This is the first time in 40 years that Somalia is holding a boxing tournament.
Years of insecurity and uncertainty meant the sport was relegated to the background.
“The reasons we are organizing this boxing tournament after 40 years may include the fact that the country’s situation is better, whether in terms of security or politics, we think there is a real change’‘, said Awil Gelle Ahmed, Second Vice President of the Somali Boxing Federation.
For locals, the contest is a sign of good things to come. They are hopeful that more young people will take part in the sport.
“I love boxing so much and my coach made me fall in love with this sport to be a well-known boxer”, said Somalian boxer, Kashmir Abdirahim Abdalla.
“Today, I am very happy with this tournament, something we have been missing for many years, and we hope the tournament will produce more boxers’‘, said Mohamed Ahmed Abdullahi a spectator.
Recently, Somalian born Ramla Ali represented her native Somalia in the International Boxing Association Women’s Boxing World Championships, becoming the first boxer to do so.
Many years ago, Ali’s family fled Mogadishu after her brother died due to a grenade explosion outside their house.
The family sought asylum in England after a first stop to Kenya on a rickety cramp boat, according to firstpost.com.
Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has suffered years of explosions killing several and regularly claimed by armed group, al-Shabab.