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Reporters on the Job

My Bodyguard: When walking the bustling streets of the "Little Mogadishu" neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya, (so-named because it's home to tens of thousands of Somalis, many of them refugees) staff writer Matt Clark found it was hard not to be a little concerned about his own safety. After all, he notes, all sorts of Somalis have fled – and continue to flee – to Nairobi because it's the closest big city to Mogadishu. Some of those Somalis have been involved in the brutal, street fighting that has gripped Mogadishu for more than 15 years.

"I felt a lot of eyes on me at all times," says Matt. "But I needn't have worried. I had Jamila with me."

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The petite teenager is the unofficial public relations representative of Waahaya Cusub, the hip-hop fusion group in today's story (see story). "She's petite but respected," says Matt. "When one burly band member wanted to finish a game of pool instead of coming to the studio to record, she barked orders at him like a drill sergeant in front of a crowd and he fell into line quickly.

"When asked about plans for her upcoming birthday party she giggled as if she were 12," he says. "But when it came to business, she got things done and proved to be a superb guide."

– David Clark Scott
World editor