From Immigrant to Educator: Fartumo Kusow’s Inspiring Journey

by | May 18, 2023 | News

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Windsor, Ontario – Fartumo Kusow, a remarkable woman who immigrated to Canada from Somalia amidst the civil war, has defied all odds to become an accomplished English teacher, writer, and podcast host. Arriving in Canada three decades ago without knowledge of the English language, Kusow has since earned a prestigious B.A. Honours degree in English Language and Literature. He has also earned a B.Ed. from the University of Windsor.

Kusow’s journey as a writer began in her homeland, where her first novel, “Amran,” was serialized in the esteemed October Star, Mogadishu: Somali National Press, in 1984. She made history as the first woman to have her novel serialized, showcasing her exceptional talent at an early stage. Following this success, Kusow contributed to the paper by writing a regular column until the unfortunate outbreak of war disrupted her promising career.

In 1991, she sought refuge in Canada, where she embarked on a path of personal and professional growth. Determined to overcome the language barrier she faced upon arrival, Kusow immersed herself in learning English. Her perseverance paid off, as she soon taught English literature courses for the Greater Essex County District School Board. Her passion for literature and ability to inspire her students have made her a beloved figure in the community.

Kusow’s debut English novel, “A Tale of a Boon’s Wife,” is a testament to her resilience and creativity. With its publication, she shares the rich cultural heritage of Somalia with a broader audience while shedding light on immigrant women’s experiences. Through her writing, Kusow captivates readers with her ability to transport them to different worlds, evoking empathy and understanding.

Beyond her teaching and writing accomplishments, Kusow also found solace and purpose as a podcast co-host alongside her friend Hodan Nalayeh, a Somali-Canadian media executive and marketing consultant. Tragically, Nalayeh was killed in Somalia in 2019, leaving behind an irreplaceable void. In memory of their partnership and to continue their shared mission, Kusow carries on as a podcast host, striving to empower and uplift others through storytelling.

Recently, Fartumo Kusow shared her wisdom and advice with Ct Somali Channel, particularly addressing new Somali mothers who have arrived in Canada. Speaking passionately in Somali, Kusow emphasized the importance of learning the English language as a foundation for success in their new home. Reflecting on her own experience, she urged these women to embrace Canada, immersing themselves in its language, culture, and opportunities.

Fartumo Kusow’s accomplishments and indomitable spirit inspire many, demonstrating the power of resilience and the pursuit of education. From a young Somali woman with a serialized novel to a respected English teacher and influential podcaster, Kusow’s journey is a testament to the transformative possibilities that arise when one is determined to overcome adversity and make a lasting impact in their community.


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