The great Somali poet Abdullahi Suldan Timacadde said, “Clannism provides no shelter; it only causes destruction.” That is only partially true. What is left unsaid is that members of one clan can go out of their way to help each other, and their common bond can bring some good things to the table.
Like a nice free meal in a top-rated eatery.
Did you hear that?
OK, let me first indulge in an exercise of name-dropping.
You know Attorney Abdurahman Hosh Jibril, former Somali Minister of Constitution, Federal Affairs, and Reconciliation? He is a longtime friend, but this Hosh guy told me in 2010, after reading my Mogadishu Memoir, that he always thought I was Shiikhaal. Hosh was not the only one who believed that; many of my friends thought so even though I never claimed to be Shiikhaal.
How did it happen that so many people thought I was Shiikhaal when they never heard me say so?
That is simple—not through Facebook or Twitter but through the old fashioned way: word of mouth.
I miss those good old days though because I innocently and unwittingly received certain tangible benefits. I was received well in certain Shiikhaal corners and was even well-fed under the impression I was one of them. Unfortunately, the truth has an unceremonious way of exposing itself.
Get that imposter. He is Digil. He was born in Afgooye. Get him.
Now that many of my friends know who I am, I get no free meals.
Once, a young wife of Warlord Hussein Mohamed Farah Aidid extolled my virtues and gave my colleague (Habar Gidir-Cayr) and me a powerful motivational speech. My colleague and I were running a nonprofit foundation that received government grants to serve Somali refugees. “Keep on the good job, boys,” she told us. My colleague, who did not correct her, kept on doing what he was doing. He was probably basking in her praise and forgot about me and my Shiikhaal-ness. For me, my jaw dropped. I did not, oddly, correct her. Of course, someone must have told the young woman that I was Shiikhaal.continued