Hani Abdile



(image still Rodney Decker)

Hani Abdile is a poet who performs around Sydney and is the Sydney faciliatator of Writing Through Fences.  Her book I Will Rise is available through our SHOP here.

Hani was detained in Christmas Island for 19 months and is now in community.

I am

I used to think I am alone

and hold myself back.

Scared to express my feelings

and make my life a mess,

I sat silently

and agreed with my thoughts.

I forgot I had a chance.

They pushed me back

and broke my heart.

I stood for nothing

but a waste of number.

They held me down

but I got up.

I am ready to brush off the dust.

Here I am.

You will hear my voice,

that is my sound.

Now I am flying like a bird.

You can see me

diving up so high.

I fight for my rights

and go from zero to hero.

They locked me in

but I got out.

I am ready to brush off the dust.

Here I am a Somali girl.

I am not a waste of number.

I am not a victim.

I am a hero

and I am a leader.

– Hani Abdile 2015












Oooh old friends

My beloved friend


Many days

We laughed

We chased each other

We tickled


But that wasn’t my favourite


We rolled in the mud

So thick, double to our skin

Danced in the rain

As we thought we could bless the land.


We re-owned our lost childhood

Your smiles fully healed my wounds

So shiny and sharp.


I was addicted to your company

I felt disgrace to leave you behind

But my friend you have chosen the traditional way.


Seeing your photos my perfect friend —

Life always takes unexpected turns

You dive into abuse and rise like a sun

Blessed to be a mother of two

My ship has sailed on unknown shores

While yours still floats on the garden of your birth.

  • Hani 2018