An epic, uplifting story of one family’s journey through the violent unraveling of Somalia, and a timely exploration of what it means to lose your country and then to reclaim it.
In The Mayor of Mogadishu, one of the BBC’s most experienced foreign correspondents, Andrew Harding, reveals the tumultuous life of Mohamud ‘Tarzan’ Nur – an impoverished nomad who was abandoned in a state orphanage in newly independent Somalia, and became a street brawler and activist. When the country collapsed into civil war and anarchy, Tarzan and his young family became part of an exodus, eventually spending twenty years in Chalk Farm in north London.But in 2010 Tarzan returned, as Mayor, to the unrecognizable ruins of a city now almost entirely controlled by the Islamist militants of Al Shabab. For many in Mogadishu, and in the diaspora, Tarzan became a galvanizing symbol of courage and hope for Somalia. But for others, he was a divisive thug, who sank beneath the corruption and clan rivalries that continue, today, to threaten the country’s revival.
The Mayor of Mogadishu is a rare an insider’s account of Somalia’s optimistic beginnings and subsequent unraveling, and an intimate portrayal of one family’s extraordinary journey.
ANDREW HARDING has been living and working abroad, as a foreign correspondent, for the past 25 years, in Russia, the Caucasus, Asia and Africa. He has been visiting Somalia since 2000. His television and radio reports for BBC News have won him international recognition, including an Emmy, an award from Britain’s Foreign Press Association, and other awards in France, the United States, Monte Carlo, and Hong Kong. He currently lives in Johannesburg with his family.
Date: 28 February 2017
Venue: Anthropology Museum, Central Block, East Campus
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