With Bihi, Accent is on Success & Understanding

On Friday afternoons during the month of February, KFAI will test a new program proposal that's intended to foster a deeper understanding of the Somali community in Minneapolis.

Local activist Abdirizak Bihi will host the show, which he has flippantly named "The Somali Radio That Speaks Funny English".   While the title of the show is tongue-in-cheek, Bihi's purpose is serious.  "I started this show with KFAI Radio to help all of us come together and share culture, music, food, events, and resources, and to break down those little cultural isolations between our communities.  So for the next few weeks, months and maybe years, you will be hearing from me, with a beautiful accent."  

For his first guest on the February 3rd program, Bihi invited Abdirahman Mukhtar, the youth program manager at the Brian Coyle Community Center in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood.  When young Somali-Americans are featured in the news, the context is often negative with an emphasis on the threat of radicalization.  

"A lot of times I think we tend to focus on the few young people who are in trouble," Mukhtar said, "... but we tend to forget the thousands of young people who are succeeding and doing well."     

Scheduling an English language program about the Somali community has been a goal of KFAI's General Manager, Leah Honsky.  "Part of our mission is to increase understanding between peoples and communities," Honsky said.  "I know our English speaking audience really wants to have a more complete picture of their East African neighbors, and I hope this program will promote that."   

"The Somali Radio That Speaks Funny English" will be featured in February as part of KFAI's Friday @ Noon residency.  After a one month test run, the show will be considered for a more permanent slot on the KFAI schedule.   

Filed in: 
Loading Video...