Voice of Sport

Basketball hopes to recapture ‘good old days,’ foster peace in Somalia

Children, youth and varsity teams benefit from generous equipment donation by the nation’s ‘mother basketball’

HAWA Sheik Ahmed and her husband Dr Osman Shiis both played international basketball for their country in the 1980s and now they want to give back to the game and see young people enjoying the sport in Somalia.

As the current Vice-President of the Somalia Basketball Federation [SBF] Hawa Sheik made an unprecedented gesture on Monday, donating equipment worth hundreds of dollars to local basketball clubs, school children and youth district teams, and universities throughout Somalia.

Hawa Sheik is fondly known as “Hawa Taako” and regarded as the “Mother of Somalia basketball’’, a sport that the country used to excel in throughout Africa and dominating neighbours like Kenyan in the “good old days”.

The colourful and much appreciated presentation was done at the Lido Sea Food Restaurant in the Lido Beach Resort of Mogadishu in the presence of scores of high profile individuals including law makers.

Appeal to retired players

“I would like to take this opportunity to call upon other retired players who are now living in Europe and North America, as well as business people, to follow suit and assist their country’s sport, in particular basketball the game we enjoyed dozens of years ago,” said Hawa.

“I would like to thank all those who raised the money to buy this equipment including my husband Dr Osman Shiis, my children and other patriots who are committed to promoting basketball in Somalia. I promise here in front of you that I will always play a key role in the development of Somali basketball.”

She said the equipment would be allocated to young boys and girls to educate them in basketball. The equipment comprises basketballs, tracksuits, jerseys and shoes.

More equipment

“I know this is not adequate equipment, but in the future I am planning to send more to all regions in the country so that we can make sure that every single boy or girl in the country  get access to basketball,” she said urging Somali Government to build basketball courts everywhere in the country.

Female Somalia Parliament member, Ubah Tahlil Warsame, also a representative from Somali Women’s Association awarded Hawa Sheik with a trophy and a gold medal for her role in the promotion of basketball as well as her efforts in encouraging the introduction of peace and stability into the country through sport.

–  Shafi’i  Mohyaddin Abokar