HARGEISA, 23 November 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Two months ago in Nairobi Kenya, there lived a young college lecturer, who was very much bored with his job. He was a lecturer of one of the biggest commercial colleges in Nairobi. Even though he worked hard and efficiently every day, he prayed everyday that he gets another job, hopefully outside Kenya.

To his colleagues at work, he seemed like he really enjoyed his work and in fact some even assumed that he would stay and work in that college for many years to come. He was the only one who really knew the level of boredom he felt and he kept this secret perfectly, to himself.

What caused the boredom was the repetitive monotony of his life. He woke up everyday and did the same things, taught the same subjects at college, tackled the same old problems which he had been handling the past 4years.

This repetitive pattern was becoming too much for him and as time went by, even one closest friend began to notice his gloom, aloofness and don’t care attitude. He still kept the longing and desire to himself, he never explained to his best friend. His daily desire was to move on to a new surrounding or country, appreciate new cultures and handle bigger issues. In short, this guy had outgrown his job; he wanted new adventure.

One usually cold Nairobi morning as he was in class teaching, he was really enjoying himself because that particular class he was teaching was composed of students who were lively, active participants and also very intelligent. It is such classes that any experienced lecturer would really enjoy teaching and wouldn’t want to be interrupted in between the session.

It such classes that lecturer’s dread the sound of the door knocking and being called outside either by another lecturer or member of management for consultation. However sometime when the class is so interesting as the one he was teaching, the lecturer could even ignore the knock at the door; the students too would ignore the knock and hope that whoever was knocking would get tired and go away.

Unfortunately, on that particular day, the person who was knocking, did not get tired and neither gave up, instead whoever it was, became impatient when the door wasn’t opened; the knock became louder until it was unbearable. The lecturer was forced to open the door just make that loud knocking to stop once and for all.

The person knocking was a security officer coming to report to the lecturer that there a visitor waiting for him at the entrance and that it was very urgent.

“You are sure it cannot wait until the lecture ends?” the lecturer asked the security officer.

“No, she says it’s too urgent,” retorted the security.

After quick thinking, the lecturer decided he’d better go and see this visitor and sort this matter so that he could resume the lively lecture session. He turned back to the students and announced, “excuse me I hear that I have a very important visitor, am coming back after one minute.”

With that he left with the security officer for the entrance. He looked around and saw no familiar face, and then he turned angrily to the security officer who removed him from class, “where is the visitor? There is no one here I know!”
At that moment, a lady I had never seen before, who was sitting at one of the seats at the entrance stood up and asked the lecturer, “are you Mr. …….?”

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The lecturer responded with a surprised expression, “Yes, who are you?”

The lady gave her name then led the lecturer to a corner away from the security officer’s earshot; she then stated that she has been sent by a University in Hargeisa, Somaliland to him as a lecturer for that university. The lecturer was shocked.

“What! A lecturer where? In Somalia? Is this some kind of a joke or what? If its a joke please excuse me I don’t have time for jokes now, you have just disrupted my lecture,” said the lecturer dismissively as he turned to leave.

“I was given your name by a Kenyan who works there, then let me come at lunch time when you will be free and I promise to come with documents about the university. Meanwhile you can check the Internet on Somaliland,” said the lady with so much confidence.

The lecturer turned and left without uttering a word, he went straight to the class. He went on teaching until the end of the time allocated. Immediately he was free he went straight to his office computer and searched Internet, clicked Somaliland region, then Somaliland Universities.

To his shock, he learn’t that Somaliland completely different from Somalia is a peaceful region, with its own government, currency and more importantly it was very stable with many Kenyans and other foreigners working there.

For more information, the lecturer called on of his students who comes from Somalia to his Office asked her about information concerning the country. First of all, the student corrected that Somalia and Somaliland were very different and that she actually comes from Somaliland which is infact more peaceful than even Kenya.

“I have a cousin who is considering to work there, what can you advise me to tell him?” the lecturer lied, in order to get more details.

“Your cousin would be a fool to ignore such an opportunity. You know sir, Somaliland has got so much potential, business and educational infrastructure are all coming up very fast, there is so much potential in that country. There are also so many International Organizations working in that country; this means that the entire world knows the region is stable otherwise they wouldn’t establish their offices there,” said the student.

The lecturer became amazed at the information because he always prided himself as someone who understood regional and world matters more than other people, so it now surprised him that he has been totally ignorant concerning a neighbouring country like Somaliland.

The lecturer then decided to have an open mind concerning this issue of working in Somaliland, infact he eagerly awaited that mysterious lady to come back at lunch time. When the lady came, she was shocked to find the lecturer in a good mood and also ready to learn more about Somaliland and the university in question.

After having a good conversation with the lady, the lecturer was given 2 days to go and consult his family concerning the matter then call the lady with an answer; whether he has agreed to go to Somaliland or not. The family was scared at first but after getting information on how peaceful Somaliland is, they unanimously advised the lecturer to consider working there. This was how the lecturer finally became convinced to take up the job of university lecturer in Somaliland the rest as the Americans say, is history. The lecturer being mentioned in this story is Eston Kwach who is also the author of this story

For an individual who had never been on a plane before or personally interacted with people of Somali origin, it was not easy to understand how I was going to communicate with them because I didn’t understand even a single word of Somali language and I didn’t even know if they liked foreigners or not. I was also wondering if I would get the food am used to, if the weather in that country will be good to my health and whether the people in that country will be hostile to me or not? All these questions ran in my mind even as I took the morning flight Daallo Airlines from Nairobi for Hargeisa Somaliland.

In the plane, I was the only one from my race with other almost 25 passengers of Somali origin. I was at first tense because I thought that they would be hostile to me but they were all very friendly and I remember the man who was sitting next to me, was telling me a lot of information about Hargeisa, Somaliland and even the wider Somalia, there was also another passenger who showed me where the rest rooms are located. My heart could now rest easy because all my previous fears had been replaced by warmth and friendliness and I began to feel like I was at home.

The first stop was Mogadishu where the plane stopped for about 20 minutes before proceeding straight to Hargeisa, Somaliland. As we alighted from the plane at the Hargeisa airport, there were so many people waiting for their families and some were taxi operators waiting for customers. I didn’t even know where to go for customs and Immigration clearance and to make matters worse everyone was speaking Somali language which I couldn’t understand even a single word. Suddenly in my confusion, am man approached me asked, “Are you Kwach?” to which I answered “yes Iam.”

This man who I later learnt was the Head of Immigrations had been contacted by the University which was recruiting me, was very efficient and strict; he took me straight to his office at the Immigrations, told me to sit down and his secretary gave me a bottle of very cold Rani, which I greatly appreciated.

After sitting there for ten minutes during which the officer asked me for the passport, which he said will be processed later together with the work permit, he then took me to his car and drove to the university.

On the way he showed me all the major buildings, the offices of the different ministries, the Senate, Parliament and even the Presidential Palace. He also showed me some of the offices of various international organizations like UNICEF, WFP, and FAO among others. After about half an hour we arrived at the university, where another warm reception awaited me.

I started teaching about one week after my arrival and it has been one month and a few days now. I can now conclude that people back in Kenya are totally misinformed about Somaliland. Life is much easier, comfortable and infact am able to access all communication facilities like Nairobi, infact I can honestly say that I have access to much more information and communication facilities than I have ever had in Nairobi.

Hargeisa is a very vibrant city, with very many up coming enterprises, big shopping malls where someone can get the latest fabrics, top of the range fashion and garments from Asia and Europe. Also available are a wide range of latest electronics and computer accessories from Europe, Asia and USA.

The town is very lively and people are warm and friendly. The students are also very much attentive, obedient and hardworking with clear focus on achievement of their goals.

Written by Mr. Eston Kwach,
Lecturer and Dean Faculty of Journalism/Masscommunication
Pioneer University
Hargeisa, Somaliland


  1. Mr Eston you made laugh yet glade that you finally found the right job at the right time and place. I use to live in Nairobi and it's beautiful place, it too like many other places has its dark sides too.

    Hargeisa will join Africa's big cities if the peace is maintained and more people like your self come over to Somaliland to teach and work.

    Enjoy your time in Hargeisa and feel at home.

  2. Hello Somaliland Press guys, this aricle has been published on Geeska Afrika News paper English/Somali. Please make corrections and give the source to the paper.

    Ali Ganey, London

    • Ali Ganey,
      You give source when the news/article is an orginal writing, however in this case it is an opinion article that is written by a scholar. The article was emailed to Somalilandpress and that is the reason that it was published.

      We at SomalilandPress respect the ethics of journalism and will always give source when it is appropriate.

      Thank you,

  3. wonder full read and glad my home town is attracting the best lectures in the horn of Africa.

    Enjoy your time there…

  4. Somalis are very friendly to foreigners. Their hospitality and kindess to foreigners is unlike other countries who will eye balls one when they realize that one doesn't speak the language. We respect foreigners, will go out of our ways to help and try to make them feel at home. I am sure that Mr. Kwach will be comfortable in his new home, the place of his work and enjoy his stay.

  5. Mr. Kwach, I am glade you enjoy your stay in Somaliland, please be an Embassador to your fellow Country men/ Women and pass on good thing you learn about Somaliland. And again please enjoy your stay.

  6. Thank you Mr. Kwach,

    as I was working in one of the booming Schools in Hargeisa which was established in 2005 and who recruited many Kenyan Lecturer and teachers who I had the honour of sharing with them some common things that bond our two Nations and liked their stay in Somaliland,, all I want to say is that I wish you enjoying your stay in Somaliland.