I recently started playing futbol again with my fellow nomads after taking a long break from them since they tend to take the game too serious. The last time I played with them I had my finger broken when a middle aged nomad jammed my hand with the ball so he could score a lousy goal; so it wasn’t exactly a reunion I was looking forward to this time around.
Maybe it’s my introspect personality that I notice these things or maybe I was just too damn frustrated with their constant argument on every play. Nonetheless, I’ve come to the conclusion that Somalis have an inherent personality defect that will not allow them to agree on anything because everyone – from the youngest to the oldest, men and women – seem to have an infallible opinion. For example, yesterday we spent at least 10 minutes arguing about the size of the pitch – some claimed that the field was too small therefore it needed to be expanded, while others argued it was just the right size. This back and forth arguments are unfortunately the norm every time we play futbol. So I wondered: what are the politicians like, who after all are deciding about the fate of an entire country, its people, and resources? Do my soccer observations apply to the political debate in Somalia? Maybe not completely, but it does give us a little explanation of the state we have been in for the past two decades.
Facts have become hostage to our opinions on every issue and I think that is a big factor why we will continue to be in a state of civil war for many years to come. In one sense, this strong opinion inherent in us is good – in the sense that we put a lot of value on our independent thinking, albeit destructive often. But at what cost? Are all of us have to be right?
Let me make a suggestion (I know I’m going to catch a lot of flak for this): how about we just find a “benevolent” dictator like Félix Houphouët-Boigny to rule Somalia? It would at least be peaceful. And a lot less argumentative, I’m sure.