Objects of our affection
Ali Birra was the cat’s pajama! His songs were in Oromigna, but we loved them as though we understood every word. It certainly came as a surprise to many of us, my stuttering uncle included, when his latest album revealed he didn’t see us the way we saw him.
I didn’t hold that against him as my stuttering uncle did. Even your kids, hard though you may have worked to make them the kind of person you’d have liked to become yourself, finally find a way to let you down. That doesn’t mean I was my unusual accepting self when I saw the famous Oromo singer, composer, poet and nationalist on tv a few years ago. I’ve felt his voice is perhaps more impressive than his personality. And been more embarrassed than he seems to be when he tried to introduce his two grown up daughters and found out that he didn’t know their names. He may have heard of their existence only the weekend before. But for a guy who does memorizing lines for a living, failing to tell which was Makeda and which wasn’t didn’t show him in a particularly good light. I’ve gone as far as wondering if Makeda and whatwashername weren’t better off without daddy dear.
Alas, what would an icon do with a sub-conscious, right?
So Ali Birra was the only Ormoigna singer abesheet gave “Ewkina” to until last Saturday (with the gorgeous beautiful awesome Solomon Deneke dead, Abetew becoming a Protestant Christian and that tall dude with long dread hair continuing to embarrass us by acting like a “findata” on stage, there weren’t many a tempting prospects on the horizon).
Kemer, I’ve never heard of till I came across his name on Oromantic’s Weblog, being accused as a traitor to the Oromo cause (otherwise called OLF’s cause). Who is this dude and how come I’ve never heard of him?! was actually a question I put forward on Jimma Times, upon noticing the many disappointments from many an admirer.
I was in for a pleasant surprise!
On the interview he gave ETV last Saturday, surrounded by three white women claiming to be his dancers, I found out that not only do I know Kemer Yusuf, but loved one of his songs (“Nanawe”, what else!) every time I saw it on TV. I didn’t stop there, ofourse. I noticed how inspite of giving the impression he was a little too full of himself, this cute broza with a beauty spot in the form of a mole seems to wear his heart on his [expensive] sleeve. A heart that appears to be in the right place, although “right” is a very relative term. Last, but not least, I mused if an intervention was to take place, a loving intervention in the form of dragging his butt to the local “so you think you can dance” competition, the result would be “Erm…….No“.
Like I said, Kemer Yusuf looks like a nice guy with a sunny disposition. But not so sunny for us to put our Millennium Development Goals on the back burner for the sake of giving him coverage. It seems “Kemer Time” on ETV these days. YeKemir Zefen, BeKemir music-video lai yetayu baaHilawi yeOromo alebabesoch, Kemer’s wedding photo to his 2nd & royalty wife, Derartu, a beauty with a Jimma-Aba-Jiffar lineage, YeKemer Zefen. (Reminding one that line with which we teased those friends who suddenly don’t seem willing to be apart in junior high. “Addis Fiqir SiyamenaQir”! Not the kind of thing you’d normally associate with governmental institutions and their stiff collared yes-men!)
Now, if that Investor/intellectual/yeQeyKonjo dude from 2020 Open University could get half the coverage Kemer is getting these days, part of my ETV dream would have been fulfilled 😉 .
For now, here is my object of affection: Ehsan Abduselam with my favorite song of late Harrariya.
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