Something my friend and I discussed earlier this week has been gnawing at my mind for quite sometime now.Its the question any restless Somali youngster asks himself : Why is it that we Somalis are so tolerant of failure, so willing to buy into the concept predestination and so unwilling to free ourselves from the "Inshallah mentality" knowing very well that Allah said in the Qur'an "Inallaha la yughayiru mabiqawmin xataa yughayiruu ma' bi'afunsihim" (Allah does not change the predicament of a society unless the change is organically cultivated from within themselves).
Our culture has become so steeped in destinism. An ingrained culture of fatalism has convinced most of us that standing up for our rights is not worth the risk because our efforts are inconsequential. We accept to be abused, set up ourselves for disappointment, for second class citizenship because we are made to believe that all our efforts will have zero public impact. None of us are willing to demand that the barrier at River Tana bridge be moved to the border because it has become culturally acceptable to tolerate humiliation at the hands of the Police. No one at 'Suuq Mugdi' thinks its better if they organized themselves and cleaned their place of business as a collective group instead of waiting for our blood-sucking Councillors. Everyone is waiting for a non-existent nanny state to change us because we are afraid of changing ourselves. No one is willing to ask where our CDF money went or why our public schools are so behind the rest of the nation.
In Garissa and the entire Nep region, we have to confront this apathy that plagues us. We must realise that philistinism, lassitude and destinationism are deadly weapons capable of doing quantum amounts of damage to our psyche than any marginalization by the state.
I do not wish to be simplistic or even sound facile in my diagnosis of NEP's problems by laying all the blame on our footsteps because its absolutely true that consecutive regimes have oppressed us and that may have made us become psychologically captive to the condition I have addressed earlier but that shouldn't be an excuse for the continuation of that debilitating state.
We Somalis have a proud culture that holds individual achievement in high regard. Our nomadic culture glorified bravery and personal risk for the good of all. Social justice was not only a defining ingredient of what it meant to be a Somali, it was also an article of faith. We need to go back to those roots. We need to transcend the petty divisions that characterize politics in NEP. If there is anyone capable of achieving that fete, its us; the youngsters, the new generation of leaders.
This is not our destiny. Second class citizenship is not our birthright.