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STANDING FREE (keli u taagnaansho)

May 5, 2012

The faltering idea of the post-colonial state in Africa was formed under the European notion of the nation state, a concept of sustainable governance largely adapted in the 19th century onwards. This scheme was facilitated by gradual developments of mass literacy, voting according to ones education as well as mass media. A complex and intricate ideological system a civil and military bureaucratic governing body that was forcedly implemented in Africa after colonies reached independence from colonial powers.

How Africans adapted this idea can be summarized in the words of Chinua Achebe who wrote in his novel Anthills of the Savannah how its rulers “…openly looted our treasury, whose effrontery soiled our national soul”. In other words, African elites continue to harm their brethren and perpetrate colonial mentality of exploitation without looking at the interest of the masses of children and women who constitute the majority of the population.

Somalia is not exempted from this phenomenon; in fact it would be an amazing case study if one would look at the almost quasi homogeneous status in terms of language, religion and ethnicity and the inability to resurrect from a state of permanent anarchy as they struggle to overcome their differences and reach a stable political consensus.

The purpose of my blog is to explore how the Somali identity has changed and formed over the years. There is a strong sense of community in Somali society as well as the need for each individual to stand alone as a “free subject” detached from the oppressive clanism system which stands as a barrier to individual freedom and economical prosperity. The average  Somali is under 30 years of age and seeks  a better future for  himself/herself.  He/she identifies the clan communalism system as the barrier, the so called isbaaro or sbarra borrowed from Italian language, to the process of becoming a free subject. There is the need to emerge as an individual capable of exercising his/her own way of being and individual: a civic person who can fully manifest their citizenship role……

Unfortunately the lack of resources, education and political stability is not allowing this identity to shape itself as required.

The needs are many. We all crave a new way of being Somali.Individuals who stand alone and express themselves free from the chains of ignorance and petty clanism mentality!

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  1. I think the issue you presented here is the most integral step in redeveloping our nation. We need independent minded citizens who aren’t afraid to stand alone, and question the status quo.

  2. I could not agree more AfroLens. Infact, we must decolonize our minds in the wa Thiong’o sense. We must develop our intrinsic identity and allow Somalinimo but at the same time circumvent primitive and backward frameworks.

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