This week is shaping up to be one of the darkest weeks of my life. On the morning of July 23rd, at around seven o’clock in the morning , I learned that the artist and member of parliament, Sado Ali Warsame, was assassinated.
Sado was my good friend, cousin and soul sister. But this tragedy touches me so deeply, not because of what she meant to me, but because of what she meant for Somalia. For Somalia, Sado was a symbol of hope and empowerment. Her untimely demise serves as a tragic reminder that Somalia has a long way to go.
Somalis were optimistic about our nation’s future, about our progress, but now a shadow of doubt and hopelessness has been cast. Sado’s assassination means slower progress on the issue of women in politics. For a long time, even before the failure of Mohammed Siad .
Barre’s , Sado was advocating for justice and equality. She was demonstrating. She was singing forbidden love ballads. She was leading a revolution. And as revolutionaries often do, she put herself in harm’s way.
Sado loved Somalia, even though Somalia at times seemed like a distant lover that did not love her quite as much. If her death was an overdose, the way many American pop stars die, religious extremism, sexism and clanism would be the lethal cause of death found in her cup. Somalia’s pop stars don’t die via overdose or crazed fans, though. They die of one of Somalia’s natural causes of death: war, famine, assassination and terrorism.
Sado Ali Warsame was fearless. When it came to preserving and protecting the rights of others, she never backed down. She was known to be the voice of the voiceless, and as long as I and many of her other supporters are alive, her voice will remain intact forever. Through embedded Youtube videos, through lyrics sites, through the voice messages in my iPhone Sado lives on.
Al-Shabaab killed Sado out of cowardice, not out of sheer boredom or radical politics. It wasn’t a random act of hatred and violence. This was a calculated attempt at killing women’s efforts to participate in the political process. They acted out of cowardice because they are afraid of a Somalia with women and other minorities leading the fight for change because the fight for change will put them out of business.
Sado left a legacy of love. She may be gone but her words are still with us. The tangible changes she made in the world are still felt. Sado gave so much love to Somalia and it is impossible to silence genuine love and passion. I may have lost a friend and a soul sister today but Somalia lost much more. Somalia lost its soul.
Shukri Hassan (Gamgam) terror free ssomalia blogger.