I take a lot of pride in the music I listen to and where it comes from (not for the reasons you’d think). So there is this song called Nagma that I have two versions of it – one sung by a guy named Mohamed Waryaa and the other one by King Khalid (which is much recent and more popular it seems). There is also a Jabuti (Djibouti) version, which is sung in Anfar and some claim is the original version. I always thought this song was Somali – until I saw this:
Which of course is in Amharic. From the look of the video, the song is much older than King Khalid’s version below. But the Somali-Anfar one from Jabuti does seem to be much older than both. Yet…
This brings me to the puzzle of this song: who made the original song? More precisely, who’s ripping who? I have no interest in the original creator other than just to know. With so much similarities across the Horn, cultural borrowings is inherent in the regions dynamics. But do artists in the region credit the artist’s work they borrow? I hope they do. Then again, the song could’ve been a folksong that goes back hundreds of years; adding to the mystery of its origin.
Anyone know who is the original artist and where it originated from? If anyone is keeping count, there is at least four languages used in this song.
From the BBC:
“The winners of a quiz organised by Somali Islamists [in Kismayo] have been given weapons and ammunition as prizes…..Prizes included AK-47 assault rifles, hand grenades and an anti-tank mine.” Even the losers get prizes, “the runners-up did not go home empty-handed, taking away an AK-47 and bullets.” According to Al-Shabab spokesman, “The reason the young men were rewarded with weapons is to encourage them to participate in the ongoing holy war against the enemies of Allah in Somalia,” which, ladies and gentlemen, are the women and children of Somalia.
I wonder if the winners, with their heavier firepower, would try to kill and rob the runners-up.
Somali pirates are not much liked these days; for a good reason many would argue. But we all know before the original pirates were hijacking commercial ships, they were lowly fishermen. Besides keeping toxic and nuclear waste dumping ships from the Somali coast, it turns out that they have also successfully kept illegal trawlers at bay from the coast. Now comes the insanely unexpected: Somali pirates have saved the livelihoods of not only Somali fishermen, but Kenyan fishermen as well. The further these pirates have gone out to the high seas to hijack ships, the more the ships (both legitimate and illegitimate ones) have stayed further away – resulting in almost no illegal trawlers entering in Kenya’s (as well as Somali’s, obviously) economic zone (200 miles from the coast) and territorial waters (12 miles) as these industrial illegal trawlers used to do before the rise of pirate hijackings in the horn.
Ironically what the government of Kenya could not do, that is protect its fisheries and marine life, has been done for them by Somali pirates – by accident. Now both Kenyan and Somali fishermen are catching more fish and have a decent life. More importantly, the ecosystem is returning to normal cycles, and fish population has dramatically increased, leading to two-fold benefits for the humans who rely on the ocean for livelihood and the marine life that is now healthy. Now, before I get any hate-mail on this subject, remember the smile on these happy fishermen…
PS: 20,000 Kenyan Shillings is about 250 U.S. dollars.
Categories: East Africa, Piracy
Tags: fishermen, illegal fishing, illegal trawlers, Kenya, kenyan fishermen, marine life, Piracy, pirates, somali pirates, Somalia
I think I’ve been away from this blog for too long. How’s ya’ll? Ok, ok. Let me get to the point. I have finished my program in A-town (Arusha) and left there on Sunday for Dar es Salaam, where I’m currently at. I climbed Mt. Kili on Friday – amazing experience, I tell you. Tough as hell but I’m glad I did it. I know 3km climb isn’t much but someone like me who has never hiked, much less than climbed mountains, it is a pretty good accomplishment. I was particularly surprised to see the entire first (and second) level of the mountain very forest, almost jungle-like. Thankfully, there are no wild (if any) animals; just few birds in the first kilometer or so, then it is plants and trees – very beautiful indeed. We started our climb late so when we got to the first level we didn’t have much time to sit and enjoy the beautiful scenery around and had to get down just as quickly. Some locations are very steep, while other places are surprisingly near-flat ground. As the first two levels (3 and 5 kilometers, respectively) of the mountain consist entirely forest, rain is a constant threat to amateur climbers who can easily fall in the slippery surface deprived of sun.
The descent, I think, was more dangerous than the ascent because it is so easy to fall, lose balance, or sprain on the descent – especially the steeper spots. It took us (or I should say me) about 3 and half hours on ascent, while it took me only about 1 hour and 45 minutes to descent. After coming down every part of my body hurt like hell – not unusual, I was told. I think I deserve a few days of R & R in Zanzibar which is exactly what I’ll be doing later this week. A visit to Prison Island that I wasn’t able to make a month ago is in the itinerary this time around. I have never snorkeled before so should I do it now?
The Marangu route of Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Maybe it is the jetlag or the new environment. Maybe it is just me old self. Or maybe I just need time to readjust. Three days in Dar es Salaam already and I feel like I’m at home. There is a welcoming and peaceful atmosphere in this city as its name in Arabic suggests. The attitudes of its inhabitants are just as welcoming. What is most impressive about this city is its diversity and tolerance towards different peoples and their faith. Equally impressive is the diversity of the people here: Arabs, Maasai, Swahili people, other African migrants, South Asians (largely from Pakistan), East Asians (dominated by the Chinese). The most common bond between all these people is either religion or commerce.
View from the top - the coast of Tanzania. The visible island is Zanzibar.
Dar es Salaam
Random sky shot
Afternoon traffic jam in Dar. A motorist is angry at a blocking driver.
Islam is the most practiced religion here (all along the coast for that matter) and one can see the influence of Islam very quickly throughout the city. Likewise, commerce is a strong part of this city, often dominated by non-indigenous immigrants like South/East Asians and Somalis. I’m not sure I would classify the Arab population (locally known as ‘mwarabu’ – the bantuitized word for Arab) here as ‘non-indigenous’ people since they have been here since at least the 13th century. A large population of mixed people also exist here. What I’m surprised not to see here is the European population that colonized Tanzania. However, in the interior of the country I suspect there are still a remnants of colonial descendants – mostly the large estate owners.
Perhaps everything I’ve written here is b.s. but I’m not claiming my observation to be based on academia anyway.