The five stages of the predictable six month, post-election blues.
It's been six months since Farmaaaaajoooooooo won. Yay! We did it. Change came to Somalia on February 8th 2017. Children rejoiced, UN promised to lift an assortment of embargos on us (ok this is a lie), soldiers fired off rounds of (undeclared/declared) ammunition, and the International Community parked inside Mogadishu's gated airport/green zone made frantic calls to their embassies, and then hung up the phones, upon being informed that the gunfire heard at the moment of Farmaajo's election, was in-fact, celebratory, and not predatory.
Then the proverbial 'six months later' happens. The serotonin levels quiet, euphoria disappears into the Banadir night, and then we're left with that bottomless emptiness that fills the frozen hole where our hearts should be; Alone with the realization that the promised land isn't as filled with our clasnmen (women) as we hoped.
To help us process and sort our reactionary feelings about the mid-year performance of the new administration, here's some possible emotional response you may be experiencing , following the election of the 'Prince that was Promised".
1. Regret: Upon discovery that the Prime Minister is a talented technocrat with a vision, but is from the Mursade clan, which is great and totally not an issue should anyone from the Mursade read this without continuing and get mad at me. Except you haven't emotionally invested in friendships with the wonderful people of the Mursade clan, because your political sources told you it was gonna be Abgaal or Habar Gidir, and now the PM doesn't know your name and won't follow you back on Twitter because you weren't visionary enough to see an end to the clan dominance of the usual suspects. No one else? just me? mm ok. Moving on.
2. Despair when the Cabinet was announced, and you discovered that the list of nominations were an assortment of recycled faces you despise, and were in bed with the previous administration, and a few arch nemesis who steal your favourite seat at Maka Al Mukarama.
3. Guarded Optimism: when confronted with the sobering fact, that despite your personal biases and objections, the men and women chosen as your council and civil servants, are quite possibly the most educated, capable administration this nation has seen in forever. And that you too, if ever elected, will be ripped apart in a similar manner to be praised by your friends, and loathed by your newly emerged enemies.
4. Bemusement: As you casually observe the former administration's now unemployed support base reinventing themselves as governance critics and opposition, all the while; The new administration's now employed supporters posing as new face of Somali nationalism and optimism. Changing of guards ensues, new munafiqs replace old hypocrites.
5. Cynicism: The final stage of the post-election grieving process. This is where you finally accept that your response to this entire process is as recycled and cliched as your previous response to the elections of yesteryear and the generations before it.
And that as a nation cursed with political and historical amnesia, we will continue to build political heroes up, only to then break them down. It is in this moment, where you will potentially spend (depending on employment opportunities with current administration) the next few years cynical of any progress- While damning your nation to another four years of unfulfilled campaign promises and delayed development.
Cynicism; the default setting of a people who have yet to deduce that it is the thoughtful pursuit of systemic justice and functioning institutions that build nations, and not UN-stamped processes, devoid of any real representation and national meaning.
Cynicism is when you continue to occupy that seat at the 'how to fix this' table because you love your nation and people beyond any material measure, but keep your eyes firmly fixated, watching, and doubting the intentions and capacity of the men and women next to you, who promise political salvation and state building.