Memories from Somalia-Part one
by Adriano Gallo
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
My name is Adriano Gallo and I was born in Mogadishu the capital of Italian Somaliland in 1950, my family had immigrated to Italian Somaliland in 1910 from the Tuscany province in Italy, we had established 4 fruit plantations in the lower Jubba region, the Italian government was promoting masse immigration by italian farmers to the new Somali colony, it was described in advertisements as a tropical paradise, where lush farm areas and compatible climate awaited all Italians. By 1940 more than 50000 Italians were living in Italian Somaliland.
My family lived in a beautiful house in Mogadishu’s Kasa Popolare neighbourhood, my father was often not home he worked for the most in our farms in the Lower Jubba regions; I loved to work with my father in our farms, so many adventures .You could meet snakes and lions, elephants and crocodiles, and an amazing landscape. It was nice to be away from the usual busy Mogadishu. Majority of the farm workers was Somalis and I played as child with their children, we were all so ethnical different but was enjoying what was in our eyes our common motherland.
In 1960 Somalia got its independence, there was a goodbye party for the Italian governor in Villa Somalia 4 days before Somalia got its independence, my family was invited and there was hundreds of guests, I had brought a blue Somali national flag or Mandeeq as Somalis called it. Then as they innocent child I was, I ran around screaming ” freedom for Somalis” on Italian while celebrating the flag that shocked majority of the guests. 30000 out of 40000 Italians left Somalia in 1960; they didn’t feel comfortable living in an independent Somalia.
My familiy in Mogadishu in 1959, I am the young boy in the lowest row with the dark hair.