In many parts of Africa, if you happen upon a grown man dressed in a wrapper in place of trousers, you have probably visited him too early in the morning before he got out of his bed clothes. But in Hargeisa, Somaliland, as in my Asaba, Nigeria, the male in the wrapper (the macawis in Hargeisa, the akwa ocha in Asaba) is the acme of public dress. I feel right at home, here, among people with an equally sophisticated sartorial sense…
This is a tradition that will likely persist into the future, because here the young people appear to have embraced it. Here is Saddam Hussein. Yes, that is truly his name.
In this picture he holds his book proudly.
He is a young author, and apart from dressing in his traditional macawis to attend the Hargeisa international Book Fair, he also writes in the Somali language. His book is called Baraarug (Spring). I cannot give you a helpful synopsis because, well… I cannot yet read Somali. Cue an Ngugi Fund for the translation of literature in African languages. This might well be a glimpse of the future of Somali Literature (and while this is not a critical opinion, )… well, it looks good.