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From the Streets to Online Dating: Somalis Turn to Marriage App to Find Love

Somalis have shifted to online apps as they look to find compatible spouses online. Guurdoon is an application that was launched in Somalia to help people find marriage partners. They however cannot call it a dating app.

Find love online- online dating
Gen Z opting to find love online.PHOTO/credits

Guurdoon (‘ seeking marriage’ in English) was launched by the Gurysamo family development centre in October 2022. Ahmed Abshir Geedi, the chairman of the organization, mentioned that it was a way to help Somalis since it descended into chaos in 1991

According to the residents in Somalia, there has been a lot of chaos and violence around. The country has hardly managed to settle back down and recover from the war that arose in 1991 and led to the jihadist insurgency. 

Geedi mentions that at first, the idea was to help Somali families pay for weddings. They noticed, however, that the main problem Somalis faced was compatibility issues. Noticing that compatibility issues could not be solved with money.

The idea came about while discussing with religious leaders and community elders. 

“People of all ages can meet and find partners. Especially today when the youth are mainly on social media. ” Geedi commented.

The application can be downloaded freely on either an Android phone or an iPhone. As a main requirement, the user will have to pay a subscription fee of $1 before using it. 

” After its launch, tens of thousands of Somalis including those overseas have signed up to use the app. The surge of users forced the application servers to crush at the beginning,” said Geedi. 

Find love online; using Guurdoon
Guurdoon to help Somalis find partners

Challenges facing the users of the app include shame from family members and friends. There’s a lot of stigma in Somalia regarding dating, especially using online platforms. Many, therefore, have to use the app in secret and not mention it to those around them. 

There have been a few people opposed to the idea of the application. Mentioning that it may not be inclined with the Horn of Africa’s religious and cultural norms. Many termed the idea as a result of Westernisation and against Islam. 

In the same respect, there are people concerned with the data that has been inputted. The user has to put in details about himself so as to find the most suitable partner. People, therefore, think that in order to get the best match, the users input the wrong data making the information biased. 

The application creators respond to the concerns of the Somali people. They mention that the app is not a dating app, but rather a place where people can find marriage partners. In addition to this, they plan on creating a widespread campaign on stopping the stigma around meeting someone online.

Read Also: Casual Dating Should be Normailsed


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