My Journey to Prosperous Somalia - AbdiKarim Abdi

“If people come together, they can even mend a crack in the sky. Somali Proverb

My name is Abdikarim Hussein Abdi, I am a 16 year old Somali youth activist. I am extremely interested and strongly passionate about the current issues and problems which young youths face in Somalia.  I visited the motherland for the first time in 2013, it was after this initial visit that I decided to make a bold choice and move there. Folks that have gotten to know me could perhaps articulate that I’m a very optimistic individual who, like many other Somalis, merely wants to observe significant progress in the country. 

As a teenager, it is ordinary to think ahead of what one might choose to do in the future and feasibly how to accomplish that ambition. I have always longed and still do want to become a politician, ever since I was taught and witnessed from a young age that people primarily enter politics to make a change in the world. It was just less than two months after I settled in the country that I immediately comprehended the issues that I would like to tackle in the future, in a professional capacity, while serving for my country Somalia.

As a young person living in Mogadishu, it was quite simple to make friends and bond with other young people mainly locals who were born and raised in Somalia along with those the majority who had never left the country at a single point in their lives. With my newfound friends, we would regularly go to Mogadishu’s impoverished district grounds to play a game of football or visit Lido beach on the weekends to swim (or just hang out). Over coffee talks in the afternoon, I would listen in admiration as they told me some of their most personal collections of fascinating experiences and amusing tales. Those basic occasions instilled a sense of nationalism and patriotism within, as I yearned for my integration into the local community, to cast aside the peculiar “Diaspora” label I had been given at first or adapted to when I was relatively new in the country. I finally felt as if I had been accepted when I could walk the streets of Mogadishu without people suspecting whether I had “come from” abroad.

Even though I tend to shy away from making mass generalisations, the local youth to me, are a group of people that I could pleasantly say I love being around most while in Somalia. From a broad-spectrum, I see them as a collective bunch of compassionate, striving and diligent individuals. And what I find so astonishing and remarkable is the resilience that they cultivated whilst living in Somalia, during the elongated period of anarchy and their strength to preserve it to date. 

I often wholeheartedly smile to myself grinning and knowing the opportunity I have of being a young person growing up in Somalia. Although it may come as a surprise to many, one can gain lots of beneficial things from living in a “war-torn nation” (as Somalia is the household name when references of war-torn, famine, poverty and state failure are frequently discussed in the Western media). Whilst in Mogadishu and talking to friends abroad via Skype calls they would repeatedly tell me that I had “become mature” and that my stay in Somalia made me “develop a capricious attitude”. I had to reassure them several times that I did not whitewash my personal characteristics, or my identity, but that I simply developed an additional character.

Nonetheless, Somalia does indeed have its many setbacks. Young people in particular are hampered by several hurdles including political, social and economic challenges. We have become marginalized from our society with no communal voice to address our growing concerns.  Dozens of families in Mogadishu cannot simply afford to send their children to school or higher education institutes, increasing their vulnerability to having to work in the child labour market or risk being recruited by Al-Shabab (a terrorist organisation) or other militias. Girls and young women continue to feel discriminated by the opposite sex purely because of their gender. 

I only highlighted some of the issues affecting young people in Somalia (particularly Mogadishu) but the problems do extend beyond the ones listed above.

Being a Somali youth activist means advocating for the common good and interests of Somalis all around the world. I want to be a politician in the future. Moreover, in the future, I want to push for several youth related laws and legislations to be enacted in Parliament so that the quality of life of a young person in Somalia is improved. I have a long way to go and to be quite frank, a very long time to achieve this goal. I am only 16 but I believe it’s better to map out your life from a young age. As the great pioneer of civil rights and peace Nelson Mandela once said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”-  That is my first goal to conquer of many. 

By Abdikarim Hussein Abdi, 16

Copy Editor: Mariam Mohamed


  1. Great ambition for change. And I'm sure you will make it. Optimists are often perceived as lunatics, dreamers and illusionists because of their bright, colorful, positive and idealistic worldviews. But with perseverance, audacity and collaboration with other like minded individuals, they end up changing the statuquo, inspiring millions and transforming lives. I see this young man, writing a new story for Somalia and Africa. A story of hope, socio-political engagement and personal responsibility of every young man and woman in the development of their communities and the continent. Bravo to you and wish you great success

  2. Wish you the best in advocating for the common good and interests of Somalis all around the world and changing the youth related laws of the land.. jibril

  3. Great article....but 16 year old boy from Dibada has written this article is what i need to elucidate and by the how can he enunciate the statuesque of Xamar while venality and ambiguity is likely to enhance ones ineptitude ..Ciyaalka Dibada laga keeno waaba doqomo ..Unless he's Genius

    1. Does it make you feel better to use obscure words to pounce at a brave and bright young Somali? Utterly disgusting. It's clear that you are seething with envy and that you should stoop so low just shows your true colours.

  4. School administration should support the talented candidates, because this talented stuff is our future and we should pay our full attention on their grooming, development and writing essay paper. They need our maximum support for a bright future.

  5. Your decision is courageous. Me too, I felt in love with our country when I returned for the first time. I will stop here, because my english is too imprecise to share properly my impressions with you, but be sure that I will vote for you incha'Allah.

    Best wishes.

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