A strange man, sitting across at my teatable, and suspecting I was from the diaspora, asked me the other day, “what is the strangest thing you noticed in Somalia since you came back?” That was a question I didn’t expect, and I must admit that I was almost helpless to come up with any response. After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, I uttered an equally surprising answer: “Somalis don’t pay attention to studying and preserving their national heritage”. They seem to be borrowing lifestyles from the Arabs and West. He said that he didn’t look at Somali traditions and customs that way. A colleague of mine joined us right there at that moment and sat beside me. I informed him that the other gentleman sitting opposite us whom I met first time asked me what was the strangest thing I have noticed in Somalia lately. “Why didn’t you tell him that five livelihoods Somalis depend on are livestock, fish, frankincense, agriculture and environment. None of them constitute a priority for their care. Do you think Somalis will survive in the long-term?” My colleague lectured. I was dumbfounded to suddenly realize the fundamental fact exposed and how common sense it was.
Consider the facts that there were no vacational schools or colleges in fishery, livestock, frankincense, farming and the environment, critical areas of our survival in this country as human species. There are no records or historical references and statistics on these livelihoods for centuries.
The irony of our existence is how come we never consider this truth about our paradoxical existence? Is it too late to do something about it?
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are all wrong-headed in life. Let us seek salvation for our continued survival by paying more attention and care to our livelihoods.