Community news, music and views.
The East African nation of Somalia has endured decades of successive colonial occupations, civil war, famine and political unrest – some of the reasons Somalis sought refuge in Australia in the 1990s.
3CR was able to provide unique support to Melbourne’s new and emerging Somali community by giving them a voice on air, with 3CR’s Somali Language Show first going to air in 1995.
The Somali Language Show’s founding presenter Abdiaziz Hersi first came to 3CR to do a six-month training course. Arriving in Melbourne the year before as a refugee, Abdiaziz hailed from Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. Having studied Italian, French and Arabic at university in Somalia, Abdiaziz edited the Melbourne Somalian newspaper “Sahan” in 1995 to 1996 as well as establishing the Somali Language Show.
The Somali Language Show covers news from the Somali community in Melbourne as well as from Somalia and around the world. Getting news for the program was a real struggle in the beginning. Abdiaziz bought an expensive radio and large radio antennae and in the early hours of the mornings he would rise to hear the BBC news. Nowadays the Internet provides 24 hour access to a lot of information off the web, including listening in to radio programs from Somalia and other countries. Co-presenter Said Ali has joined Abdi Aziz in the last four years
According to Abdi Aziz over 5000 people tune in to the Somali Language Show The talkback part of the program reveals that people call in from all areas of Melbourne, from the suburbs of North West Melbourne to the east as well as many roaming calls from taxi drivers.
The program covers issues including how people can unite to make a strong Somalia community in Melbourne, cultural pressures on young Somalians, the problem of drugs as well as community building.
The political situation in Somalia and surrounding countries is always in flux and the Somali Language Show presenters frequently find themselves talking to politicians and community leaders both in Somalia and Melbourne.
The show also features children’s stories, music and interviews with both musicians in both Somalia and Australia.
By Bree McKilligan after talking to Abdi Aziz Hersi.