n African Renaissance - Discrimination and prejudice in the nucleus of African society : empirical evidence from Somalia

Volume 10 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


Without conducting much analysis on the multi-ethnic texture of the country, colonial ethnographers and ethno-historians obsessed with the ideology of 'Somali homogeneity', and stakeholders of the nationalist sentiments of self-same Somalia successfully demonstrated the Horn of Africa nation as an 'egalitarian' society pursuing a cultural mode of 'pastoral democracy.' To break away from that erroneous diction, this essay aims at problematizing the vagueness of that notion by introducing a counter narrative that unravels not only the existence of other ethnic groups and cultures but also an enormous nature of subjugation, prejudice and discrimination-factors antithetical to the ideals of egalitarianism. For the sake of unlearning that early and enduring misinterpretation, this essay presents an account of the discrimination against the Bantu/Jareer people and their place in the Somali social and political system. It attempts at offering a realistic situation as compared to the idealistic image of the colonial writers' and early Somali scholarship's self-same tutelage. At another level, the revelation in the study challenges the fallacy in Prof. Lidwien Kapteijns's recently formed discourse that the Bantu Jareer people benefited significant political and economic consideration in independent Somali, an extremely mendacious concoction which, despite being absent from the available literature, Prof. Kapteijns's work shied away from producing empirically based, factual evidence to support her argument (M. Eno, 2013b:21-31). In its general scope, the study intends to contribute to the principle of "understand[ing] Somalia for what it is and not what it ought to be" (Kusow 2004: xii).

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