Most graduates in business tend to choose a career involving accounts, finance and marketing, to name but a few. Not so for Abdinasir Muhumed Abdi.
Despite finishing university with a degree in business administration, the 33-year old decided that his calling lay with educating college students in the subjects of English, communication skills, social studies and public administration among others.
He credits an uncle of his, one to whom he was very close, for convincing him to pursue teaching, not only as a career but also as a service to Somalia.
“I used to sit next to him as he marked students’ assignments and he would tell me interesting stories about the profession and why I should pursue it,” Abdinasir says.
“He made me view teachers as problem-solvers; the people society look up to for solutions,” he adds.
Abdinasir was born and raised in Belet Weyne, the capital of Hiran province in south-central Somalia, a few years before the outbreak of the civil war in 1991, which led to the collapse of the central government, leaving the education sector, which heavily depended on state funding, in disarray. Even then, education – his own, in this instance – was important to him.
He often had to dodge bullets to reach the few schools that were still operational. “It was difficult going to school in an environment where conflict was the order of the day. However, I was determined to complete my primary and secondary education,” Abdinasir says, noting that many of his classmates were not as determined and ended up fleeing the country or joining militia groups controlled by warlords.
Finishing his primary and secondary studies, he moved in 2008 to the national capital, Mogadishu, where he enrolled at Simad University for his undergraduate studies. However, the violence he had experienced attending school in his home town was also part of life there, with his arrival coinciding with fierce fighting for control of the city.