Maxamuud Xarbi (1921-1960) a Somali hero that warrants eternal remembrance for he was one of the few Somali historical characters that put the dream of universal Somali brotherhood on a massive pedestal. His life account is all too known and his mysterious murder still lingers the mind of the Somali oldies. Maxamuud Xarbi shared the same characteristics of his defiant African contemporaries, those whom struggled against colonialism and imperialism such as the late Pan-Africanist Congolese independence leader Patrick Lumumba — who was incidentally murdered a year after Maxamuud Xarbi’s death.
But without exploring Maxamuud Xarbi’s life in detail, I want to mention a particular account as narrated by a witness.
In 1958 a referendum, ordered by French leader Gaulle, was held in French Somaliland (now Djibouti) on whether to join the upcoming Somali Republic or to remain with France. The majority voted to stay with France. The referendum had all the main characteristics of vote rigging, and the majority of the voters were not surprisingly Europeans. Maxamuud Xarbi vehemently rejected the dubious results of the referendum, iterating that the will of the Somali people is nothing less than full independence from France. So he returned to Djibouti to meet his people. At the airport, he was received by the French governor general at the time. What follows next is what separates a lackey from a born-leader, a reactionist from a revolutionary, a man that shamelessly serves his whims from a man who selflessly serves his people.
He went to the colonial governor and shouted at him: “I want to be received by the people and not by the French governor”. He pushed him aside and went to the Somali crowd that was waiting for him in the far distance and delivered a historical speech wherein he said:
“We must achieve independence; we prefer death to life under the aegis of imperialism”.
May Allaah have mercy on him.