Somaliland: Another Tale, The Minister


Prof Abdisalam Yasin

Somalilandsun – Prof Abdisalam Yassin the author of the “Without our Knowledge” now is now writing “Another Tale” series of Articles with moral tones similar to “Sheeko Kale Keen” that he regular writes in Somali and “The Minister ” is the second series of “Another Tale”

Somaliland: Another Tale, The Minister

By: Abdisalam Yassin

A hardworking honest father made sure that his sons and daughters got university education and received degrees that would enable them to get better jobs than the one he had. With his modest income, he sent them one after the other to college.

When the first son graduated, he became so cheerful and celebrated the event with the young man by summoning him to a pep talk. Of course, both the father and the son were happy with their success.

With the tone of a proud father celebrating the fruits of his labour once more, he began the conversation, which had ensued as follows.

Father: Now that you have become triumphant and made all of us proud, what do you plan to do with your achievements?”

Son: I want to be a minister.”

Father: A minister so soon!

Son: Why not, father? Ever since I was in grade school, I have been noticing people working as ministers who are as old as I am but who are not as qualified as I am now.

Father: I will come back how to get the job as a minister. But tell me, why do you want to be a minister?

Son: Oh, father, that is easy! First, I will be running a whole ministry with its budget, which I will be responsible to manage, of course. Second, I will head so many people, whom I will boss, and who will, of course, call Mr. Minister all the time. Third, I will have an expensive SUV, a sport utility vehicle, which I will possibly keep if I lose the job. Fourth, I will be given a villa to live in, which I will most likely keep for the rest of my life if I lose the job, paying a very low rent. Lastly, since I will be managing millions of dollars as a Minister, I will enjoy premiums such as perks, bonuses, rewards, gifts, grants, allowances, sweeteners, and softeners, and I will be able to make reasonable savings that will be enough for me and my family to live on for the rest of my life.

Father: Although I am your father and I know you very well, I did not know that times we live in have made you so astute and slick.

Son: Father, times are changing. And these days, one has to be smart and ambitious in order to be somebody!

Father: Times are changing but values aren’t. Right will always be right and wrong will always be wrong. And I thought that in addition to teaching you knowledge and skill at the university, they also taught you ethics and moral values.

Son: Oh, father, they did! They gave us several courses of Islamic education.

Father: Taking courses about Islam is one thing; practicing Islam is another. Anyway, let me go back to how one gets this Minister Job. One does not get it on the basis of merits and morals, but one is given the job on the basis of quotas and kinship. And as your dear father, I will not advise you to seek a job that calls for quotas and kinship and does not call for merits and morals.

Son: Merits and moral are fine, father, but everyone I know wants to be a Minister one day, no matter what.

Father: “Merits and morals and no matter what” do not go together. I urge you not to follow the crowd. The crowd is not always right. Often people behave like a folk of sheep which, if the first one jumps in a ditch, all the others follow. You are my son; you ought to think and you ought to be smarter than sheep.

Son: Thanks, father. I will indeed do some deep thinking and seek a decent employment that offers a decent life without the perks and bonuses; just as you have done all your life. Like father like son, as they say.

Father: That is my boy. I am proud of you.

Read Another Tale Part 1, The Witness