Somaliland: Newspaper Vending Breeds Passion for Journalism


Hasan learns journalism through reading newspapersBy: Yusuf M Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – “I am determined to see to it that I no longer sell or only read newspapers but write what others read and sell”

This is the commitment of Master Hasan Mohamed Osman Omar a 19 years newspaper vendor in Hargeisa where he has operated since July 2010 after shifting from his home town of Borama.

Master Hasan who has so far seen a number of his articles published by the Geeska and Saxafi newspapers is a self-taught journalist who shifted from Borama in order to pursue non-formal education in Hargeisa.

After completing primary school education at Galbedi lower and intermediate school in Borama, Master Hasan started vending newspaper after financial difficulties made secondary school education impossible.

“my passion for journalism started in 2006 after a short stint as a newspaper vendor in the streets of Borama where I used to wonder what was so important in the newspapers that people could spend money for on a daily basis” Says the 19 years old who has now Mastered the art of haggling the Hargeisa streets.

He attributes his final decision to move to Hargeisa where all the over ten newspapers are published and various colleges available to the whirlwind of change associated with the election of president Silanyo in mid-2010.

Being a four and a half years veteran of newspaper vending in Borama accessing a similar occupation was easy for him in Hargeisa where he enrolled for instructions in English language and Computer training at the city based Nuradin Institute where he graduatVendor Hasan after collecting copies at geeska offices in Hargeisaed in January 2013 and awarded diplomas.

Said he “Since then Am pursuing self-studies in journalism because my current earnings are not sufficient to sustain and see me through a diploma course at the same time”

The financial difficulties engulfing the vendors as a result of the many readers who want to peruse papers at street corners most notorious around Telesom company offices in Hargeisa are shared by publishers who have to content with daily return of worn out and dirty copies.

Master Hasan says that vending in Borama is somehow lucrative though there few readers but paying ones while in Hargeisa with its many readers earnings are low because they either want to read for free or pay the youthful sellers a 500 shillings ($0.001) rent for perusing all the various newspapers on sale.

According to Mr Jamal the Geeska Afrika Media group circulation manager the youthful vendor is a trust worthy and diligent person whose ambition to be a journalist is possible if well-wishers would only come through.

The fledgling journalist who is determined to achieve a professional career and pull himself out of the poverty quagmire despite all the odds stacked against him can be reached through Tel: 00252 2 4788629 and Email: