Posts tagged ‘Ethio-Politics’

The problem with Kenenisa


June 13, 2016 at 5:56 am 8 comments

And the winner is..

On Wednesday 21 May 2008, the Caretaker Administration of Berhane Deressa handed over Addis Ababa’s key to the new administration of EPRDF. Kuma Demekssa, Ex-Minister of Defense and (according to Fortune newspaper) father of Seven, was sworn in as the 29th Mayor of Addis in 122 years. And where did this handing-over take place? At the “Addis Ababa Theatreina Bahil Adarash”!!

How fitting, won’t you say? 🙂

I mean, I’ve repeatedly stated how I threw my ballot in favor of, or voted for, EPRDF at the 2005 Hagerawi election. And I’m not about to apologize for it! I still love Meles, the person, and believe if EPRDF had as good Head of propaganda department as War Strategy, it would have gotten away with more than it did/or didn’t!

However, the recent by-election drama in which EPRDF took control, “stole” some might say but I ain’t one of those some ;-), of Region 14 (as if we could have had it any other way :-)), was too comical to pass off. The final touch, however, was exquisite! The icing on the cake, you might say! Confirming, once and for all, the almost cultural trend Ethiopian politics followed (KeEndalkachew Kabine jemiro, I might add) and the theatrical way they tried to cover it up.

Theatre and Culture, there you have it!

May 22, 2008 at 11:34 am 2 comments

Teddy Afro, [already] a bully?


I’m not a huge fan of commotion. I’m more of a turning-back-on-and-leaving-place-with-sturdy-feet kindda girl. Which is why you won’t find me around when disaster strikes. Whether a car accident, a fire accident, or pick-pocket accident (although, in the first two incidents I may call 991 before hitting the exit button), I cover my bag with my hand and head for the horizon.

It’s not like I do not enjoy witnessing disaster as well as the next person. I do! But I would rather do it from a safe distance, where no harm could befall on my person. What can I say? I’m selfish. And it comes with a price. Because of my fear of standing-by as a witness for disaster, I’ve missed out on most of the huge happenings Addis sponsored in my adult life:  the long anticipated & graceless entrance of EPRDF’s soldiers in Addis in 1987, all “great Ethiopian run”s and, regrettable of all, the new year eve celebration at the turn of the millennium! It’s lucky that I ain’t planning on having kids and living long enough to tell what the millennium was like to their children. I’d have been one old woman who lies out of her ass.

This is why it’s my firm belief that if I heard somebody screaming “Look! The Kingdom of Heaven!”, I’d go back to sleep grumbling how some of us has to go to work in the morning. Needless to say, therefore, the fate of a falling star (human or a ‘small solid body known as a meteoroid that enters a planet’s atmosphere from outer space and is raised to incandescence by the friction resulting from its rapid motion.’) would be the same. I don’t like seeing disaster because I don’t get a kick out of seeing people suffer, in any form. Must have something to do with my childhood, and the traumas in it. Always from bullies, young and old. On things I had no control over.

Now, I like Teddy Afro. Always have. That doesn’t mean I like everything about him. I don’t like his artificial, and rather patronizing.. for me atleast.. “Oh I’m too sweet and shy” smile (which has started reminding me of another celebrity whose smile I intensely dislike – Rachel Ray). I don’t find his ears adorable. And I get furious every time I heard his “Single Black Male” adverts.

But I like him. For the same reason, I think, all of Addis run behind “Kinjit” 3 years ago. Because he seems to embody the “Ethiopian” vision (in a reasonably cute way) that we all grew up having drilled into us!. Yet, unlike most of his fans, I knew what Teddy Afro represents was bigger than Teddy Afro the man (who loves, simply adores, referring to his young age on every occasion J). Just like what “Kinjit” represented was bigger than every one of it’s “central committee members” put together (who, I know nobody wants me reminding them, came to a huge self-evidencing mess).

So, even when he seems to be making all the wrong moves these past two years (once costing me a good 25 bucks for a non-CD he non-released), I stood by him (in my own insignificant way) claiming that he’s just a young lad we should cut a slack for. That if given time, he’d come back to his [true?] self and make us all sing hand-in-hand … again!. (Isn’t that what we wanted him for anyway? Just the way a wife looks out the door eagerly waiting for the elders to appear, take and reconcile her to her husband? With an elderly admonition of “Antem Tew, Anchim Tey”?! I think so!). After all, how many Teddy Afro’s do we have anyway?. Not many! There is Gigi, ofcourse. But she’s been off the scene for more than three years now (after she got married and bore children *wink* *wink*), and releasing an album that used an Amharic phrase translated literally for a title (a bad idea!) and a song that actually confused the name “Ethiopia” with “Utopia” (very bad idea). I respect her for backing out while she was still ahead. And have bigger hopes for her when she reappears, after dropping off her kids at school, or attending their graduation therefrom.

I do that because I am huge on second chances. On growing new leaves. On reincarnations (“rebirth”, “recreation” and re-embodiment. Of an idea?!). Teddy Afro has become an a-hole, sure, but who hasn’t been victim of the celebrity status?. You don’t kick a guy out and throw the remains, as Bertie Wooster would say, just because he made a mistake or two. Because, when you kick-out an idol, you are also kicking-out a vision, an idea, a dream bigger than his own ‘young’ person. You are atleast losing the unique gift you can get from him (yes, it’s a co-dependent relationship folks! We ‘scratch his back’, he scratch ours. Look where our blind devotions or unconditional loves got us? Does Mengistu Hailemariam ring a bell? Solomon Teka? Kinjit?!). Not because that gift has been endowed to him “before the beginning of the world” as the bible would have you believe, but because none of us went through what he went through; saw what he saw; been to where he’s been. And when we kick him out, we kick out a whole lot of another world we could have discovered through him. As all works of art should be, and as every other human being in the planet!

Yep, I’m a very practical fan! Takes more than little to offend me. But offended I would be when my “celebs” demand that I worship them without condition, or murmur. And when they get indignant at somebody that dared mention they have no right to treat me (and us) that way. THAT is the straw that would break this sister’s back. I draw the line and demand “I beg your pardon..?”. You don’t want to see me when I’m on my “IBYP” + mood. My ex boyfriend and my husband don’t refer to me as “Zinabwa” for nothing! J

Teddy Afro has made more than one mistake, and I’m not referring to them music videos I mentioned in 2006 (, which sounds pretty trifle right now. First mistake, he copied some music notes and passed them off as his own (as the folks at “Addis Neger” mentioned) ‘without giving credit to whom credit is due’. So what?!, you’d say, everybody does it! Second mistake, when Seifu Fantahun discovered and aired the theft, he got indignant and said he’d take him to court and sue him for defamation. THAT isn’t something everybody does! If he had had the humility to apologize, or atleast, give Seifu Fantahun the deaf ear and let it slide, no one would have given the theft a 2nd thought. But having probably started to see himself with the burning mirror of love and devotion (and borderline worship) his fans see him with (and would continue seeing him with “an’d sewna an’d be’er eskiqer’; that of Teddy’s no doubt J), he kept on being indignant. In a pretty much “the wrath of God” way, I would like to think, making one amusedly wonder what damages our beloved icon would have done if equipped with a thunder storm, or two! Perhaps then Meles Zenawi wouldn’t look so bad? J (Yes, I exaggerate)

So ..Teddy Afro lied!. Tried to cover it up!. This being neither the times in which the gods roamed the earth looking for mortals to do mischief on, or “Zemene Derg” where an attempt to get a few more bucks can have you shot there and then, some people decided to look into the matter and re-affirmed the theft. Then, ofcourse, things flamed up. The flame didn’t stop by threatening to eat Seifu Fantahun’s good reputation, or Addis Neger and their budding reputation, but anybody’s who dared associate Teddy Afro’s name with stealing. Now, I don’t know the exact process by which shooting stars fall (or if our Prime Minister would give a “reportage” at the parliament and a news conference at the news conference room about the development on “the Teddy Afro front” one of these days. Their opinion would no doubt be on the “good riddance” side J). But this certainly feels like the beginning of a falling of one.

Like I said repeatedly, I don’t like witnessing stars fall! I love my sleep;. I hate the feeling of loss when the dust finally clears; And it’s heart-breaking, seeing another hope dashed for my fellow Addis Ababaians (even if we don’t always see eye-to-eye on them hopes). But I’ve always enjoyed seeing somebody decide to teach a bully a lesson. So the bully could come down to earth, realize there were bigger powers than him, leave the weak little boy alone, go home, cry his eyes out making the ugliest of indignant bully noises and promise to try and be good from now on.


Viva Seifu Fantahun!

Viva “Addis Neger”!.

Beware Teddy Afro!. First rule they teach you at Celebrity 101: Bullying people ain’t cool! Or *shaking index finger threateningly* no more bra-throwing, tit-for-autograph-baring chics for you!


Most of the “smart” sayings in the above post were taken from books I read. English isn’t my first language.

March 24, 2008 at 5:32 am 41 comments

“Gash” Barrack Obama

I’ve always found my fellow countrymen’s [sometimes indignant] support for Obama fascinating, as my previous post entitled Kentiba Barrack Obama bears witness for. Because I can make neither head nor tail to it! Can it be the “Netsa awchi sinelibona”, the prime minister accused my generation as having (sometimes in the absence of one to be redeemed)!? Or the “black” and “white” thing? You know, like football spectators do! Rooting for whoever is playing against Italy on World Cup, because “these bastards” tried to colonize us. And favoring a West African national team over a North African one, because “they” “said” they represent the Arab world, and not Africa, zillions of years ago. Or simply because we do not have better things to do with our time & money for our own, “poorest of the poor” I might add, country?!

Whichever the case maybe, Ethiopians have been rallying after Obama and I ofcourse wanted to know why. Having most of my offline questions answered with threats or judgmental looks, I was confident “here an answer would be” when I saw an advertisement on Fortune’s Sunday issue (Vol. 8, # 412) of a website for those Ethiopians interested in supporting Obama (

The website doesn’t seem to be working, however! So I decided to google-search it and actually managed to find another, an actually unblocked one :-), with the words “Ethiopian American” and “Obama” on it.

It’s description, posted on 25 March 2008, was encouraging. It read “My listing of sites about Ethiopians and barack obama: Particulary I like the first site but other sites are informative as well, so if you have interest in Ethiopians and barack obama you should check all those links. I hope you’ll like them.”

Following the suggested link, however, automatically took me NOT to finding my “key to Rebecca” (so to say) but to an adult friendfinder (but you know what type of “friend” they are talking about :-)) with a pretty gross picture on the right side of the bar that turned my stomach. The realization that the photo was nothing more hedious than a woman’s tongue sporting a bar of ice came a little too late. After taking my lunch, and my hopes of ever understanding the “Ethiopians for Obama” mystery, with it. So if there is one Ethiopian out there who can enlighten me on the matter, I’d be grateful. If not, you can kiss this sister’s donation goodbye … sucker! 🙂

March 23, 2008 at 12:01 pm 1 comment

Will the real “First Lady” please stand up?

We’ve all heard & and been upset with it (perhaps for various reasons). The Amharic equivalent of the word “First Lady”, (“Qedamawit Emebet”) being applied to P.M. Meles Zenawi’s wife. However, is Azeb Mesfin really a first lady?According to Wikipedia, a reliable and dear friend of mine, the word “First Lady” is a term applied to the wife of an elected male head of state. And Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, although the real leader behind the crown, ISN’T ‘head of state’… yet, anyway. There is a man he is supposed to report to and bow before the signature of. This dude is real, alive and well. Well.. maybe not that well but alive enough to embarass those shallow Ethiopians (like me) who like to have their president good and functional. It’s not known if this man has a wife, but if he does, the good lady would definitely go by a different name. So you’d think, atleast for appearances sake, the ENA people not to refer to his 2nd in command’s wife as “Qedamawit Emebet”. Don’t you? Unless they are trying their hands on political satire. Which is very unlike them.*Azeb Mesfin is an Ethiopian women’s right activist, businesswoman, member of parliament, and political spouse. She is also the vice President of Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA).[1]Azeb is the wife of Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi and the mother of three children, Semhal, Marda and Senay Meles.*

March 20, 2008 at 3:35 am 2 comments

The many names of P.M. Meles Zenawi

Here is what the description of a group I created on facebook reads:

Dedicated to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who is undoubtedly the most controversial Premier the country ever had.

He’s bald and stocky, with a kind of goatee that makes no mystery where the idea for his animal cartoon representations came from. He’s been called names, had white-house-front-door protests, and an award (or two) for his name. Some see him as a genius in the wrong profession. To others, he is a smooth-talking dictator who turns on the charm when he thinks it would serve him some [evil] purpose :-). One thing is certain! He is an individual, and has managed to remain an individual, in a country where such notions are frowned upon.. sometimes.. to the pain of death!! For that reason, atleast, I raise my glasses to him! Long Live, your premiership! People like you are in short supply!
(pun intended :-))

If, on the other hand, his Premiership asked google, like Jesus did his disciples, “who do the people say that I am” he’d come up with the following results in just 21 pages:

“Meles Graziani”

“Neo-Nazi Abyssinian dictator”

“a complete thug”

“hated dictator”

“the 15th Worst Dictator in the World”

“A Terrorist”

“the dictator (Ethiopian prime minister)”

“a very insecure man”

“a terrorist .. also leads the terrorist mercenary regime”

“Implacable, Vindictive and Malicious: the criminal Abyssinian dictator”

“a psychotic neo-. fascist who replicated Haile Mariam’s brutality”

and on the *other* hand…

“a versatile fellow”

“People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) chairman”

“head of government for Ethiopia”


“Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia”

“one of Africa’s young leaders and senior statesmen”

“our beloved Chairman”

March 17, 2008 at 7:24 am 2 comments

Would an Oromo King/Ruler have done better?

First of, I consider myself an Ethiopian, although my head is no longer in the clouds about what the name represents (and been made to represent) after reading, among others, “Oromiya: Yetedebekew YeGif Tarik” and “YeBurqa Zimta”. Not that the racism against Oromos (and the rest of non-amhara Ethiopia) was a news to me. Grew up being abused for being “wolamo” because my father taught among, and knew the language of, the people of Wolaita. Not to mention the bitter memory of seeing my cousins (born from Oromo fathers) tip-toeing to where the teacher sat to whisper their grandfather’s name. Which is why i grew up despising the word “amhara”, even if my father’s father is a “Moja” & “proud Amahra” (so they say) from Shewa. I have an Oromo blood too, like almost every other Ethiopian I know, through my mother’s grandmother; who left home (Homa, Wellega) when young, came, and brought up her children (and grand children) in Addis Ababa. Still, i consider myself Ethiopian because i do not see the word “Ethiopia” as representing neither amhara nor Tigray. And, more importantly, because I have choosen long ago never to judge a philosophy by it’s abuses. (For we all agree “Ethiopianism” is a philosophy and a noble one at that).

Anywho, I joined the group not only because I want to know what it means being a Non-Ethiopian Oromo, but also to post a question, i.e. Do you think an Oromo King would have done better?

I want you to take your time and ponder over this question. It’s true that Oromiya’s children have suffered, just the way the rest of Ethiopia suffered, under the rules of it’s “Abyssinian” leaders. And because Oromos were bigger in number and Proud-er, the atrocity may have looked targated against them (us). However, don’t you think the answer is less complicated and more universal than what we are trying to make it here?. That, rulers kill those who opposed them and refuse to bow for them, period? Especially if they have been obsessed with the concept of “unity at any cost” like our kings and heads of states have been and lately are?. Do you think an Oromo king would have let his opposition roam free and hesitate before killing all those who refuse to come together under his “wing”? Unity, if you haven’t noticed, is what every leader starts preaching when he comes to power even if (in TPLF’s case, for example) “unity” was the last thing in it’s mind before assuming power! Unity Sells, that’s the way i see it, when you are on top. It was the Amhara’s who wanted unity at the time of Dergue (and Haileselassie I), it’s the Tigres (once considered ethnicist) that are preaching Unity these days. If, Insh Allah, a leader from the loins of an Oromo father came to power: do you really think he’d hesitate from trying to sell us (and killing if refused) this very product that was used as an excuse & justification for all the injustice done to children of Oromo, and the rest of non-Amhara Ethiopia?

At the risk of sounding sentimental & you-know-women, I consider you guys my brothers and sisters (whether oromo or Ethiopian) more close to me than I consider non-Ethiopian africans. Because, I have been through what you been through and we are men-in-arms, if nothing else. I think that’s what matters, in the end. Who you can identify with, rather than what type of blood (if such differentiation is possible) they got running in their viens and cappilaries (check spelling) :-).


March 14, 2008 at 11:25 am 15 comments

“Habesha & Ethiopianism”

The following post was taken from a facebook group entitled: “I’M OROMO NOT “ETHIOPIAN”! ANI OROMOODHA!” The writer did not intend it for a public forum (although he’s said he doesn’t mind it being posted here) so I am to blame for possible grammatical errors he may have committed.
The basic component of human life is our identity. There are certain identities we do choose to be while there others that we are born with. Oromummaa is our identity, the stamp that we carried when we came out to this world. We did not choose to be born Oromo. Hence we should be proud of who we are.
However colonizers and oppresser have been trying to make us ashamed of who we are by dehumanizing and defacing Oromummaa. They want us to convert to their identity not because they love us but because they want exploint our human and natural resource by enslaving us.
The two false identitiies oppressors try to impose on us are Ethiopianism and Habasha. I would like to point out what this concepts stand for and why oppressors use it to as a cover up for their heinous crimes.
Ethiopianism: As some one mentioned Ethiopia of the bibilical era is different than the today’s empire. Since the Habashas assumed this name to gian material support from the west, they have made it their identity. Therefore in todays world Ethiopia does not stand for a country. Its rather an identioty of the Habasha groups. Todays Ethiopia is very similar to the aniciant Abyssinia.Both terms refers to the semetic Amhara-Tigrian cultural identity. Take example. Whats Ethiopia’s cultural dance? Eskista. Whats Ethiopia’s cultural food? Injera. Whats Ethiopian language? Amharic. Therefore Ethiopianism does not leave room for other nations and nationalities subjugated in that empire. Hence if you are an Oromo, you do not fit to the Ethiopianism identity even if you make an exterem makeover. Neither does Ethiopianism leave any spot for you.
Habasha: This is the one they always push on you. Some how they were able to confuse large number of people that every body in the empire is Habasha. This terms refers only to those who migrated from Southern Arabian region some 3000 years ago. However as I mentioned above, since they dominated and subjugated all nations and nationalities, they have imposed their identity on them. Once you have enslaved somebody, then you should be able to do whatever you wish any ways.
What is really obscure about the term Habasha is when you ask them, sometimes they say its the name for all black people. Then you ask them if Sudanese are Habasha. They will sa NOOOOOOOOO. Why? Because Sudanise are too dark for racists Habasha rulers who imposed such identity. It is funny while they try to make you believe Oromos are Habasha, they would immidiately tell you, the Boaranaa Oromos of Kenya are not Habasha’s. How about Ogandenians? They are Habasha’s only of they speak Amharic and wear pants instead of their traditional marxoo. What a hypocracy!
But why do they always insist that Oromos are both Ethiopians and Habashas? Because they love you? No! They loveeeeeeeeee what harmee Oromiyaa got to offer. They dont care about Eritrea been independent except Asab port. They dont care about Ogandenia going away except they dont get salt. But Oromiyaa feeds their belly and they are nothing without Oromiyaa. Therefore they always love you?Dude when a Habasha telling you that we all are Ethiopian/Habasha and he loves Oromos, be aware that he is telling you he just love the dammaa Baalee, bunaa Jimmaa,sangaa Harara, warqii/ziqaya Wallagaa, qamadii Arsii, Xaafii Adaa’a. Certainly not you!!

March 5, 2008 at 12:54 pm 1 comment

“Kentiba” (Mayor) Barack Obama?

By the way folks were behaving in taxis and offices here in Addis, you’d think Barack Obama was running for Mayor of Region 14 on the upcoming by-election, instead of becoming a presidential nominee for the land of the free & country of the obese (not my word). People have been threatening to put a sad end to my existence for saying I would rather have Clinton as a president. Because, I explained, I’ve read somewhere that most blacks weren’t taken-in by him and even if he was elected president, he’s sure to be assiacinated. Their response: typical Ethiopian! (which commits all types of fallacies in the book and totally ignores there ever was a reason given). I.e. that i was ashamed of my race and gender! And the muttered threats i mentioned above.

Infact, if the 26th African Cup of Nations hasn’t put water to the ‘Obama-fever’, I doubt yours truly would have been alive and typing even as we speak. But it did! And nobody seems to mention the ole feller anymore. I ofcourse didn’t dare ask what became of the broza, for obvious reasons!! (I like my neck the way it is, good & unbroken). But I guess I should be thankful to our nation’s indiscriminant football “fever” for once. (Have always hated football, long before I lost some of my good “solid” friends to it. Back when I was but a young girl always going to bed crying because somebody at ETV decided to cancel “Talaq Film” in favor of it). There must be some grain of truth to what they say. That even a broken clock is right twice a day!

February 19, 2008 at 11:15 am Leave a comment


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

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