port of harlem magazine
 
ivan brown realty
 
It Only Takes One Yes!

 
January 31 – February 13, 2019
 
Entertainment

Habso Mohamud



Habso Mohamud celebrates September 20 as her birthday, though it may not be the day she was born. Her mother, who was born in Somalia, was in a Kenyan refugee camp during her birth. “I know I was born in 1994, but my mother does not remember the date,” Mohamud said at a book signing at America’s Islamic Heritage Museum in Washington, D.C. 

The St. Cloud, Minnesota resident now celebrates the day she published her first children’s book “It Only Take One Yes!” as her birthday.  She hopes her easy-to-read, delightful story will show children that their lives, like hers, can evolve.  

“I wish I could teach in the jungle. We would all love to read.  We would have the best schools, books would grow on trees.” says her character Nasra in the early pages of the book. “Now, I am the queen of the jungle, our books don’t grow on trees. But, we share everything we know,” she writes on the flip end with illustrator Hammed Shittu’s large, colorful, multi-cultural characters.

Back in Kenya, Mohamud walked 45 minutes to attend school. She would miss school sometimes because her mother of 10 children could not find a baby sitter while she walked Mohamud and her school-aged siblings to school.

When Mohamud’s life evolved to that of an immigrant in America, she recalled saying, “I can actually go to a school!”

She has had setbacks in America, too, including being diagnosed with a mental illness.  However, with two degrees and her first children’s book on the shelf, she added, having mental illness “doesn’t mean your life is over.”
She has had setbacks in America, too, including being diagnosed with a mental illness. However, with two degrees and her first children’s book on the shelf, she added, having mental illness “doesn’t mean your life is over.”

She acknowledged that people often see refugees as a burden on many systems including housing, education, and health. Then, she asserted “we are just people who want to live their life again.”

As she continues to evolve, Mohamud feels compelled to assist others in their journey.  She is donating 50 percent of her book profits to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. She reasoned, “It’s the agency that changed my and my family’s life around.”

Also Read: Kenya: 10 Stars With Strong Links to Kenyan Refugee Camps (Mohamud is number 9 in this list)

 
 
Return to this issue's Main Page
 
 
sign up
 
follow us on
facebook  pinterest  twitter  youtube
 
Advertisers | Contact Us | Events | Links | Media Kit | Our Company | Payments Pier
 
Press Room | Print Cover Stories Archives | Electronic Issues Archives | Writer's Guidelines