Araweelo is a new video by the lyrically gifted poet Yasminah. Tusmo Times interviewed Yasminah about her new poetry video, which was released today.
Tusmo Times : In all honesty, when I saw the title of the poem, I felt a little worried. Every time you hear the story of Araweelo, it becomes shifted to a feministic angle because people relate Araweelo to castration and extreme feminism. You took a different route. What was your thought process of coming up such view?
Yasminah : When I was younger, my mother never told me about the story of Dhag-dheere, a female mythical creature who came in the form of a human to steal kids from families to cannibalize.
This story was told to little kids before bed, to scare them in going to sleep hurriedly which is horrifying. Instead, as a young girl fleeing from my country, my mother found the necessity in telling me a different kind of a story.
A story she found would help me become a strong and fierce woman one day. The story of the Queen. The story of Araweelo, the symbol of strength and tenacity. And in this poem, I try articulate on how I found her.
Tusmo Times : Do you think Araweelo is a mythological story like Dhag-Dheer?
Yasminah: The debate is not whether she existed, but how she helped women believe the power they possess and whether finding that power in them is within the realms of possibility. Honestly, what she delineated as an African woman is where the importance lies. In my opinion, she exists in me. When shit becomes too difficult in my life, I find her in me.