One of the approaches to both understand and find solutions to our most pressing political, economic, or social problems is, to get back to our roots and take a closer look at our local and indigenous knowledge systems as a source of wisdom, inspiration, as well as the foundations for our administrative and decision-making process.
One fascinating aspect of our local and indigenous knowledge systems is it’s rich literature whether poems, songs, or proverbs.
For some time now, I become a bit curious about Somali proverbs and how they can explain the intricacies of the challenge of the day or maybe what needs to be done to address a certain challenge whether it is political, economic, cultural or social.
One of the most serious challenges we face as a society, for instance, is the lack of good governance whether that is corruption, nepotism, power abuse, political malpractice, or the poor state of social services.
However, one of the ways to address these and other similar challenges is leadership – a decisive and robust one on that, the kind of leadership that will not hesitate to take action against thieves and wheeler-dealers no matter the consequences.
Then, there is the perfect Somali proverb to capture this conundrum in the most elegant way possible that goes like this ‘Waysha gawrac dibigu ha ku quus qaate!’, meaning ‘Kill the calf to lesson the ox!’.
Or more appropriately, the same proverb can be tweeked a bit to somthing like this: ‘Kill the calf to lesson the thieves and wheeler-dealer oxen!’ to fit the time and context we are currently in.
By Mohamed Olad