By Abdisalam Osman
Try to remember your life as a teenager, rough times right? Hard to imagine you’ve outgrown the harsh terrains of hormones tickling down your spine, making you feel like, it’s you against the world.
Well, teenage life, a transition, a time that binds teenage hood and adulthood together, the two inseparable moments in one’s life, no filial relation no nothing, a passage of life for every young boy or girl, unless otherwise.
A lot has been said about young Somali teenagers, some of whom are called Daqan Celis (taken back to Africa to learn the Somali culture and tradition) but, humbling as it may sound, it is a habit peculiar to the Somalis living abroad or the Diaspora.
It is rather a parenting bungle, admission disguised in tradition, a perfectly executed escape route. The little remittances sent to grandma in Kenya/Somalia, plays a pivotal role, detouring in far distance, role played by the parent.
But let’s call a spade a spade and not a big spoon, because some, if not all, most of the Somali teenagers were born abroad, making it a total parental failure.
Charity begins at home, some parents have done an exceptional job, but, they are overshadowed but the souring number of parents who technically dwarfed the mental openness of their children.
Back in the days, when parents were parents, a good percentage of teenagers grew into some fine respectable young men and women.
Somali mothers were known for their consolation after a thorough whipping from fathers, but, we all agree, times have changed, no more whips, the parenting note book has been altered, reversed and westernized or at least that is what many tend to believe.
But truth is,, parenting is more of a connection between humans than a dictatorial in house mentorship or pushing them into the world at a young impressionable age, children are a blessing, they are meant to be nurtured as they grow, they are an open vessel, whatever a parent imparts will stick forever.
Author H. Jackson Brown Jnr said, “Live, so that when your children think of fairness and integrity, they think of you”.
Conscientious parents will guide, listen, protect and teach good morals, the recipe a teenage needs to learn, how to hold his trousers up and ford through the shallow waters of teenage hood.
With all due respect to all the amazing and great parents out there, unfortunately numbers are not on their side, returning your child back to Somalia or Kenya will not make him/her a better kid, they copy, mimic and do exactly as you did when you were around them.
Its a generation that is growing really fast, back then, the Quran teacher used to send us buy our own whips, right now, even a lecture is a crime, so why not turn into smart parent. They have smart phones this days right?
Give your kid at least a back pack filled with love, compassion and a role model, and when I say a role model, Justin Bieber doesn’t count, you have to be the good example, not too hidebound and not too meek, build a mid air trust castle, such that, when your child is being a teen, he or she can come talk to you. Sometimes all you need is experience and a modicum of faith.
Somali parents should start thinking of a generation that is worth mentioning, if your children had the chance to live in countries other than Somalia, had opportunities for good education, the only other thing is for you, the parent, to guide them.
The few young country men and women who remained in the country not because they desired so, grew up with shells and shrapnel as their toys, not to mention, many who had their fragile youthful lives snatched away without remorse.
So, the big question is what does the future hold? Or rather, As parents, do you plan for a future Somalia?
At this point and time, few think of a country they left behind, some children might not even know whether Somalia is a country or a lake.
It’s time, a future generation is feasible, the older generation is slowly fading away, it is not solely about politics, think of development, intellectual development that is, Somalis are everywhere, a country which is dispersed divided and fractured into multiple fractions, a country that can produce, smart and creative citizens.
Unfortunately, few think of going back, pick up and replace what has been destroyed.
Parents need to step up, live a legacy or at least take part in making one, the children and youth of this generation are the backbone of an expected future wave of revolution and transformation, but there won’t be any kind of development if the parents fail.
Elections are just one year away, 2016 is coming really thick and fast, anticipated to be the first democratic general elections in Somalia, perhaps the most interesting part of it, , a woman stood up and declared, she is going to vie for the hot seat.
In an interview, Fadumo Dayib said, “I’ve been waiting for 25 years, and nobody is taking that responsibility seriously, and I have decided to do it,”
Of course It is going to be a tough and arduous journey for her, but I certainly applaud her bravery, look on the bright side, Somalia needs its people to stand up and be the change it needs, whether she will succeed or fail, it doesn’t matter, she will pave the way for many others.
She went on and said, “We have an entire generation that doesn’t know any other life other than violence. You have four years to effect change, you can’t do everything. The priorities are too many.”
All in all, its the older generation that can nurture and help the new young generation bring change and make the past 25 years a history to be forgotten.