By Abdirisak Itaqile
Today marks the first anniversary of the death of the legendary journalist and the champion of the modern day journalism in Somaliland, Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah. . Just 43 years old, Mohamed-Rashid died in a car crash near the port city of Berbera, leaving behind a legacy spanning two decades.
Born in Hargeisa 1972, Mohamed-Rashid fostered his lifelong love of journalism early on. He inspired a generation of news leaders by showing them that entrepreneurship focused on upholding the highest levels of journalism can bring enormous benefit to the community.
“He was an extremely personable man. He knew the movers and shakers in Somaliland, so that he was able to pick up a phone and find out what was really going on — and that is a big advantage when you’re in a competitive business like the newspaper business,” a longtime colleague of Mohamed-Rashid told Somaliland Monitor.
In May 2015, six months after his death, the foundation stone of a new journalism institute named after him was laid in order to keep his ideas alive.
At the time of his death, Mohamed-Rashid was the General Secretary of Somaliland Journalist Association (SOLJA) and a prominent member of Hargeisa community.
Mohamed-Rashid was a product of the SNM, the organization that spearheaded the people’s armed struggle against the genocide and dictatorial rule of Siyad Barre.
After the emancipation of Somaliland in 1991, he worked closely with a remarkable political strategist and the father of the modern day journalism in Somaliland Mr. Mohamoud Abdi Shide.
He was the financial officer of Mohamoud’s business interests, which included ships, printing press, restaurant, telecommunication and newspapers.
When Mohamoud Abdi Shide died suddenly in November 1998, Mohamed-Rashid begun to emulate his teacher and mentor by continuing the struggle, to have an impartial and independent media.
For the past decade Mohamed worked hard in selfless manner to achieve his goal. When he was elected to run the organization that he founded (SOLJA) he did his job with pride and honour and raised the organization of journalists to appreciable height.
He fought for journalists imprisoned by successive Somaliland governments with dignity and honor never giving up the struggle. He acted as patron for the young journalist and a champion for their rights.
Mohamed-Rashid was a qualified, capable and competent journalist of exceptional courage and unsurpassed passion for the Inky Fraternity.
He attended to each call of duty with resolute and diligence. He was a man who couldn’t stand opportunism and his adherence to moral ethics, had caused him a lot of problems but at the same time won him respect among foes and friends.
Mohamed-Rashid Muhumed Farah died on the 29th of December following complications from a neck injury sustained from a car accident near the port city of Berbera.
May Allah he him in Heavens,