Windsor

Friend shares unaired podcast recordings of slain journalist Hodan Nalayeh

A Windsor writer and podcaster is mourning the death of a Somali-Canadian journalist killed last week in a suicide attack, while she decides what to do with podcast recordings that haven't aired.

The podcast was meant to peel back the stigma on single motherhood

Hodan Nalayeh posted this photo to her Instagram May 25. (Instagram/hodantv)

A Windsor writer and podcaster is mourning the death of the Somali-Canadian journalist killed last week in a suicide attack, while she decides what to do with podcast recordings that haven't aired.

Journalist Hodan Nalayeh was killed when militants stormed a hotel in the port city of Kismayo in Somalia last week, Somali news organization Radio Dalsan confirmed.

The organization reported the 43-year-old, who was pregnant at the time of the attack, and her husband Farid Jama Suleiman were among the 26 who died. 

Fartumo Kusow, author of 'Amran' and immigrant to Canada, ​​​​​​spoke with Nalayeh nearly every day — conversations Nalayeh recorded for a planned podcast series. Those recordings never aired.

Fartumo Kusow spoke with the CBC's Amy Dodge about the recordings and her memories of journalist Hodan Nalayeh:

Hodan Nalayeh's voice is heard in these exclusive recordings of her podcast that didn't air before she died. 1:42

The podcast was meant to peel back the stigma on single motherhood, something both women could speak about from experience.

"She was a single mother," said Kusow. "She had two kids from a previous marriage and she was single mother for almost four years and she just got remarried the end of last November and she was expecting a child from that relationship."

Kusow is a single mother of five.

Fartumo Kusow came to CBC Windsor to share recordings from a podcast she was creating with Hodan Nalayeh (Amy Dodge/CBC)

The raw, unedited version of the podcast series is on Kusow's laptop. She doesn't know what will come of the files now that Nalayeh is gone.

"She was supposed to be the one that would edit I am not really good at the editing," said Kusow — but she thinks her friend would want the files published.

"She was never one to stop and mull over the negative," said Kusow. "In my mind she would want me to share, but she would have been the one to edit it."

The last conversation was just days before Nalayeh was killed

While Kusow decides what to do with the files, she is also trying to shed the guilt she's carrying from their last conversation.

Kusow was asleep when her phone rang at 1:00 a.m. Monday July 8.

"I thought it was an emergency so I picked up the call," said Kusow — it was Nalayeh calling from Somalia, having forgotten the time change. 

"I said 'I can call you tomorrow,' and she said 'I'm going to be busy, let's talk Saturday,'" said Kusow. That phone call on Saturday never came.

"I didn't know she was expecting. I just heard she was expecting on on that news, so I don't know maybe that's what she was going to tell me," said Kusow. "I feel guilty for not talking to her, hearing what she was going to tell me."

Listen to memories of journalist Hodan Nalayeh on Windsor Morning:

Fartumo Kusow sat down with CBC Windsor's Amy Dodge to share her story. 7:00

About the Author

Amy Dodge is a video journalist at CBC Windsor.

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