Thursday, 7 June 2012

Dry cleaning in Mogadishu

For the first time in a quarter of a century, Mogadishu has a dry cleaners. It was opened on 8 June 2012 by Mohamed Mohamoud Sheik, who celebrated his twenty-fourth birthday on the day he launched his new business. 

Suits are de rigeur for Somali politicians, businessmen and others, and until now, they had to be flown out to be dry cleaned in Nairobi, Kenya or other nearby countries.

I was recently in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where lots of Somalis were meeting (if you click on the link you will see many of them are wearing suits). I was chatting to a friend as large delegations of Somalis strolled past, all in suits. My friend was explaining how people had to fly their suits out of Somalia to be dry cleaned (and sure enough, one Somali politician walked past with a big bag of freshly dry cleaned suits), and how someone could make a lot of money (and help a lot of politicians, businessmen and other suit fans) by opening a dry cleaners in Mogadishu. Little did we know that a couple of weeks later, someone would do just that.

Here is a piece I wrote for BBC Online: Dry cleaning in Mogadishu

And here is an interview I recorded with Mohamed for the BBC: Mohamed talks to the BBC about his business

Happy Birthday Mohamed Mohamoud Sheik

This is a story I recorded for the BBC about the laundry: Somalia Premium Laundry

Here are some photos of the launch party

Mohamed Mohamoud Sheik and guests



  1. woow.. amazing report... it's really very creative job... we all welcomed ...

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  2. One of the many things that don't make much sense to me in Somalia is Somalis wearing suits and ties in the tropical heat of Mogadishu. One can get away with it in the northern highlands (Hargaysa, Erigabo), but not in Mogadishu. Blind imitations never lead to anything good.


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