Queleh lives in the countryside of Northern Somalia with his father, mother and two younger sisters. The family grows corn and vegetables that they sell at the market in town. The father teaches Queleh how to farm and what his responsibilities are as a man: working the fields, planting corn and hunting. Queleh falls for beautiful Nourah, the youngest daughter of the village chief. Queleh's father is preparing to put his son through the hangool rite in a few weeks time, so that he becomes a true shepherd.
His father is arrested by government troops because he wrote letters protesting against the execution of 70 of his clan members by the military regime. Queleh's initiation rite is put off to a later date and he now has to bear complete responsibility for his family, their harvest and selling their produce.