I happen to believe I’m one of the smartest Addis-born, government school-educated, lived-most-of-her-adult-life-here Ethiopian bloggers online. Well, maybe not the smartest but smarter (or more mature?) than most. Still, I don’t seem to get as much blog traffic as most of my fellow smart, addis-born, government school-educated, lived-here-most-of-their-lives guys seem to (they all happen to be guys, for some reason).

So I decided to go around asking what they felt would help before attempting to make this a gender issue. Some suggested that I stick to topical/political stuff or try watering down the “e-Shoe” of my “e-Shoe box”. Others observed posting my photo may prove helpful. “You can’t believe the hits I am getting”, one young man confided, “is encouraging me to turn my blog into a source of income”. Still others recommended that I should find out what readers “like to read” and blog about that, which made me want to throw my arms and give up. Less complicated than getting a dick, true, but not easy for a person who would rather zip it than blabber herself into oblivion if got nothing to say. Have a feeling I would have made ZerayaQob very proud, a man whose blog would have been visited round the clock, were he alive.

We all blog to meet one need. The reason for those needs may vary as much as our style of writing does. In the end, though, we have one thing in common: we all want to be read. Which is why I’m gonne ask you, my most valuable visitor, lamp to my feet and light to my path, the rod and staff that comforts me, etcetra, what you think I should blog about. What you would change about my blog, if you can. And why.


58 Comments Add your own

  • 1. abesheet  |  April 22, 2008 at 6:25 am

    So how can u guys call him an entertainer…For which of his deeds??????….abesheet can u pleasssse change ‘Entertainer’ with ‘Amater Entertainer’ pleassseee.
    Had I been u, I would have refered his job as one of Mezertet, melefle or medrek…..

    Either the whole of Addis (atleast the “findatas” you talked about in your comment) love “zirteta” or view Seifu differently than you, sira, because before the TeddyAfro problem even my protestant cousins were tuning to FM Addis just to hear his jokes. “Yemir YeAarada lij”, that’s how i always saw him. Maybe not much in the way of a brain but a more than compensating wit and good will. He was telling kids they should pay attention to their studies, and try to be themselves, etc. It may not work for you and me, but they sure as hell were listening!

    And ..anywho.. kemeche wedih new “name” quality “dictate” madreg yejemerew?!. Some of the super stars we known in hollywood (Jennifer Lopez, Halle Barrey & Nicholas Cage, to mention but a few) are all bad actor/actresses. Don’t even get me started with the “mihurans” at the AAU! Only yesterday evening, I was reading an advertisment for University-Instructor-wannabees on a noticeboard at AAU. And it was asking for fresh graduates with cumulative GPA of 2.50 in their major area! I was astounded! I mean.. here would be our “yenege mihurs” and they probably won’t even have graduated if it was somewhere else. So.. I think “Entertainer” is a fitting name for Seifu, atleast in Ethiopia’s case. Whether he’s a good entertainer, or a bad entertainer is for the individual audience to decide.

  • 2. Sira Salata  |  April 22, 2008 at 10:24 am

    Well u may be right…..I also said that everyone has found him as ‘ye arada lij’ at his start….but soon, most were saying that his ‘ kelds ‘ and ‘ erdinas ‘ were of the same kind. U know, it is a sign of a static society not to accept changes….if we believe him as a comic….when we see no more uplevels in his qualities, we don’t want to change our minds or atleast question our stands. I also have faced a difficulty to see him this way. About his advices to kids to study well and others to work good, good advert for saturday referring 5 days of hard work ” wetan weredn”, ya that is nice to hear. Nonetheless, the ‘ findatas ‘ I refer like ‘ zirteta ‘, I also do like, but not on our big guys….many of the ‘ findatas ‘ have good respects to our celebs. U all know, what response have been given for ‘ yemender wereoch ‘ film. Though I loughed much loooking the film, I hadn’t paid a single quality for those ‘ Gate wets’. So the thing is that ‘ Eyetazebshiw mesak ‘ new. About the quality issue, I hardly think JLO could be a nice example over here. She may be a bad lady….hah is she really? but what ever kind she is, she has much deeds to obtain the title she had. For our case, our country, we can’t help it…guys with a little money are aquiring the titles and we are pronouncing it back. For me, Seifu’s case is no more different from those fellas releasing their singles or clips with a no substance in it. ya ya they managed to do it coz they have some money not talents ha. I remember one day a freind called at Addis zema, seifu was the host…saying ” pam pam pam wetan weredn 6 days, now it is time to refresh. so entnaye min litazez, min yizegaj? ”. The friend has orderd a song then seifu starts comicking while the song is to be aired. The freind was loughing for him loudly, and also for the audience ha…but he was showing us his ‘dd’ and moking with signs of his face. The reason for him to do so was that seifu’s kelds were like ‘enchet enchet yemil keld ‘. That is the way I looked his entertaning. yet I could change my mind, if I see more creativity from him. So abesheet ‘ yiihen neger be liyunet enlefew, enena anchi liyunetachin beza eko ‘
    About the AAU ‘ muhurans ‘, I would say that some of them are nice intellectuals to be proud of while others are wounded lions. They want to frustrate their students. 2.5 for a pass….ahhh u know exams, frustrating, ‘F and D’ s seem their entire work to be paid for. They are, all the time, the only intellects, ‘Awakis’, no one knows a little other than them. Okay, those of us who can’t score 2.5…let’s leave the field for them ha coz that is what they want to get. We could leave being unintellect, no problem with that coz we used to live with it. But we need to see their intellect ha…..they should stop mocking at their students exam papers and start to do the real job. If they are the intellects, let’s see what they can do….Well for most of them…their knowlege is observed bringing nothing to our country. If it continues the way it was, ha I wouldn’t pay a fraction of acknowlegment for their illusion ‘ewket’ that is not practically there in their minds. However, I don’t mean this to mean those some pridefull ethiopian intellects on whoom I am unable to write a word.
    By z way, I finally preffered to use ‘ Sira Salata ‘ to be the member of ur blog. ‘ Sira salata ‘, infer something that ur blog has taken some of my times even while am working.

  • 3. abesheet  |  April 22, 2008 at 10:38 am

    Well sira SALATA 🙂: Congrats on the name change (although, i couldn’t help noticing it’s uncanny resemblence to requesting a male friend make you a timatim salad, lomi saaybezabet! :-))! I’m glad your attitude towards my blog changed. And appreciate your willingness to continue visiting my blog inspite of difference of opinions.

    Makes you wish, doesn’t it, if our government and “teQawami”s could learn something from that!?

  • 4. Alex  |  April 22, 2008 at 3:01 pm


    Pretty interesting blog.

    By the way, you might wann add these two links:

    Keep up the good work.


  • 5. sira salata  |  April 22, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    Dear abesheet,

    Last friday, while me was looking for infos on teddy afro, I found something written by u. Then I got a real bad day, a very bad day, so I posted those inappropriate comments to you (to create a bad day for you). ….was that fair to do so? absolutely not!!!!!…..I amnot saying that I have an idea mercy for ur words, never will I have. But I fill no good when I read the question u posted to ur members ” why do u think this guy keep around my blog, after saying he find it un mature? ” Let me answer this question, well I find ur blog quite mature and I liked it. I added it to my favorites, but I wanted to degrade u ideally. Soon I asked a question ” What wrong did this sister do than writing her ” eytas ‘?…….Yah that is why we no go anywhere, we are hiiting each abesha to death. We don’t have respects to each other. We prefer burning than to acknowledge the qualities our opponents aquire (for our case Ideal ‘liyunet’ or ‘ yehone kosht dibn eskil dires yanadeden aynet ‘ ). Yah dear my abesha sister, continue the way u are doing. It is pretty cool, the way u’r doing. I will post critically where our differences lie. please get my deepest excuses for the 10 childish, comments I posted on u. One more thing we could learn is that a man who badly wronged us could soon feel pissed off looking our genuinity. Doing good everytime wins!!!!!

    Yours, Sira Salata

  • 6. sira salata  |  April 22, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    please get my deepest remorse for those 10 childish comments I posted on u. I regreted doing so!! Hei ‘ beka entarek ‘, here is my ‘yemariam tat ‘………

  • 7. abesheet  |  April 23, 2008 at 6:52 am

    Lol, sira salata. I knew you had it in you, which is why i totally overlooked them dirty posts. Don’t mean to sound smug but I think I have “developed” (if develop is the word i want) a thick skin from my chats, which were full of name callings and used to make me wanna cry in the beginning. When i understood they really weren’t about me, I just told them kids “when you are done talking shit, PM me and we’ll talk”. And they always came around.

    So.. anywho…I’ve just finished a post on the Ethio-somalia problem which I feel might piss you off big time too. But so long as you kept your language clean, feel free to say whatever you feel.

    Best wishes

  • 8. abyssinia  |  April 23, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    abesheet, asteyayet mestet bifeqidiligne…I would love to have the old system back so that we can post comments instantaneously and at the same time keep the follow going.

    What’s happening now is that we can’t comment back and forth the way we used to ’til you screen each comments. By the time you do, I will be in bed or vise versa because of the time difference.

    I think we should vote on this issue with the rest of the family. Men tilalachihu?

  • 9. spacefog  |  May 20, 2008 at 10:30 pm

    Hey , cool site

    Keep it up ! will keep on checking.

  • 10. mieraf tsegaye  |  May 25, 2008 at 11:52 am

    hello teddye how you? you are my hero god will do for every thing GOD with you

    mieraf from ADDis

  • 11. Mazzi  |  September 4, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Selam Abesheet

    I am one of your frequent blog readers, a fellow ‘abesha set’ in some Midwestern town, USA, but first time commenter. I never got the courage to comment though I wanted to after a couple of your very interesting posts! Since in this particular blog post you are trying to find out the opinions of some of your readers, I figured now is probably a great time to come out of the shadows, so to say, leave a comment, and let you know how much I actually enjoy reading your blog :-).

    I am afraid I am one of those people simply addicted to the Internet (I get nervous if I go to a place where Internet access is limited or unavailable), and rely on the Internet for leisure, school, and work related purposes. I love checking out blogs run by young Ethiopian bloggers both from home and in the Diaspora. Some time ago, I discovered the link to your blog in one of these blogs, and I was pleasantly surprised to find another female Ethiopian blogger, and blogging from Ethiopia on top of that!

    (Warning: I have a feeling my comment is going to be unusually long so please bear with me, and I hope your page can take long comments!:-)).

    I find your style of writing refreshing and intriguing to say the least. You are a wonderful and amazing writer, and indeed a VERY SMART woman. It comes across very clearly in what you write, and this is partly why I keep coming back to your blog. Smarts and Intelligence are the new sexy I tell you. You have a very unique view of the world around you and even beyond. I am simply flabbergasted by your knowledge of current affairs (politics, entertainment, movies, books, fashion, TV shows etc) especially in America but also beyond. At first, I thought you had lived in the US and maybe moved back home at a later age, but really surprised to know that you had lived most of your life back home though you hope to come to this side to join your husband (good luck with that by the way if you still have to go through the visa application madness).

    It sounds like you read a lot, and your extensive exposure through books, movies, Internet, and TV shows you pretty much have figured out what living in America might be like. Let me tell you, when you finally make it here, it will be as if you had lived here in a previous life and you will feel at home right away. Besides, your husband will be there to make your transition as easy as possible, so you should not give any voice to your reservations. I think you will thrive more than you will ever know in a slightly freer environment especially for women. It is not as bad on this side for women who want to stand on their own rights, and are not afraid of hard work. You have to work for everything you have got on this side as only the rich live the kind of glamorous life style that is depicted in popular media outlet. The average American or immigrant in this country works very hard to earn a living, but I think you are well aware of that.

    I simply love your rebellious nature that refuses to accept the status quo of what our culture, gender or family relationship is supposed to be. In our culture especially at home, I know very well how sometimes it can feel like a burden to have been born an Ethiopian female, and on top of that be an independent thinker AND extremely opinionated! These qualities can actually make your life extra difficult back home where let’s face it the males rule the joint. I grew up there, a very stubborn and terribly opinionated girl that I once was, so I know. I clashed with just about any male authority figure in my life that did not see girls/women as equals starting from my own father. So unfortunately, you can’t rule out the gender issue all together. Some people are allergic to opinionated women especially on controversial topics.

    In my opinion, your blog deserves as much readership as any other decent blog by another fellow Ethiopian or otherwise blogger, male or female. The only advice I can lend on making your blog “non-Amharic speakers” friendly for the occasional Amharic language or Abesha culture reference is that, make sure you always translate into English the few Amharic words, phrases, idioms, and further explain some contexts that will be a given to Ethiopian readers but not so much for non-Ethiopian readers. I hate to say it, but most American readers actually like being spoon-fed…meaning they expect the writer (in this case the blogger) to make their reading experience as easy as possible. I am afraid that is partly why many people like many pictures, personal or otherwise, on blogs. It translates to less reading, less imagination, and even less thinking. If the blog’s purpose is enhanced by many appropriately placed and story related pictures, then it makes sense to include pictures.

    Many bloggers who are parents find it very easy to include cute and adorable pictures of their children, pets (very big in America), and family portraits. If the blog is about their family life, it makes sense. Otherwise it will look like the kids’ pictures are being used as bait. So it does not bother me as much that your blog does not have personal pictures because I like the content of your writing enough to get the message of what you are blogging about with the occasional accompanying pictures relevant to the post. So don’t feel pressured to post your pictures if you don’t see it appropriate.

    All bloggers of course want to be read, and as you said in your post, every blogger has his/her own reason as to why they blog, or what the purpose of their blog is. As for sticking to a topic or Ethiopian related stuff, that will kind of defeat the purpose of your particular blog in my opinion. I really love the explanation you gave for your blog of how it is your place to vent, deal with issues, and shout out your thoughts kind of like the guy from the Ethiopian fable who could no longer keep the secret he was told to guard so he dug a hole and told the secret to the hole. If I remember the rest of the story right, I think a bamboo plant grew from the hole in the ground that later was used to make a ‘washint’ (flute) that kept ‘squealing’ the secret the man revealed every time it was played :-). I think your blog is the ‘washint’ that helps you reveal what has been kept in your mind and psyche to the world (your readers), and work out some issues in the process.

    So the point is, as the owner of the blog, you get to decide what topic you want to discuss without sticking to a script as some of your fellow bloggers advised you to do. As for the so called “Ethiopian related stuff” advice, what does that really mean anyways? Is that a code for ‘you should only stick to Ethiopian current affairs and political topics only’? Ethiopians in the Diaspora who left their beloved country for one reason or another love love love dwelling on political issues past and present, and simply can’t get enough of it. Hence why political blogs are more popular than the personal ones. What your fellow bloggers are forgetting is that you being an Ethiopian, most of the things that concern you enough to blog about make what you want to discuss “Ethiopian related stuff”!

    I think it will be futile to guess what the readers want to read about and only write about that! Then it becomes ‘their’ blog and not yours. I say you write what YOU want to write about, and hope people who like what you are writing about will flock to your blog. You don’t need the rest anyways. But the question is, what can be done to ‘advertise’ your blog to readers who might appreciate your style of writing and your points of view. I for one plan on forwarding the link for your blog to my friends, both males and females, who like reading blogs that make them think and ponder. I hope your fellow bloggers also help advertise your blog on their blog to their own readers. It will not take any readers away from their own blogs if they do that anyways. So I hope they offer to do that for you if they have not done so already.

    Last but not least, I have to say some of your personal posts might be intimidating for average Ethiopian blog readers who might have not done any soul searching at any point in their lives to really examine their own psyche, their emotional growth and journey, family relations, exile, sense of disconnection from self and from others, and all the ‘issues’ that may be deep rooted but still manifest in their adult lives. Ethiopians in the Diaspora would rather talk and discuss, EXTENSIVELY I might add, about VERY SAFE topics like politics, why Meles sucks, or the possible ‘conspiracy’ that might have landed their beloved Teddy Afro in jail (while it is very possible that he might have actually been involved in the accident that took a poor man’s life away), Ethnicity, and the somewhat troubled dating and marriage issues between Ethiopian males and females in the Diaspora.

    You have no idea how extensively the issues of why some Ethiopian women here in the US date/marry non-Ethiopians, why it is difficult to openly and easily date an Ethiopian woman, or why Ethiopian men “import” wives from back home get discussed in popular blogs. Very few bloggers reveal their authentic souls in their writing as you sometimes do, and even fewer discuss emotional and sensitive stuff. Ethiopians in general are very secretive, and how dare anybody discuss personal or family related stuff in an open forum like a blog.

    It is very easy to brag about personal journeys that are straight forward and easy to brag about because they happen within the confines of the norm set by Ethiopian culture or communities. But it takes balls (excuse the pun) to discuss a not so perfect personal journey, and family and friends relationship. So some people feel uneasy reading about powerful revealing of the soul in fear that it might remind them of what they themselves are burying deep in their psyche and have not yet dealt with. Some of your personal posts I am sure make some readers uncomfortable, but that is why I precisely love your blog :-). There is power in that. And I think you are able to do this, probably easier than a male blogger, because you are a woman blogger in touch with your emotions. Unfortunately, I don’t know many men, even more so Ethiopian men (at least in my own little life), who are truly in touch with their emotional self. So I assume most of their blogs are ‘safe’ places to visit. No land mines to explode in your face after you read the post that will force you to think and face your own demons :-). You my dear…. you go there boldly, and I commend you for that.

    Your post “A homage to my Dad” was a powerful one, and I could have sworn that you were talking about my father and the family dynamics I myself grew up in back home. I read that post in one breath, amazed by how expressive you were. It reminded me of the link you also have on your blog “Kafka’s letter to his Dad” which I enjoyed reading very much. He is also one of my favorite writers, and how refreshing that he is that expressive and a man! The two things should not be mutually exclusive. But I think in this ‘man’s world’ Kafka being in touch with his emotions might have actually worked against him. But I digress….

    To end my VERY long comment, the only thing your blog needs is more exposure including to non-Ethiopian readers. You should see the kind of mediocre stuff people put out there in the Internet that still gets extensive readership. That baffles my mind sometimes, but hey sometimes that is the way the cookie crumbles!!

    So here is wishing you success in finding more readership for your blog, and I look forward to reading your future posts. And now that I am out of the shadows, maybe I will even participate in some of the discussion :-). I love reading the comment section of your blog and read about what your loyal readers have to say.

    Thanks for patiently reading my very long rambling.

    Your blog fan,

  • 12. abesheet  |  September 4, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Wow! You won’t believe what i was planning to do when i came here earlier. I was going to freeze all my posts and just leave this page for people to read, and leave a comment. I even copied the HIV+ article coz i felt that’s what people want to read. Look at me now 🙂 . So thank you. It feels like you were talking about somebody else (somebody smart and a way with words, like sistu for example) but i’m glad u thought my blog was worth reading. I’ll try to keep on doing whatever it is i’ve been doing, praying the nervousness that would be induced by the knowledge i have readers like you won’t stand in the way. But i’m not so confident about reader response. My husband is the only loyal reader I have and he doesn’t leave a comment. He feels it would compromise my freedom or something :). Abyssinia visits when she can.

    EgZiabher YakBirlign Mazzi.

    It’ll be an honor to visit your blog.

  • 13. Mazzi  |  September 4, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Hi Abesheet,

    Your blog is DEFINITELY worth reading! Are you kidding?? Though I do enjoy the occasional postings of articles you find fascinating, please do not stop posting blogs based on your own experiences, views, and opinions. I enjoy those the most. I have been away from home for sooooo long, and I enjoy even reading about your ordinary and not so ordinary daily “geTemeGNoch” since I often wonder what day to day life is like for working young adults in Addis.

    I wish I can say I have my own blog, but I do not. You would not believe how crazy my life is on this side, and there is absolutely no room for frequent blogging in my life right now… hence why I visit other people’s blogs and live vicariously through them :-). Lol!

    Even when people don’t say anything, just know that you might have more readers and fans than you think you do. Besides, your blog should be like your journal and whether your think many people read it or not, you should write just for yourself even! Don’t you think it is fun to visit older posts, and see how far you have come since then? I like journals for that reason.

    So my dear, keep on blogging, and we, your fans, will keep on reading, and don’t delete the comment sections after every blog :-).

    Thank you again for sharing your thoughts, and you make me proud to be Ethiopian, female, AND opinionated! Amen to that!


  • 14. abesheet  |  September 4, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    And yes.. i edit my comments like a maniac! 🙂

  • 15. abyssinia  |  September 4, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Amen to Mazzi’s comment #11.

    Btw Mazzi welcome to “e-Shoe Box”. It ain’t mine so I’m not going to call it “My e-Shoe Box”. LOL! I have to say tho your first comment is rather spectacular and very inspiring. So please keep ‘em coming!

    abesheet darling, to be honest we all want to be in your shoe…to become a great blogger like you. But not all of us are committed, creative and charismatic as you are. I have read your blog regularly since finding it, and although I don’t comment at times [depending on my work load], I have found it immensely entertaining and informative. Even more important to me, I value your insight, your perspective, and your bold commentary. I identify with your opinions about issues, respect you for taking strong stands against what seems to be madness to others. I’m somewhat like you, I guess!

    IMHO, your blog is unique; PERIOD…and is by far the best source of news and opinion on everything I have ever read.

    That being said, my only comment to you is to make your post a little shorter. Of course, the real determining factor for length has more to do with subject matter than anything else. I mean if your post needs more words to make sense, then more words are okay. Howeva, people just don’t have the patience or time to read long posts sometimes.

    Perhaps Less is More…


  • 16. Mazzi  |  September 4, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Thank you for the welcome Abyssinia to THE “e-shoe box.” It ain’t mine either so I too will refrain from saying “my e-shoe box” :-). But I sure have enjoyed visiting the blog once in a while ever since I discovered it, and I am glad I made the decision to also leave comments.

    I second your suggestion to Abesheet about being mindful of the length of her posts to make it more reader friendly, unless of course the particular post warrants it to make an impact. Personally, I don’t mind long blogs as long as the writer can capture my attention from the beginning to the end.

    I have come to appreciate Abesheet’s style of writing and points of view, so I don’t find it difficult at all to get caught up even in some of her long posts. Besides, I also tend to be a bit long winded in my own writing (as you can guess from my first comment :-)). However, I plan to leave short and to the point comments in subsequent blogs as well! (Let’s see how long I can stick to that promise :-)). But I also realize that people in the West (and those of us who came to join them at later stages in our lives), raised watching TV a good part of their lives with even half hour TV programs frequently interrupted by commercials have developed the short attention span of a fruit fly!!!

    In this country, it takes an effort to make people (kids and adults alike) to sit still engaged in the same activity for an extended period of time. I have mentored and instructed high school and undergraduate level American students, and sometimes keeping their attention focused (without the look of boredom on their faces) had been like pulling teeth!! Their faces seem to say, “I demand SHORT and segmented spurts of entertainment at all times possibly with flashy and ever changing visual aids with frequent breaks!” Hence, my decision to reconsider my possible career in the teaching profession.

    Thanks again Abesheet for patiently reading my long comment, and I look forward to visiting your blog in the future.


  • 17. abesheet  |  September 5, 2008 at 6:22 am

    I agree 100% yene emebet. My posts have ofcourse always given me a headache. As do my long sentences. “Qalat Yatalilushal”, was also what my non-fiction writing instructor advised when i went to his office to ask why he gave me a B+. But it hasn’t struck me just how bad it was until i submitted one of my posts (that nobody would read here) to Mail & Guardian and the editor made 1 page out of the three that I sent her (got published by the way, high five! 🙂 ). I wished I had her skills of editing ruthlessly. I try to do my best, too, when the nerves on my head start pounding when re-reading my post. But it’s like.. mutilating your babies, u know? You are not only making them less clear (trust your read, abeet, trust your reader!), but all the good stuffs seem to be going along with it. Anywho, i know you are right and i’d really really try to make my posts shorter and sweeter.

    Man! It’s astounding, the clarity with which you explain your points! Ofcourse you are right. There were times in which I read & finished a book, without eating, without a “shint bet” break, that i hated because there was nothing better to do. Now, it takes me all sorts of efforts & will power to read half of even those posts i enjoy. The only posts i can read over and over again, loving them and drinking all the sentences word by word, is mine. Even then, I end up with a dizzy feeling. I’ve taken note of all your other suggestions too, dear. The need to make the blog more reader friendly, the need to interpret my amharic expressions (was trying my hand at what, i believe, Chinua Achebe called “writing an African English”) and being aware how intimidating my posts can come off as sometimes. I’ll really really try to work on them.

    Allah, Jehovah, Krishna, WaQeyo, Egziabher, Whoever bless you both. You can’t imagine how important these comments are. I was about to give up blogging.

  • 18. Mazzi  |  September 6, 2008 at 5:23 am

    Congratulations Abesheet for being published on Mail&Guardian! That is the famous South African news paper, right? If so, oh what fun :-).

    It is truly humbling to have one’s written work edited by a professional editor that might slash the content and style of your best work to pieces to get it to acceptable level and format for publishing. But I guess being ‘ruthlessly’ edited comes with the territory of being published. I hope you at least were OK with the edited version of your work, and proud to have it published.

    On a different note, do you know the political and social cartoonist ‘Zapiro’ that gets published on the Mail&Guardian? I am a huge fan of his work, and have been for many many years. I was extremely lucky to visit South Africa extensively few years after the onset of black majority rule via ANC. I was able to fully appreciate the contents of Zapiro’s cartoons and deep and informed comments about the social and political changes in his country, in Southern Africa in general, and the world beyond. It was an amazing experience, and made me love his work even more.

    That man has a peculiar funny bone, and just thinking about some of his best work brings smiles to my face. He cracks me up I tell you, and his drawings are simply fabulous. I would like to be a fly on the wall of his brain when he comes up with some of his funniest and most clever cartoons and comments. What a view he has of his neck of the wood and the world beyond. Truly priceless. The link below is to some of his recent cartoons.


  • 19. Mazzi  |  September 6, 2008 at 6:41 am

    In response to your comment # 17….

    You have an interesting view of your/the world, and should not entertain the slightest idea of not blogging! You will miss the ‘dug up hole’ (i.e. the Internet), and ‘the washint’ (i.e. your blog) :-). You will find it weird not to have an outlet your blog affords you :-). So keep on blogging dear, and enjoy the process. I wish I had the time, the dedication, the strength, and the stamina to be a blogger…. but I don’t … at least for now. So I commend those of you who do :-).

    As for the short attention span all of us seem to be plagued with….. I am no different in that department. I too remember old times when I simply could not wait to come back from school so I could finish reading some Book (Amharic or English) that I found interesting. Could not read those that did not capture me, however, and watched tons of movies to kill endless amount of time I spent at home. Books and movies afforded me a view to the rest of the world, even if my own little world was indeed small and often dull. I was not allowed to do shit growing up (totally yebet lij), and had to make up for all that lost time after I set foot in this country :-).

    Now a days, there is soooooo much stuff happening simultaneously competing for our attention and the little leisure time we have outside of work. That is why we don’t find it tolerable to stay still in one place and actively engage in one activity the way we used to before. We don’t want to be tied to any one thing as we increasingly prefer to choose from a buffet of options with little commitment (if at all) to what we even choose. Multi tasking is the order of the day, and never really being fully satisfied with anything is an acquired skill. It keeps the Capitalist machinery and the never ending consumerism very much alive. Reading blogs, and choosing which to check out, is no different in this department. It does not help the situation to have multiple interests in many different things to find the energy to be focused in one. Oh well….

    I am sad to say that I don’t get the opportunity to read Amharic books anymore, and my Amharic reading skills and speed have been severely diminished :-(. I make it a habit to talk in Amharic with my few fellow Ethiopians near and far and folks back home on the phone, and I write letters home strictly in Amharic to force my brain to not forget completely. That would be a disaster! When I rarely get a chance to read Amharic books my friends bring from their recent trips home, I can feel my brain changing gears towards remembering what it was like to read Amharic as easily as I read English. So I envy you immensely that you even have written a book in Amharic that I hope will get published soon. Sorry to hear about the book deal that did not go through…. the loss is truly on the part of the publishers even if I know very little about current Ethiopian literature. You should consider writing a book in English as well, if you do not already have that in the pipe line.

    By the way, meant to tell you that I truly enjoyed reading your review on SATC the movie :-). I was a big fan of the SATC the TV show, but the movie, “Not so much!” to quote our friend Borat (who cracks me up!). I felt like I had to watch the movie to kind of put closure to how faithfully I followed the TV show, but it was such a let down. I felt like I was sitting through a two and a half hour long glitzy commercial for a life millions of average Americans can never even dream of let alone afford. And how much more for my little, and often broke foreigner a$$. The movie had no soul in my opinion. I am such a movie junkie and feel committed to always finish watching even the crappiest of movies once I start watching. But it was a struggle to not yawn and actually get to the end of the movie for me. But I am well aware of how millions of SATC fans absolutely loved the movie, so I respect that as well. What rocks somebody else’s boat probably capsizes mine anyways, so it is what it is :-).

    Also loved you posts on your views on motherhood, “Unlikely Casanovas” (brilliant!),”Matchmaker, Matchmaker” (intriguing), “Ophelia saved the day” (quite funny) (Mugabe simply makes my blood boil!), and your piece on Fasika (brought back a lot of fond and not so fond memories) :-).

    Ok I will shut up now, and go back to the work I am avoiding by surfing the Net and commenting on this blog :-).

    Have a great day.

  • 20. Mazzi  |  September 6, 2008 at 7:03 am

    P.S. One last thing (I promise!)

    Please don’t think that I was saying that you should make some of your posts less intimidating! When I said some readers might find some of your posts intimidating, I actually meant that as a compliment :-). I think that trend partly makes your ‘Abesha’ blog unique and sets you apart to some extent.

    I find some of your messages in your posts positively challenging, and may force some readers to critically question things they simply take for granted … hopefully anyways. So feel free to push all kinds of buttons on the psyche of some of your readers (especially Ethiopians) who for some reason or another may lack the courage or the resources to face all that ails them mentally, physically, spiritually, socially, and politically. We can’t all be about politics and preservation of our culture at all cost (with no questions asked) both at home and in the Diaspora. We have so much to change in out ways and customs while embracing all the wonderful things that sets us apart as Ethiopians. So continue writing freely without fear that you may be offending or upsetting anyone. It is your blog and you rule the joint the way you see fit :-).

    That concludes my response to your request for your readers to give their opinion about your blog. Thanks for patiently reading, and happy blogging.


  • 21. Totit  |  September 7, 2008 at 5:36 am

    Well..Abesheet…I dont have the writing skills nor the patience to be writing like Mazzi…Which every comment I read…and I second ur thoughts in her having a blog…But I would like to tell u that… there has not been a single day that has passed by without me visiting ur blog…there is not a single post that I havnt read avidely…nor a single one I find uninteresting…I have even gone back and read all the posts that were written prior to my discovery of ur blog…and believe u me I have a very hectic life style…but somehow I find my hands typing my e-shoe box, right after checking my e-mail….I admire everything about this blog…and in all honesty…I find it to be by far the best blog in its kind…I dont have any constructive crtisism…I wish I did…but I find ur blog to be just perfect…okay near perfect…I specifically just love ur writting style…ur sarcasm..ur way of expressing urself…and how u just lay out ur soul…I know it is a lot of work to be writing and I know u wanna be read…so I promise to send the link to all my people that read blogs…and I will ask them to pass it on eshi…Keep up the wonderful, marvelous and some more work…

  • 22. abesheet  |  September 8, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Totiye and Mazzi,

    It’s too bad there is no bigger word than “thank you” (in the english language) to express my deepest gratitude to your comments (what do you know 😉 ). Egziabher yistilign.

    I knew you visit, darling. But i thought it was from time to time, coz of the comments. Oh i wish i can get some sort of a program that can show me who my readers are. Would have helped so much last week. From now on though, i’d keep in mind that you would be here even when you didn’t leave a comment.

    I’ve taken note of your suggestions, and love all of them. Am definitely going to check zapiro’s page the minute i’m done typing this. And yes it was Mail & Guardian Co. Some of the editions, i truly loved. Some of them, i felt cut out the juicy parts. But i was glad to have my name over there. Would be more glad if the payment arrived before “Enqutataish”. I don’t think it will. Speaking of Enqutatash, i won’t be here until, perhaps, next Monday so I’d like to wish you all a: “Melkam Awdd Amet”!

  • 23. Mazzi  |  September 8, 2008 at 6:31 am

    “Melkam Awdd Amet” to you and yours as well. Hope your check arrives and makes your “Addis Amet” extra special 🙂

  • 24. abesheet  |  September 8, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Zapiro’s cartoons are so heartbreakingly funny that I’ve added them on my blogroll (this one is my favorite so far). Thank you so much for recommending them, Mazzi. U are the best!

  • 25. Mazzi  |  September 8, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Isn’t Zapiro hilarious?! He is a hoot I tell you…. Glad you like his cartoons as well, and it is great that you even added the link to your blogroll. Adventurous souls might stumble onto his page, and maybe find “heartbreakingly funny” cartoons as you said.

    The link you gave for your favorite cartoon unfortunately did not find the proper page :-(. I would have liked to know which cartoon tickled your fancy, so feel free to send the link again if you find it yourself.

    Melkam Addis Amet, again. I know times are really tough now a days with “yenuro wuddinet” and all, and some folks back might have to celebrate the new year munching on vegeterian dishes on account of sky rocketing prices for lamb or goat meat. That is even if they are lucky enough to not be part of the masses in the south facing starvation and can’t afford any kind of food :-(. God help them!

    Oh I get soooooooo homesick right down to the core of my being around “EnQuTaTash”, which happens to be my most of all Ethiopian holidays. Wish I were home just for few days around the amet be-al. A girl can dream!

  • 26. Mazzi  |  September 8, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    …. “EnQuTaTash”, which happens to be my most FAVORITE of all Ethiopian holidays…… I meant to say 🙂

  • 27. abesheet  |  September 12, 2008 at 6:45 am

    You are right Mazzi! I don’t know what happend coz it working fine that day. I guess the new cartoons messed it up or something. Anywho, i’ve fixed it now. Check it out 😉

  • 28. Mazzi  |  September 12, 2008 at 3:46 pm

    Thanks for sending the link again. That particular Zapiro cartoon is indeed hilarious and so painfully true!!

    Hope the New Year was ‘all of dat’ and a bag of chips :-).

  • 29. bubSypeZecy  |  October 16, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    You site very good and interesting . Thanks and sati

  • 30. behailu  |  December 10, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Hey,I saw your website on addis neger. Very good comment. Berche. Long live teddy afro.

  • 31. Ras X  |  December 15, 2008 at 5:12 am

    a writer is respected by the readers for certain reasons, then by their fellow writers for different ones. then some writers could care less about any of that. they find that they themselves are the only ones respect that matters, they are more than happy to preach to the choir so to speak. even obama, his success was first a message, then the people came to him. i’d like to think him as a writer, who would do everything the same if not successful. that he would still write about his passion.

  • 32. fasika  |  January 4, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Entertaining blog. I would have to say that you have a very great sense of humor and an interesting writing style; you sure are very smart. I’ve read your posts since November and I would be more happier if your posts go deeper and if you are more informed and less opinionated (I know blog is interesting because of the opinion, but opinion is also based on facts) about some of the things you write about. Otherwise, nice work. Keep up.

  • 33. abesheet  |  January 5, 2009 at 2:38 pm

    I would be more happier if your posts go deeper and if you are more informed and less opinionated

    That makes the two of us, Fasika. Opinions seems to be all that I have (and, perhaps, the only thing [unique] I could afford to give my readers?!) but I know, too, how more valuable opinions based on facts can be. I will keep on trying to improve if you promise to keep coming to read. Melkam YeLidet BeAl!

  • 34. Behailu the Entoto  |  February 2, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I read :kadres love letter./eniem ende kadrew bessu quanqua ligletsewna,”sile fekregnaw yegeletsebet huneta emerta yasayebet huneta new yalew”.min albat tefekareewa min litil endemitechel sasib……..

  • 35. jininu haile  |  July 19, 2009 at 9:25 am

    simply putting it….YIMECHAL!

  • 36. Girum  |  July 27, 2009 at 9:30 pm


    What’s up girl? Are you okay? Beselam new gin? Have been trying to see what you have for long days. You are REALLY missed.

  • 37. abesheet  |  July 31, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Thank you, Girume, for remembering and asking after my wretched behind. I spent the last month reading books (Lolita, Catcher in the Rye, Angela’s Ashes, Metamorphosis and Other Stories) and this week — working. Yeah, finally got a job. Of standing on my feet for 8 hours a day and trying to decipher meaning from an array of weird accents from friendly folks who keep calling moi “muchachas”.

    My impression so far: sewu America saimeta seriche belahu aybel!

    Will try to blog when I can think of something other than the pain in my feet.


  • 38. Girum  |  July 31, 2009 at 8:44 pm


    That is good to hear. At least, you were tasting what some of us were through. And you were also reading, of course. Am sure you will come back with some words we love. Pls do blog!! Some of us are dying here girl. We are sick of reading the politics centered blogs. We will wait for your come back, no question with that!!


  • 39. Scooby  |  August 13, 2009 at 4:44 am

    Ere abesheet,sira sertene yemanak atasmesiya ~_~

  • 40. Spacefog  |  August 23, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Man , What’s with the quite. You should at least photo blog.

    shout out esti when you have a break or sth.

  • 41. nisuhbrhan  |  September 7, 2009 at 4:34 am

    Hi, Girum do you live in london?

  • 42. nisuhbrhan  |  September 7, 2009 at 4:45 am

    Girum, if the answer yes do you have any friend in Atlanta?

  • 43. Girum  |  September 9, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Hey Abesheet and all, Happy Ethiopian new year!!
    @nisuhbirhan, I have never been in England.

  • 44. jinininu  |  September 13, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    abesheet dead or alive?!!?!?!

  • 45. abesheet  |  September 15, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    Thank you for your Addis Amet wishes. Same to you.

    I know a girl in London. Want me to give you her address?

    Here is a brief reply to my little sister Blen who feared My e-Shoe Box was “shuved under the bed…and too far to reach…”

    Haven’t been blogging because I am no longer in Ethiopia (land of the repressed and home of the gutless) where inspirations wink at you from every corner; and because everything that seems to inspire me is being talked about by zillions of medias and blog personale who actually know what they are talking about over here. It’s been my motto since day one that if you have nothing to say, atleast nothing of significance or individualistic, you should keep your mouth shut. So my silence is me trying to be true to myself.

    Thank you for visiting.

  • 46. Scooby  |  September 20, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    You are talking like reporter,when yolu should talk like writer. Give yourself more credit,abesheet. You wwere more than reporting events,that`s what mad your blog unique.

  • 47. spacefog  |  September 30, 2009 at 11:17 am

    Abesheet ,
    “everything that seems to inspire me is being talked about by zillions of medias and blog personale who actually know what they are talking about over here.”

    Crap !

    That’s doesn’t make your mind a blank space. You still have ur own reflections of what’s happening around you. If what you said about “being honest ” has to do with choosing not to disclose personal experiances , I totally understand. But , the other thing doesn’t make sense at all.

  • 48. abesheet  |  October 1, 2009 at 2:10 pm

    Abesheet ,
    “everything that seems to inspire me is being talked about by zillions of medias and blog personale who actually know what they are talking about over here.”

    Crap !

    That’s doesn’t make your mind a blank space. You still have ur own reflections of what’s happening around you.

    Bihonem.. bihonem..
    Blogging about The Kardashians or Jon & Kate+8, had I had anything to say that hasn’t already been said, feels, somehow, beneath the likes of you & me. As in the kind of silliness an Ethiopian [blogger] should only comment about when somebody else brings it up, but not bother over. Don’t ask me who I think we are or why i feel that way. I just do!

    If what you said about “being honest ” has to do with choosing not to disclose personal experiances , I totally understand.

    I wish my “personal experiences” were so colorful, gurl. But I’m afraid they are no such thing. “An emotional limbo” would best describe where I am being kept in. [Yawning days, lazy well-fed evenings; where every day is [just] a wheel that takes you closer to payday and months are marked by what movie is comes out in them!*]. A limbo state of mind, enditil zefagnwa! Whether the future holds heaven or hell, enlightenment or brain-dead for moi, only time will tell.

    Keep visiting, lemanignawim. Is always nice seeing you.

    *Been crossing the fingers over ‘Shutter Islands’
    for months now. A Martin Scorsese movie starring the beautiful & talented Leonardo DiCaprio; can’t say fairer than that!!

  • 49. Sawel  |  November 15, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Minew minew konjit? endezih yitefal? I’ve been checking ur blog for months but you ain’t blogging anymore.C’mon… its about time to come back with some stories about yeAmerica nuro, the ups and downs, your experiences so far. There’s a lot of funny and sad shits to write about yeAmerica nuro from an Ethiopian perspective. keep your spirits high Abesheet!



  • 50. Mekru Bekele  |  March 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Dear Abesheet, thank you for inviting me to come to this page. I am fascinated and overwhelmed at this point. I will take my time to go through it intentionally. I commend you for your work
    God bless you dear.
    Rev. Mekru Bekele

  • 51. Sira Salata  |  April 2, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    Happy Easter Abesheet konjo!!!!

  • 52. abesheet  |  April 3, 2010 at 4:38 am

    Thank you, Siraye. LeAntem Melkam YeFasika/YeTensae Be’al Yihunilih.

  • 53. Tootletooz  |  July 20, 2011 at 8:54 am

    ts been a long day and I get bored easily. 😛 But from what I saw so far there is so much anyone person can relate to. So keep on keeping on and, again, tks fothe link

  • 54. Hassan Alsalam  |  August 14, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Thanks for the usefulinfo

  • 55. New fan  |  January 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    Very interesting reading. I’ve only scratched at it but I am moved by your
    candor and passion. I can’t claim to understand it all, but you convey a
    genuine sense of depth and feeling, lots of something like pain but not
    exactly. I haven’t put my finger on it yet, but like I said I haven’t got
    to read more than a handful of entries.

  • 56. Samson  |  February 2, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Hey Abesheet,
    I was wondering what happened to my comment on Timothy Kalyegira’s piece. I posted it last night but i am not sure if it is even awaiting moderation.

  • 57. Coerced Forod  |  November 5, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I came across your blog today searching for an english review of tesfaye ghebreab’s books. never heard of the dude before, but the “controversy” surrounding some leaks……..Anyway, thank you for your short review, especially for those of us that never got around to finally learning how to read amharic.

  • 58. Hermon  |  August 3, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    Hey abesheet. I miss your writing. How come you don’t have any latest post?

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