Before becoming an ‘early career’ academic in various UK universities, I’d been working in Horn of Africa since 2009. I was first employed by the University of Hargeisa (Somaliland) setting up a new English language department for undergraduates. Between 2012-2015 I worked as a Somali interpreter for the International Committee of the Red Cross, mostly in prisons in south central Somalia and Puntland. I completed my PhD thesis on media and nationalism in Somalia at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre of African Studies in 2017.
Before all that: I did a BA (Chinese and Politics) and MA (State, Society and Development) at SOAS, University of London.
Before all that: I grew up in Newport, South Wales. The surname is anglicised Romanian: my Grandfather emigrated from the old country to the US back in the day, and the name (Cionca) changed along the way.
Back to present: I’m a husband to Isabelle and a father to Sam and Elliot. I enjoy all the usual stuff, particularly rambling around the Bedfordshire countryside, pointing at farm animals.