By Prof. Mohamud Togane (togane@progression.net)

Every time I type the word Hawiye, my computer talks back to me, telling me:

"I have never heard of such an animal.

What the hell is Hawiye?

Is that flesh, fish or fowl?

Sir, you must be confused; you must mean Hawaii!!!"

I would laugh and say to myself:

You are right; I wish I have never heard of Hawiye Naa-red either! All in all, I would rather be in Hawaii than with the Hawiye in their Hawiyeland where the Hawiye had shot dead my brother, Abdirahman Siad Togane; where again the Hawiye shot up my other brother Hassan Siad Togane twice riddling up his body with 18 bullet holes, leaving him for dead; where again the Hawiye almost shot me dead four time in 1992 in my futile effort at attempting to make peace between our Hawiye fool called Ali Mahdi who turned Somalia into a nuclear garbage dump and our bald bedlamite Hawiye Gar-diid-Illah-diid Ai-diid aptly dubbed General Wow by Somali wags.

That is why I had decided to vacation in Hawaii rather than with my own Hawiye in Hawiyeland;

that is why I had decided to spend the whole month of February on the island of Oahu in Hawaii

lolling on the beach and soaking up the sun until I became

as black as my grandfather

whose nickname was Dhuhulow:

as black as charcoal or coal black!

I am glad I had gone to Hawaii in search of fun under the sun and swim in the sea;

I am glad I had gone in a mad dash just to get away from cold clannish Canada,

Kipling’s “our Lady of the Snows” during the whole month of February,

the month of choice for suicides in Canada:

I testify that them cold dark winter February blues and blahs can get you down in the dumps

unless you have the faith and the courage of Albert Camus who bore witness thus:

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer”

to combat any bleak black despair in my lonesome bitter exile from my kingdom by the sea.

So I am glad I got away from everything cold and clannish and Canadian and cantankerous

for the whole month of suicide February!

So imaging the irony of a Somali

from the smiling blue skies of sunny Somalia

and a former Sheikh of the Indian Ocean

flying for 13 hours

from Montreal to Waikiki Honolulu

in search of the sun and the sound of the soothing surf of the Pacific!

Notice that I had written a Somali and not a Hawiye

because now not even a Hawiye is safe today in Mogadishu

where I was born and into which the Hawiye had now turned into a hell called ironically

"Hawiyah: [Arabic: the Abyss. The seventh division of Hell set aside for hypocrites: Hawiye and otherwise. According to The Glorious Koran (Sura 15: 40), Hell “hath seven gates; unto every gate a distinct company of them shall be assigned.” See under Hell in See Rev. E. Cobham Brewer. A Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. London: Cassell and Company, Ltd; no date of publication given.”]

Now wonder now our President Ina Yay and our Prime Minister Ina Ghedi

are skittish about setting foot in hellish Hawiyah Mogadishu.

Who can blame them?

Who wants to go willingly to a hell called Hawiyah?

That is why I decided to vacation in Hawaii

where every morning I would breakfast on guava juice and papaya without being harassed by my own fellow Hawiye

who are holding right now all of us Somalis as hostages in the hell called Hawiyah Mogadishu.

My Darod kith and kin go and vacation in their Darodland

where everything is dandy and honky-dory;

my Iidoar bosom buddies likewise go and vacation and chew jaat in peace

on that famous street called Fucking Street in Hargayssa

where they feel fine and as content as a cow chewing its cud;

but to be a Hawiye nigger like me is to be like Hamlet without the fancy poesy;

but to be a Hawiye nigger like me is to be a nowhere nigger;

but to be a Hawiye nigger like me is to be a nobody with nowhere to go

where I can be somebody

like the Issaq in their Hargayssa or

like the Darod Majerten in their Bossasso, the Boston of East Africa ;

but to be a hopeless hapless Hutu Hawiye nigger like me is to be never at peace;

but to be a Hottentot Hawiye a nigger like me today is to be Kipling’s

“lesser breed without the law,… half child, half devil.”.

No wonder the Somali Hawiye poet, Sa-eed Gacamey, lamented:

Gabay waan ka haroo laabtu wey i hinganeysaaye

I have given up poesy because my heart aches

Hawo waan ka haray hirarna wey iga hor muuqdaane-e

I have given up ambitious efforts even though waves are about to overwhelm me

Hanti waan ka haray xoolahaan heysan jirey waaye

I have given up seeking wealth since I had lost all that I had once possessed

Hooy waan ka haray waxaan hurdaa meel habaas badane

I have given up home and hearth and sleep now in the very devil’s dust

Halgan waan ka haroo Hawiyaan hilib la sheegtaaye

I have given up being a contender for anything since I am a Hutu Hawiye

Hawl waan ka haray oo ma jiro ruux u heelani

I have given up the struggle since it is so pointless

Hiddo waan ka haroo ma jiro geed la hariyaaye

I have given up courting wisdom since wisdom has

no Hawiye tree under which to shelter

Hadaf waan ka haray sharafna waa laysku heystaaye

I have given up giving a damn since I am of the Hawiye

Who are now as contemptible as the horrible Hutu

Hunguri waan ka haroo meel xun buu kugu hagaayaaye

I have given up ambition & fame

That last infirmity of noble mind

lest they lead me to Evil

Hoggaan waan ka haray sida shacbiga loo hantuuliyaye

I have giving up on our leadership on account of the muzzled masses

Horseed waan ka haray been haddii heello loo tumaye

I have given up on our leadership since Fear & Smear are the order of the day.

Sa-eed Gacamey is not alone in his lamentation; not long ago, on this very website

I too sang plangently:

As we sail through

our Somali Seas of Sordidness

our Somali Slough of Despond

with battalions of sorrow

with our wounded Somali Spirit


with many a sigh

with no relief in sight
we can’t help but encounter
this pretty kettle of Somali fish
we can’t help but encounter
countless kinds of
foolish fish
that make us guffaw with laughter
to keep us from weeping all the time
like fish out of water.

One of the funniest and most clannish fishes we encounter is

The Barracuda fish

The barracuda fish are the most selfish fish

for they

always knock you upside the head

always knock you out of the way

always get in your way

always never go away

always are in your face

the Hutu Hawiye

are balayo barracuda baraculo fanculo fish

for Allah created the Hutu Hawiye

the maddest of all mankind

(O Hottentot Hutu Hawiye

whenever I hear our nasty name

I share in its shame).

It is not only Sa-eed Gacamey or truculent Togane or Ina Yay or Ina Ghedi

who now despises the lawless Hutu Hawiye and their mean and murderous city of Mogadishu

Into which they have turned now into a hell aptly named Hawiyah,

Sa-yid Muhammad Abdalla Hassan, had such a city like Hoag Hoggish Hawiyah Mogadishu in mind

when he in his cantata litany of the cursed and the contemptible cantillated:

A liar I despise
A miser I despise
And a greedy gut who gobbles up what is not halal I despise
A tobacco-chewer I despise

A compulsive coward I despise

And a flabby fat fool I despise

A gûn goon I despise

A fool tool that isn’t tame I despise

A white man’s minion I despise

A honky’s houseboy I despise

An unjust king I despise

A flag without an army I despise

And above all

A city without the rule of law I do most definitely despise.

[transcreated by Togane with an assist from Sa-eed Samatar]

Far from the maddening crowd of Mogadishu,

far from my Hawiyah clan,

swimming and snorkeling and basking

on the alien American Kailu and Hanauma Bay and Sunset and Turtle Bay Hilton beaches

of the Oahu Island in Hawaii,

as I feel and enjoy the rays of the bright sun

searing and sizzling my ebon skin,

I could not help but think of the beaches of Mogadishu

like the Lido, like the Secondo Lido, like Maanyo Xaar, like Moal Xaneed,

like Ghayl-Qaad, like Jaziira

where I, as a gamin, had almost drowned in my determined effort

to make myself into a worthy son of Neptune;

where I would dive deep


from Dafle’s camel boys from Las Anod

where I would dive deep


from the sun

and in the cool depths of the Indian Ocean

startle the flying eagle spotted stingrays;

That is when I broke into a solo singing to the Somali sun and to the soothing surf:

When the rolling surf
And the rising moon

And the swaying palms

And the high white bird

And the lazy fish

All speak of love

I cry in the night:

Somalia my second mother

Where are you, love?