By Ahmed Ismail Yusuf
We belong to Allah and to whom of which we shall return.
We all know that death is not avoidable but this one left devastating wreckage in its wake.
My friend Maxamed Baashe Xaaji Xasan was a person with talent, energy, and articulation of an unmatched mind, wired to the weight of social justice. His ability to express his point of view was way beyond peerless. He was eloquent, informed, and armed with the strength to educate the willfully ignorant and was equip to advise the innocent but the untaught. He was driven to care for the less fortunate and weak. He had various companies of all political and clan affiliations to keep to his corner. No matter how much he disagreed with one, once Maxamed deemed you a worthy friend, his reservoir of goodwill was never dried nor drained of love. He was a loyal friend for life!
Maxamed was a mere teenager when he threw himself into the middle of the first Somali student uprising in Hargiesa in 1982. He was one of these who laid themselves in front of tanks, way before the world knew anything about Tiananmen Square in China. It did not take long for him to walk over to the border to Ethiopia in 1983 when it occurred to him that waves of injustice were washing over the will of the people, wiping clean the core character and concept of humanity in his motherland. He enlisted himself with the rebel army, (SNM) Somali National Movement and waged a war against a nation he loved so much, his own. There he began his art of articulation at Radio Halgan, where he immediately established himself as an authority at a young age.
Maxamed was a man whose intellectual prowess, appetite for Somali history and affection of his people were unrivaled. His ability and the love for the Somali language was equally superior. He had an uncanny clarity to see through the clatter. His book, “Afka Hooyo waa Hodon” attests to that.
What many did not know was that Maxamed was also a historian. He saw the value in the untapped and neglected past. He unearthed unnoticed, memorable notes by asking, listening, and paying attention where others chose to stand by. His essays on various subjects illuminated so. He had shed light on well-known Somali luminaries who left this world but with a legacy that lives on in the books he wrote about them, such as “Hal Aan Tebeyey” of Xaaji Aadan Afgallooc, and “Hal Tisqaaday” of Cali Sugule. He also addressed one other worthy artist, Maxamed Ibrahim Warsame (Hadraaw) who is with us in “Hal ka Haleel.”
Maxamed waded thought the weeds women’s voices of value in the first book of its kind by a Somali male, “Guri Waa Haween.”
Though he never flaunted, Maxamed was aptly more than capable of composing poetry but chose mostly to be a student. Moreover, he could take a word of Somali prose, run with it, weigh it and either soothe you with it or flagellate you. No matter its original meaning, he could make any word fit in any case scenario he cares to use for it. He could weaponize or sanitize it all the same. His would captivate a crowd with weaved and chosen words of grace in motion.
His role as a journalist and commentator was masterful. He used a musically modulated tone to deliver the news. His academic aim was void of meaningless maundering. Before he goes on the air, Maxamed would research his subject matter, massage it, and meal-feed to his audience. Anyone who watched him at work or listened to him would admire him in awe.
Maxamed had a laser-like focus. He would live and breathe the subject he was committed to at the time. Whether it was the biography of someone he had admired and chosen to write about or a cause he had deemed worthy fight, he would give his total, undivided fidelity. In his short life, he blazed many a road that a few Somalis have walked through, and charted a map even fewer knew exist. He left us with a lasting asset of double values: those that he had written their words of wisdom, marked and memorialized. Second, those that he taught how it is done and whom it is done about. I only hope and wish someone writes his!
Last few days of his life, Maxamed was consumed by a passion to bring Somalis to share peace in a plate, when he realized that we are our worse enemy, hardened by how we have harvested hatred and heralded it at each other.
For the last days of his life, he dedicated and was duty-bound to bring Somalis of the South and Somali of the north together, suturing sore wounds of the civil war. Unity One Again (Mar Kale Midnimo) was a brainchild of his that he has been willing it to maturation. Mar Kale Midnimo will march on.
Maxamed Baashe Xaaji Xasan was born in Maygaale, of Buuhoodle region in 1963.
Faarax Oomar High School in Hargeysa
M A of Journalism and Mass Communication from Charles University in Czech Republic
He worked at Number of Somali Language TVs
Maxamed passed away 6/18/2020 in London, UK.
He survived by his wife Siciido Saleebaan and his 4 children.
Ahmed Ismail Yusuf
Email: [email protected]
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