Sunday, September 25, 2011

K'Naan's Account of Returning to Somalia

This is K'Naan's account of what he finds in Somalia, to which he returned after 20 years. If you don't know who he is, here's the lowdown: K'Naan is the singer and poet who sang the theme song "Waving Flag" at the soccer world cup in South Africa.


"The final and most devastating stop for me was Banadir Hospital, where I was born. The doctors are like hostages of hopelessness, surrounded and outnumbered. Mothers hum lullabies holding the skeletal heads of their children. It seems eyes are the only ornament left of their beautiful faces; eyes like lanterns holding out a glimmer of faint hope. Volunteers are doing jobs they aren't qualified for. The wards are over-crowded, mixing gun wound, malnutrition and cholera patients.

"Death is in every corner of this place. It's lying on the mattresses holding the tiny wrists of half-sleeping children. It's near the exposed breasts of girls turned mothers too soon. It folds in the cots, all-knowing and silent; its mournful wind swells the black sheets. Here, each life ends sadly, too suddenly and casually to be memorialized."

I (this blogger) had a few Somalian friends in Saudi Arabia. One was Moosa who had left behind his family and migrated permanently to Saudi. He was a jolly chap ever-willing to crack a joke. The other was the driver Ahmed whose favourite word was "Atillo," the meaning of which I couldn't figure out. Whenever I would ask him what "Atillo" mean, he would sidetrack the issue or offer some vague explanation.

Indeed sad what's happening in that country. What? Indeed, it's sad what's happening in all developing countries. In today's papers I read that Manmohan Singh said in the UN that the world - which opened its arms to globalisation not long ago - is trying to come to terms with its aftermath. The aftermath isn't very good or congenial since it has wiped out whole socio-economic systems and replaced it with the system of greed. Today world is suffering from multiple maladies which have no known solution. We are hurtling... hurtling... don't know where (that's all I can say). 

I am @johnwriter on Twitter and John.Matthew on Facebook. I blog here.

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