updated 7:33 AM MST, Nov 17, 2017

The Story of Mandeeq: A Modern Somali Fairy Tale

  • Published in Opinion

By Ahmed M.I.Egal

BY ,Ahmed M. I. Egal


Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was a land called Mandeeq which fell under the grip of an evil tyrant called Jaws – he was called Jaws because he ate the heart and soul of any unlucky or unwise soul who ventured too close to him. After suffering under his evil rule for many years, the people of Mandeeq freed themselves and their land from his cruel and evil rule. Their freedom did not come easily or cheaply as it was won only after a long and costly war in which many of their people died and many more were forced to flee for their lives and live in the forest like wild animals.

But their will was strong and their hearts were brave and slowly, bit by bit, they were able to defeat the evil hordes of Jaws’ Red Heads and chase them from their lovely land. Jaws’ soldiers were called Red Heads, because they wore red hats and helmets to signify the blood of their enemies and so strike terror in their hearts. However, once the people overcame their fear, the red hats and helmets made Jaws’ soldiers easy targets for the Mandeeq freedom fighters which came to appreciate that their enemies made their job easier.

After defeating the evil tyrant Jaws, the people of Mandeeq were happy and excited and they rejoiced and celebrated their hard won victory. However, after the celebrations were over, they woke up to the hard truth that they now had to govern themselves and establish freedom, equality and justice for all. So they gathered all the elders and wise men from all the different communities and regions of the land and asked them to come up with a solution to this difficult and vexing problem.

After long debate and discussion during which everyone had their say, the wise men agreed that the land should be governed by a leader chosen by all the people through a free vote and that this leader and his appointed Ministers should be overseen and answer to a parliament of representatives chosen by the people of each region of the land. The wise men also agreed that the first leader should be Wadani – a wise and noble man that was much loved by all the people and who had been the leader of Mandeeq before Jaws seized control of the land and imprisoned him.

The people rejoiced and were happy – at last Mandeeq was not only free, but would live up to the hopes and dreams of its entire people. Wadani proved to be a wise and humane leader as the wise men had hoped and Mandeeq began to thrive and grow. The parliament was established and the people started to get used to governing themselves and rebuilding their lives and their homes after the long years of war. Everything was looking good and the people got on with their lives and raising their children. After some time, Wadani became sick and various men began to covet his position as leader.