I like Lidetu, I can not lie [First posted on Facebook]

May 3, 2020 at 2:06 am 2 comments

When I was at my last job in Ethiopia, Lidetu Ayalewu used to come around to visit one of his “yager lij”s who worked there as a Program Officer. I never liked Ato Lidetu. I don’t know what it is about him: his bubble cheeks, his weight-to-height ratio, or the fact that he was an Amhara politician [I grew up being called “YeWelamo lij” by the Amhara neighboring kids whose parents mistook my dad’s “YeBudda medhanit” Qindib tebasa for being from Wolayita; although my dad considered himself part of the proud Moja Amharas, and a 9th or 10th kinsman of one Emperor Zar’a Ya`qob]. Anyway, something about him got on my nerves. So I walked by without giving him the due my co-workers did every mini/celebrity who stopped by our humble NGO. I walked by with my chin up, nose in the air, and a “fuck you if you think you are better than the rest of us” attitude.
[You know, as “complexam” Habeshas are wont to do! πŸ™‚ ]
But I knew, knew!, he was a righteous person. A righteous person is not a person who does the right thing all the time. He may not even be the kind of person who does good things all the time. A righteous person, for me anyway [and according to the bible – for those who care] is, like King David, a person who lives by what he believes, and does what he considers to be right and true to himself and those around him.
[Say somebody who is not your married ex-boyfriend who gives you frantic calls on Messenger, quoting:
“α‹¨αˆαŠαŒαˆ­αˆ½ α‰ α‹›
α‹αˆ°αŒ€αŠ• αˆ›αŠ˜ αŠ α‹ˆα‰€
ነገሩሡ α‰€αˆŠαˆ αŠα‹
ኸሎ αˆˆα‹­ α‹«αˆˆα‰€”,
right after un-friending you on Facebook – so his dumb-bass wife won’t suspect what was up :)]
Lidetu, on the other hand, proved righteous: before the 2005 election, during it, and in the immediate messy aftermath. I saw him as righteous as I saw the only politician whom I loved, and considered the sole voice of reason in the Parliament back then: His Majesty Professor Beyene Petros!!
I knew why Lidetu decided for his party to take its seat when ene Birhanu Nega α‰°αˆ˜αŠ“αŒ­αˆ¨α‹ αŠ¨α“αˆ­αˆ‹αˆ› αˆ²α‹ˆαŒ‘! Because β€œbilt lij yesetutin yizo yalseQsal”. Because, in politics, no one fucking owes you anything. No one cares if you have the truth on your side. If you don’t have the military might, you win wars by winning small battles everyday [through compromising, haggling, settling for less than perfect or ideal].
In the years following, I watched him mean what he says and say what he means [or try to, because in a country of perpetual tribalism, of “Him who doesn’t see things my way talatye newu”, it is difficult to be heard above the patriotic/the giDel teGadel/the β€˜he who isn’t with us is against us’ fervor]. After I left home, I didn’t keep a tab on Ethiopian politics [Because it is disheartening! Because it is either feast or famine. It is “Abiy is my Hero” today, then “Abiy is a demon” tomorrow. No maturity. No room for errors. No one willing to wait and see]. But I kept a weather eye on Ato Lidetu, to still find him not lacking in righteousness. To always try to be a grown up and do the best he can with the little he is given.
So… maybe you don’t like his politics. Maybe you don’t like his person. Maybe you don’t approve of what he did yesterday, or the day before. But spreading hate against him on Facebook, calling him names, threatening violence against his person: that is not going to help Ethiopia, Ethiopiawinet, or yourself. It only tears a β€œsebez” out of the β€œsaar bett” shack we have for Democracy and hope to build with a sturdy material on a foundation of rock someday.

Entry filed under: Latest Posts.

Year 11: A Friday the 13th kind of year αˆˆα‹˜αˆ˜αŠ” αˆαŒ†α‰½

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. leulsurafel  |  May 21, 2020 at 9:23 am

    why did u lie in the first place

  • 2. abesheet  |  February 6, 2021 at 11:30 am


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The blogger tries to think outside the box, or wonder why she sometimes can't.

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