As the people of Somaliland revel in the friendship and competition of the final phase of the regional tournament, currently going on in the newly refurbished stadiums of Hargeysa, and available across the globe thanks to SO! communications, the mandarins who pay for BBC & VOA Somali Services in London & Washington must be wondering what value they are getting for their money.
Let us be clear, Somalilanders no longer rely on the BBC or VOA for news & information because they have their own national broadcasters, television and radio, plus a myriad of other news channel, Horn Cable, Universal, Kalsan, Star, Bulsho & many, many more. The mandate of the BBC & VOA Somali services is to report on newsworthy events across the Somali speaking population. So, it is not complete surprise to not hear a word about the exciting sports tournament taking place in Hargeysa.
Shall I tell you why it is not a surprise?..Ok, when the folks who work at these broadcasting services saw the Hargeysa Stadium, Timacadde Stadium, the joy, organisations and wonderfulness of the whole scene, they become, as we Somalis say, “Way qayirmeen”.
Because, you see, these once august Somali broadcasting services are now filled with Somaliland haters. They cannot stand Somaliland; the progress its people have made, their ability to overcome many challenges, their love of each other, their commitment to democracy, put it simply, their love of life. I can safely say, the feeling is mutual.
If, Allah forbid, something terrible happened at these joyous events, they will be the first to broadcast it, but when Xaysimo scores a beautiful goal past Awdal, not a word!.
It is not a surprise, and we should not be annoyed, because, here I am in London, watching the tournament, Live, on my laptop. So, who needs the VOA or the BBC?
But, to the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London, and the State Department in Washington, DC, you guys are getting nothing for your considerable expenses.