Today marks one year since the Al-Shabaab bombed Hotel Asasey in Kismayo causing 26 deaths and injured 56 Somalis; but we are not going to be sad because Hodan Nalayeh wouldn’t have wanted that. Instead, we will celebrate this great Somali journalist who died pursuing her calling for adventure and journalism in the world.

Hodan Nalayeh, founded Integration Television in Canada with the sole purpose of showing the world that there is more than war and terrorism in Somalia; she showed culture, dances, camels, food among other fun traditions.

Jubbaland had been peaceful for years after President Madobe got elected as president. Hodan Nalayeh figured it was a good time to go back home to explore on all the good with her husband and hopefully tell beautiful stories while at it. She had all the qualities of a born journalist- eager, excited and free spirited. Over time, Integration TV became very popular among the Somalis households; they all looked forward to seeing what new contents she would bring next.

Her approach to news was completely different. Her foremost desire being to distract people from all the dark Somali coverage about war, terrorism and starvation; she believed there was so much more the world had not seen in Somalia.

Hodan was expectant when she died with her husband leaving behind two orphaned boys. Her death wounded countless individuals, especially young girls in Somalia who had grown to look up to her as a role model.

In one of her interviews she said, “My vision is not to be famous and to make money. My mission is what I will leave behind when I die and what I will be remembered for.” True to her word, Hodan became involved in several productions of Top shows like American Idol and was also appointed the President of The Cultural Integration Agency.

Today, we celebrate her life, her courage and all the uplifting and colorful stories she shared about her home country. Shine on Hodan.


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