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Immortalizing Somali Cultural Icons

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Mourning and eulogizing has become part of our daily life these days. Everyday we hear the killing and shooting of someone so dear to us by ruthless murderers. The victims are usually journalists, activists, athletes, artists, musicians, comedians, teachers, doctors, engineers, and intellectuals.


The murderers' mission is to obliterate the crop of the cream of society. The goal is to have a blind deaf and dumb society devoid of culture, learning and thinking. The thugs are against enlightenment, progress, modernity and want us to live in dark ages. They want to have uneducated obedient masses to rule, indoctrinate and subjugate. That is the reason why they target the educated and cultured individuals within the society. The murder of an artist, athlete, activist or intellectual, makes you think about the immediacy of death and the unpredictability of life in Somalia. It makes you appreciate the courage these artists, athletes, activists and intellectuals are making to uplift and bring hope into people's life. You begin to realize how difficult it is to work and sacrifice life to not let hope and humanity die.


Lately, the murderers' unforgiving bullets are taking the lives and bodies of many great legends and icons. Why are they being targeted and their lives is in danger all the time? The artists, athletes, activists and intellectuals are not that different from the common folks; they pursue their daily lives the same way, live in the midst of ordinary people, have the same concerns as most folks do. However, their spirit and soul combined with artistic vision and intellectual interpretation of life distinguishes them from most. They enlighten us from the depth of their soul. They make us think and invite us to once go with them into a different world where there is peace, calmness, civility, love and happiness. They know that is what we aspire for and so they inspire us. That is the reason behind the unrelenting ruthless assassinations of the thugs. The fanatics don't want us to be inspired and enlightened. The thugs want us to abandon our inspirational and awesome culture to embrace an alien and regressive heresy.


We must remind the thugs and fanatics that Somalia has a deep-rooted and multi-dimensional rich culture where poetry, music, arts, comedy, storytelling, sports, theater and plays are indestructible and eternal. Our whole nation teems up with artists, poets, comedians, storytellers, musicians, entertainers, athletes and actors. The killing of one journalist or comedian is not going to wipe out that colossal patrimony and civilization. We must remind the thugs that killing is an act against God and that we will forever immortalize the legends and fallen cultural icons deep in our hearts and minds. They will be here with us through verse, act, play and scene. Despite the systematic cowardly attempt of the thugs to destroy our culture and take advantage of the chaos and tyranny of the past two decades, we must remind ourselves that we are people with rich cultural heritage, who are decent and dignified and know right from wrong. Somalis will always side with the wronged and not the aggressor. Somali people will always support their artists, athletes and intellectuals and encourage them to keep doing what they do best: to compose poetry, sing melodic songs, make us all laugh and enjoy music, play and watch sports, keep us informed and entertained. We implore our artists, athletes, activists and intellectuals to never give up and to continue their effort to heal our wounded souls, to reconcile us and to teach us our culture and heritage. Don't let the thugs win and reach their ugly and dark objectives. All Somalis must be fearless to express their condemnation and opposition to the fanatics that are murdering our icons. We must vocally and actively express our disgust and loathing of the evil actions of the murderers.


As a sane and civil society, we must not let the disaster and distress of the chaos in our country discourage us to appreciate and support our cultural icons and living legends. Our culture is integral to our life and humanity. We must not surrender. We must give assurance and renewed confidence to our artists, athletes, activists, and intellectuals and help them continue to educate and entertain us.


My condolences to all the families and loved ones of the fallen heroes like the late iconic Somali comedian Abdi Jaylani Marshaale.

My salute and cheers to the Somali Olympians, Zamzam & Mohamed in London. Keep waving the blue and white flag and thank you for telling the world that Somalia is alive.



Abdulkadir Mohamed (Ato)

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