogadishu and beyond, there is one name that brings smiles to people’s faces: Muwado.
The eight-year-old girl is the star of short comedy videos that have taken Somalia by storm. Viewed millions of times on online platforms such as TikTok and YouTube, Muwado Abshir’s sketches touch on a wide range of topics, from unemployment and fashion to social media obsession and even relationships – and her jokes spare no one.
“I like to make people happy. I get happy when I see people laughing,” Muwado tells Al Jazeera, before breaking into laughter herself.
“People look better when they are happy and laughing.”
It all began in December of last year, when the eldest of Muwado’s seven older siblings, Abdikassim Abshir, was making a video for his TikTok channel.
“She wouldn’t leave me alone and kept on asking me to make a video of her,” the 19-year-old recalls.
But simply shooting the video was not enough for Muwado, who insisted that her brother share it online. Abdikassim reluctantly concurred – and within days, the clip had more than a quarter of a million views.
The funny sketch starts with Abdikassim telling Muwado not to play with his phone because she is too young. He then asks her to go to the shops to buy him ice cream.
“Be patient,” Muwado retorts. When I grow up, I will get you ice cream. I will get lost if I go out to buy you ice cream now.
Thinking that the post’s popularity was accidental, Abdikassim then posted a video featuring just himself – and did this did not go down too well with his followers.
“People would not let me post anything that Muwado was not in. They were not asking but demanding. I had no choice. It was either I post Muwado videos or don’t post anything,” he said.