The collapse of the Somali state in 1992 precipitated the kind of anarchy never experienced anywhere else on the African continent. On the 29 April 2013, Kay was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the new UN Special Representative for Somalia. He came to Somalia to solve the miserable and bloody stories that invariably emerge from the Horn of Africa. Unbelievable as its sound, there are places in this country where life is not quite as pleasant as it seems, one cannot safely rest at any time of the day without fear of either encountering terror attacks or abducted by piracy groups . In the two years Nicholas lived and worked here-Somalia, he has repetitively heard of a violent crimes. But in all the chaos that ensued, Nicholas traveled all around the country, met traditional leaders, formed regional states and eradicated Al-Shabab forces from major towns. We have often seen the UN representative to Somalia Nicholas Kay on TVs and in social media. He seems like the kind of leader who helped formation of Somalia regional states. Since Nicholas Arrival, the residences being put up by Somalis from the diaspora are a sight to behold, Lido shore became an exotic place; where life is full of sunshine, ease, pleasure, and excellent mouth watering cuisines, the American dollar and the Ethiopian birr are the most preferred currency, life in Mogadishu proceeds at a sedate pace. Work begins from eight to midday after which all activity ceases for a mandatory siesta. Apart from bequeathing pasta as a staple diet, the siesta is considered the next most useful Italian colonial legacy to Somalia. Action resumes from four to six o’clock when the working day ends. Being a Muslim society, there are no pubs since alcohol is forbidden and “miraa” is the nearest one can get to intoxication. The Hotels are the place to stay; the meals are fairly decent. Traffic in town is chaotic; pedestrians, dogs, and goats; expect motorists to give way rather than the other way round. Amazingly though, there are very few car accidents. Most surprisingly, Nicholas did once appeared on TVs holding the Somali traditional leader’s symbol “CIMAMAD” on his shoulder, there is no doubt that he stayed in the place long enough to really get the feel of it and explore the hidden pride of the Somali traditional leaders. Now he may actually safer in anywhere in Somalia than any other foreigner. The most charming thing about Nicholas than wearing Suldan’s Cimaamad, is speaking like Suldans by using captions, lines and proverbs or may be Somali poems next time while speaking to Somalis-who knows! Since Kay has adopted that the culture practices is meant to earn respect from his fellow Somalis audiences- but the question still remains whether Kay feels like representing UN to Somalia or a traditional leader representing Somali traditional elders to the International community and at the end would the Somali traditional leaders who are the key leaders of restoring peace to the country will accept Kay as their companion and honor him with the title of Suldan rather than just Cimaamad on his shoulder? That is a question to be answered by Kay and the Traditional leaders from the Horn of Africa- soon.
Written and published by:
Abdi Hamud Alel-PhD candidate-topic “New Somalia”