shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Nimco Yasin

Page address:


MANKATO, MN: The Minnesota State Mankato Performance Series will feature London-based Somali singer Nimco Yasin (pronounced NIH-moh Yah-SEEN) in a series of community and classroom residency events April 2 through April 8. A finale concert will take place on Saturday, April 8 at 7:30 with Nimco Yasin featuring Iskalaji with special guest Rahmo Rose. The concert will take place at the South Central College Conference Center, 1920 Lee Boulevard, North Mankato.

This project is made possible in part by a grant from the Association of Performing Arts Professionals; and Building Bridges: Arts Culture and Identity, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

"I am excited to be part of this three-year project. Midnimo will create many opportunities for both campus and community members to build meaningful relationships with our Somali neighbors," said Dale Haefner, Performance Series Director at Minnesota State Mankato. “The arts, and especially music, are an excellent means of communication and a way to create bridges to cultural understanding. Music is a universal language and a universal feature of the human experience.”

The upcoming weeklong residency is the first installment of five planned Midnimo residencies taking place through Spring 2019. The first residency event in April will include opportunities for community members and elementary through college age students to participate in workshops, class visits and education programs, discussions, and performances.

Nimco Yasin rose to fame as part of a member of the legendary Waaberi Group in the 80s. Waaberi Group, or “Dawn Players,” was Somalia’s government-sponsored music and dance troupe that included the most talented singers, musicians, and dancers in the country. With more than 300 members over its 30-year existence, the group was a source of national pride and toured the world multiple times.

Because of their status, artists were among the first to be impacted by increasing political instability in Somalia in the late 80s. Yasin fled Somalia to the UK in 1989, shortly before the onset of civil war, which nearly wiped out the country’s rich artistic traditions. Since then, Yasin has rebuilt her career as a professional artist. Known for her striking voice and emotional love ballads, Yasin eloquently revives the vintage qaraami (or “Somali jazz”) sound that Waaberi was known for, while bringing it into a modern context.

Midnimo, the Somali word for "unity," is a program that features the world's leading Somali artists in residencies and events that increase understanding of Somali culture through the arts. Launched by The Cedar Cultural Center in collaboration with Augsburg College in 2014, the program has now presented seven successful residencies and expanded throughout the state in partnership with the Minnesota State University, Mankato Department of Music Performance Series; The Paramount Center for the Arts in St. Cloud; and St. Cloud State University. Midnimo is playing a role in building intercultural unity and understanding in Minnesota, an area home to the largest Somali immigrant population in North America.

General admission concert admission is $15 in advance and $20 the day of the concert. Admission is free with any student ID. Those who wish to purchase tickets online should go to For more information, call the Performance Series office, (507) 389-5549.

• • • • •

For a full list of residency activities in Minneapolis, Mankato, and St. Cloud visit Public finale performances will take place at the following times:
• Minneapolis: The Cedar Cultural Center on Friday, March 31 at 8pm ($20 Advance, $25 at the door; free for Augsburg staff, faculty, and students with Augsburg ID). 
• Mankato: South Central College on Saturday, April 8 at 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 at the door; free with any student ID).  
• St. Cloud: Paramount Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 15 at 7pm  ($15 Advance, $20 at the door; cost includes handling fee; free with any student ID).