Architecture, just like any other form of art, is a manifestation of human emotion, culture and traditions. As Somaliland is fast transitioning from the rubbles of war and civil strife, architects have a great opportunity to participate in the reconstruction. Joe Addo, a renowned Ghanaian architect, presented the work of ArchiAfrika Foundation at the fair. He encouraged young architects to utilise local resources and work with local communities in order to integrate ideas that will best define Somaliland.
Addo also recognises the importance of the diaspora in the development of a nation and the role they play in its transformation. He encouraged Africa to connect with her diaspora in order to broaden development prospects. “It is the attachment to a place, sense of being and identity that will transform Africa”, he said.
The festival rose to the third day with exciting discussions on writing, poetry and the guest country Nigeria.
Young women poets and writers opened the stage, sharing their experiences, in a panel looking at spaces for future generations. Hawo Jama Abdi, a poet who was born blind, first composed poetry when her nomadic family accidentally left her behind as a child. Her poem to the wilderness soothed her at a very scary and desolate moment. Nadifa Mohamed, a British novelist of Somaliland heritage, could relate to Hawo’s poem as in her own writing, she addresses a certain absence that is filled through the stories she weaves. In talking about being role models, Yasmin Kahin, a playwright and poet, feels that she and the other young Somaliland women are the first generation of female writers.
Chuma Nwokolo jnr is a Nigerian lawyer and writer and the publisher of African Writing magazine that featured several literary works of African writers. The writer of poetry collection and novels, such as African Tales at Jail point (1999), One More Tale for the Road(2003) Diaries of a Dead African (2003) and his recent book The Ghost of Sani Abach.