Africa witness

People’s voice

Shattered dreams: A Father’s story

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Omar Shiekh and his two children whom he is battling to take care of after being paralysed by robbers(Hassan Isilow

By Hassan Isilow

CAPETOWN -Somali nationals who have sought refugee in South Africa continue to live in fear. Hardly a week goes by without an attack on a Somali shopkeeper. Omar Sheik Mohammud, a Somali father of two is confined to a wheelchair after robbers shot him in his shop in Mfuleni Township- near Cape Town, 13 months ago. The incident left him paralyzed.
“I was shot in the back by my attackers and the bullet damaged my spinal cord. I hardly feel anything in my legs,” he said, this weekend, speaking from his home in Craven B, near Cape Town.
He said during the incident, the robbers cleaned out his shop. “After shooting me and my nephew, the attackers carried out all our stock and refrigerators. They did not leave even a match stick.”
The once successful businessman now depends on the generosity of the Somali community. “My family and friends have helped me during the past several months, but due to their own economic situation, they cannot afford to continue helping me. I request kind hearted people to come to my rescue,” the father of two appealed.
It is a bitter pill to swallow for Mohammud whose dream of seeking a better life for his family in South Africa has turned into a nightmare. “I’m still deeply traumatized. Whenever I recall what happened to me, I feel so bad. I can’t afford to pay my bills. I’m worried about what the future holds for me and my family,” he related.
At the same time, the once busy businessman has been confronted with the boredom of doing nothing at home. He reverently wishes to get back on his feet to support his family. A friend described him as a hardworking man who had many dreams. “All the dreams that my friend had are now shattered. All his dreams are strapped to that wheelchair, where he sits all the time,” he said as tears filled his eyes.


Written by africawitness

July 1, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Posted in Xenophobia

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