Abdirizak Bashir Ahmed known as “Hogol Caafi” started reciting poems when he was only seven years old. It all started one day when he argued with his parents over going to Hargeisa city. “My family lived in a small village near Ceerigaabo in the Sanaag region but I wanted to move to the capital, Hargeisa,” he told us in a recent interview. “They refused to let me travel and I was so upset that I responded with a poem."
“Whenever I had fights with other students in school, or even when we joked with each other, they never missed the opportunity to bring up Somalia in a negative way,” poet Zahra Abdihagi recalls the stereotypes she lived with growing up in Canada.
Diaspora Somalis are keeping traditions alive and bringing Somali poetry to wherever they settle Driven by a common desire to reconnect with their roots and search for belonging, the Somali diaspora is bursting with a new generation of poets who are keeping their ancestors’ rich oral traditions alive.