First they would ask “Why do you always post & write in English not your mother-tongue, Somali?” And I keep saying “That is my choice”.

Then, I post a few stories in Somali, every now & then—just by my own will. And you know what they say? “That Somali you are writing is damn broken”. Some will even go so far and declare “Soomaliga budka kadaa, ninyahow” [Stop beating the Somali language with your stick!—or idiomatically, your language skills are horrendous]. As if they’re the self-appointed custodians of the Somali language, trying to religiously carry out this role.

And guess who am I talking about? SOMALIS. They keep reminding me of Nurrudin Farah’s words when a journalist asked him about the witty, proud and sometimes rude Somali characters in his stories. He smiled widely and started the response with, “You’re talking about my good Somali people”. Yes! That ‘good’ is of course meant with heavy sarcasm!

by AbdiWahab M. Ali