“Never ending politically based information forced me to take strides to not only fulfill my lifelong desire to became a journalist but bridge prevalent gap of human related reporting” –Miss Hawa Jama
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – “In all my three decades as a media operative both in Somalia and Somaliland I have never encountered a blind journalist, forget about training one”
This was stated by Feisal Mohamed Abdi ‘Fadfadle’ a long time and experienced print and electronic media personality who is also training upcoming journalists at the Somaliland Institute of Development Administration and Management-SIDAM in Hargeisa where two blind students are about to complete their nine months training in Basic journalism.
Fadfadle was referring to the duo of blind students Hawa Jama Abdi, and Yonis Abdirahman Jama now in their last month of training at Sidam where Somalilandsun visited for insights on their unique quest for a career in journalism.
Without any doubts whatsoever veteran Fadfadle was categorical that M/s Hawa and Master Yonis will, despite, their visual impairment make very good journalist but will have to struggle hard to blend in as operatives in the fourth estate sector.
Stating that visual impairment has made the duo very adept at memorizing which is the mode they use in class to learn, the amazed teacher said that while both will make very good Radio and TV journalists he has no doubt that Hawa can also work for a print media.
Fadfadle says he deduced this owing to the fact that while both are very adept in storing information to memory Hawa can read and write Braille while Yonis does not possess and writing skills at all.
According to 17 years Yonis Abdirahman Jama his aspirations to become a journalist are not only career based but geared towards proving that his sight impairment does not mean his is useless, a malady he has to continuously fight not only within his immediate family but society at large.
“Due to my blindness and despite my pleas, my family has been reluctant to register me in school not even that of the blind though I have attended Koranic studies” informed Yonis adding that he managed to finally attend the journalism classes because of his desire to prove otherwise while his guardians wanted to prove his incapability’s.
On circumstances leading to his visual impairment the aspiring journalists born with four siblings in Hargeisa said he became blind at one year of age after he was taken ill thence a visit to hospital where a presumably treatment turned fateful resulting in loss of sight.
Queried on whether he feels ill will towards the doctor who prescribed the fateful injection leading to a lifelong disability of a vital sensory organ, Yonis replied that he has never dwelt on that angle since he believes that the doctor was a the vessel utilized to fulfill his creator’s wish.
Revealing that his journalist bug is driven by a burning craving to help others avoid the route leading to his visual impairment as well as the one that has resulted in him remaining unschooled, Yonis Abdirahman Jama who shall surely become the first blind Somaliland citizen to work as journalist has a word of advice for parents or relatives of visually impaired.
“Please treat your blind children and relatives as you do the normal ones especially in school registration for Blindness is not a crime and neither does it make one incapable of normal human activities”
In conclusion Yonis Abdirahman Jama revealed that after completing his journalism training he shall before seeking formal employment seek to learn Braille reading and writing as well as computer proficiency.
For 20 years old miss Hawa Jama Abdi her presence in the just about to graduate class at SIDAM is the culmination of a lifelong dream to not only secure professional journalism credentials but actual practice in the fourth estate as well.
“Never ending politically based information forced me to take strides to not only fulfill my lifelong desire
to became a journalist but bridge prevalent gap of human related reporting” revealed Hawa adding that she is aware of the major hurdles involved in achieving her dream.
The young aspiring journalist who was born and raised up in the Somalia town of Galkayo moved to her uncle’s residence in Hargeisa in order to attend the Somaliland Braille School-SBS where she is in form two.
Queried on the circumstances that led to her visual impairment Miss Hawa Jama informed that she was born blind thence never seen anything in her entire life “but a situation am satisfied with, for it is a gift from Allah, my creator”
the young aspiring female journalist who has six siblings who are all of perfect says is surely not hindered by her lack of sight as she manages to commute within Hargeisa successfully more so from her Bogol iyo Koton home to either of her classes at the SBS and SIDAM
Somehow perturbed by this claim Somalilandsun offered to give her a lift home after the interview a Sidam and having told us to inform her once we reach the Dalodol Police station at Bogol iyo Koton -150 estate, and having done so amazement was the order as the completely blind girl managed to direct us straight go her home after zigzagging around and this without a single wrong turn.
For Miss Hawa Jama Abdi having taken the first steps towards a career in Journalism her burning desire is to acquire a computer with capabilities to write in both Braille and normally script or transform one to the other.
Anybody interested in helping Hawa acquire the tools needed for her career in journalism kindly contact her directly, revealing your source of information, at telephone number 00252 63 4707708
Ironically the duo of visually impaired youths met for the first time in the journalism class at SIDAM thus not only becoming the first Blind students to pursue training in Journalism but the first of their ilk to attend classes at SIDAM where over seven hundred students take various lessons at one given period.
Copyright: Somalilandsun, 2016. www.somalilandsun.com