My lack of expertise and knowledge regarding fashion didn’t stop me from writing the following blog titled this is for the stylist. Guys have you ever observed about the similarity of style that is taken away our city time after time as season flu. Even if my understanding about fashion is limited,I have a strong belief on the fact that fashion is not just fashion it is also a way of reflecting ones culture, identity and interest.
Back in the days wearing wide jerseys, sagging my clothes, wearing big chains and curling my hair was all part of my philosophy as long as fashion is concerned. Fashion for me used to be all about what styles my peers and the entertainment world is adapting now. But I never thought for a second that I was sending a wrong message to who really I am and to who really my founding fathers was. When I adapt all the above fashions like any young African American I was sending the same message resonating on the mind of outsiders saying ‘Abel grand and grand fathers were slaves who were chained, who work on farm fields with a sagging cloth and so on’ but on the contrary my founding fathers was a hope for the slave and sign of freedom even if we are failing to admit that fact with our obsession of western culture.
Pardon me if I am wrong but recently the ladies in the city am living seems to be wiped off by tsunami of stocking or tight clothes. Go to bole, piazza, saris or kirkos it’s hardly to spot a woman not wearing a black, grey or brown stocking whether they are young, old, fat or thin despite their whereabouts. Well it’s not for the first time when the city ladies being wiped off with the same style not to mention the pink and brown colour they pigmented in their hair as if they are property of a sheep merchant. I also wonder why ladies put themselves in a lot of pressure by wearing tight clothes and try to pull down their shirt or whatever to cover their sacred bodies [if you know what I mean hahahahha]. The similarity of adapting same style or so called following fashion is not only a problem in ladies but also in men and it shows a serious lack of confidence and confusion in choosing what looks best for us.
Fashion doesn’t necessarily mean something that is adapted by the mass. Fashions have to be something that reflects our culture, identity and personality in a better way. We should also have to be confident enough to choose what looks best for us otherwise if we insist to remain stubborn in adapting whatever shit the mass is adapting then we are allowing to ourselves to be victims of an epidemic rather than being a stylist.
It was almost three years ago when I just bought one of the independent weekly newspapers that headlines Teddy Afro release boldly and a person that I hardly remember and whom I have met in taxi try to provoke me saying
‘Why do you waste your money buying this newspaper’ and I controlled my emotion and
I replied saying ‘cause it features a news about teddy afro release’ and he replied sarcastically
‘Oh you must be happy why don’t you march on the street ‘and he was really getting to my nervous and I just terminated my conversation saying
‘I just thanked God for his release, no need to march’
In spite of my silence other passengers seems to be irritated by the man attitude and they just started firing words back at him
And I just said ‘Woraj’ before my actual ‘Woraj’.
The release of Teddy Afro news for me is as special as the historic day of 2005 Meskel Square march and Obama victory as the first black president of USA. In the mind and hearts of many Ethiopian people Teddy Afro considered as not only an artist but also as an activist, humanitarian, poet and above all voice of an oppressed people and a compass for the lost Post EPRDF generation.
It is a fact that Teddy Afro is a junior artist when you compare him to the many other artists like Tilhaun Gessesse, Mohammed Ahmed and Aster Aweke but his reputation among the public sometimes goes beyond the above artists. As far as any artist concerned teddy is one of the few artists who constantly remind Ethiopians of their great values,the only one who reflect his strong belief on the brotherhood and love of Ethiopian and Eritrean, Muslim and Christian.
Following his last album Teddy Afro became a centre of attention among the government and the nation’s tycoons. As a result of his last album, stated owned Medias ban his popular hits from playing even if they preach love, freedom and redemption. others tycoons try their best to bribe him by putting awesome amount of cash so that he can only play the few songs they chose in their concerts as if he is a CD they can buy and shuffle,pause,play and skip him as they want. When all the above techniques fail to surrender Teddy unshakeable stance for freedom finally they pull the string of the court hammer to silence him by disguising their actual motivation as if teddy took the life of a teenage in a hitting and running car accident. Despite all the effort exerted by Anti Teddy groups to fade him from his popularity and the limelight of Ethiopian music industry it only resulted in intensifying his millions fans commitment towards him.
For me and my family loving teddy afro is not an option as its also for many other Ethiopian families, that’s why my mother lines up amongst the many to attend Teddy Afro court hearing three years ago, that’s why my sister flooded her closet with Teddy Afro photo and that’s why me and my dad rise up early in the morning and walk miles to find his album.
Teddy Afro is not only a miracle but also a phenomenon artist like Tu Pac, Bob Marley, Abraham Afeworki and many others who were born to remain defiant against a system that try to crush and silence golden voices and talents that speak the mind and heart of the mass.Especially in a moment where the Ethiopians music seems to be lost in search of a real talent Teddy Afro remain the only Messiah to salvage our wrecked music industry and the nation soul.
Finally it was almost a week ago since I just bought Tikur Sew album and a person that I vividly remember and whom I have met in taxi said
‘Thank God even if I hardly afford to buy sheep and hen for my family unlike old times I will rock the holiday with Doro Wot and Teddy Afro Tikur Sew album’ and it was the only reason that let Addis and the rest of the nation to revive and swing in a good mood during the unbearable Easter holiday inflation
And I said ‘Woraj’ on my actual destination.
Type—————- Amount—————Price in birr
Table oil————- 1 litter————-25
Pasta—————- 1 pack—————13.75
Macaroni————– 1 kilo—————8.75
Sugar—————– 1kilo————— 15
Table Salt———— 1kilo————— 4
Tomato Sauce———- 1 can————— 3.75
Shiro—————– 1kilo————— 40
Tea leaf————- 1pack—————-7
Green Pepper——— 1kilo—————–7
Carrot—————- 1kilo—————- 8
Potato—————- 1kilo————— 10
I was introduced to the term inflation not in school rather in real life after questioning why is the price of things soaring up as if there is no supply and justice and then someone told me it’s called inflation.
Like many of my fellow Ethiopians citizen i was disgusted in listening or watching monopolized state medias especially following 2005 election aftermath but it didn’t stop me from snick picking at the prime minister parliamentary address once in three month hoping one day he will announce that he is stepping down from power but that didn’t seems to happen up until now.
In his recent parliamentary address the prime minister as usual was claiming that there was a plenty supply of oil, sugar, wheat and so on. But on the other hand the prime minister seems to not be concerned about the fact that Ethiopians are becoming malnourished day after day.as a result of failingto secure the financial means and unlawful inflation people are losing the capacity to buy nutritious products like Milk products, vegetables, fruits, meat product. Because of the unaffordability prices of products many home menus seems to shrink to Shero and who knows finally if we reach to a point where we roll a dice to answer whether we eat today or not.
The inability of our citizens to be privileged with enjoying the fruits of our immense natural resource is something that cannot simply be proved by the supply and demand theory of economics. Rather the inflation that is avoiding customers from shops is the monopolization of resource by few greedy and ill minded peoples who are mainly government affiliated and indirectly owned.
Finally If you consider this blog as an exaggerated one ,then ask yourself why Abesha get more weight when they leave Ethiopia and also ask yourself why gaining weight became a concern in western and why gaining wait in Ethiopia is considered as a sign of comfort? For me the answer is simple because we are not affording nutritious meals.
Recently I have been taking myself into a lot of reading and one of the books that I read was animal farm and 1984 by George Orwell.it is one of the few books that really got into me and it is a kind of book that gives you a vivid picture of what is happening in the world that we are living today. To my surprise after reading this book I was reminded how blinded I used to be in picturing the world am living.
The books 1984 to most extent portray the status quo of Ethiopian people and our government. As far as applying the rules of oppression is concerned no one is masterminding the art of silencing its people like this government. After 20years in power and relentless effort in building a dormant post EPRDF generation the government seems to succeed to some extent.
The government was able to reshape the current young generation mind in the direction of despair, pessimism, snitching, mistrust, addiction and too many other self-destructive elements .This all mind diverting was achieved by infiltrating in every institution, organization and planting peoples who won’t hesitate from killing you softly by denying you the privilege and opportunity of keeping food on the table of your present and future.
With the current Ethiopian state of mind we are programmed to accept everything that is being fed to us as if we are installing any software without reading its instruction rather just clicking on the I Accept button to get away with the task easily.
Our move is progressing toward the destination of peril and now we are succeeding in building a system that acknowledges your contribution to your nation saying ‘THANK YOU FOR NOT THINKING’. If you prefer not be acknowledge by the system and insist on pursuit of freedom ,then people label you as the village fool who won’t make a difference, others will label you as a national security threat and try to confine your exploding rage in a tiny prison cell. But thanks to the inevitable explosion of your rage whether you are confined in a tiny prison cell or not you will be able explode and cause an outbreak that will infect the mind and hearts of many with a virus called freedom.
When they teach me about one of the basic traffic laws that especially concerns pedestrian was the usage of a zebra cross. Zebra cross that is painted in white stripe over the black asphalt so as to entitle the spot as a pedestrian territory in which they have full right to cross without being delayed by passing vehicles.
From what I understand any driver whether they are inches away from zebra cross or not they have to give first priority for pedestrian and after that they can proceed to whatever destination they are heading. But the above understanding seems not to be operational or the law seems not to be functional as far as zebra cross concerned. AS a result my confidence of being secured from any hitting and running car while I am crossing zebra cross seems to erode following my recent escape from being hit by a car. If it wasn’t for my adrenaline rush that day I would have been your facebook profile and a reason to let your heart mourn for three days or more depending on the degree of relation you have with me.
Time after time am being fade up and frustrated by drivers who mainly operate taxi, number 3 and 4 licences plate cars. This guys are mainly chauffer’s they don’t own the car as a result they don’t operate cautiously that’s why they brag about speed while not minding when they flash flood water on pedestrians or when they make your adrenaline rush without having a clue on what instant they got to you.
Finally chauffer’s have to pay attention to simple details and one of them is to respect and allow pedestrians to use zebra cross without giving them a hard time otherwise I urge the government to paint red on the white zebra cross and rename it as zebra crush as long as people are being hit in their own territory.
Have you ever considered yourself as being a homemade diaspora product well I don’t know about you but I have. Timeafter time am feeling like a diaspora in my own native land without getting the chance to leave my beloved nation.
If you carefully observed your daily activity then you will conclude that either you are being homemade diaspora or not. The homemade diaspora folks are those who are consistently being taken over by the hypnotizing western culture.
The homemade diaspora are mainly keen in paying attention for western culture like Valentine’s Day, Halloween,gentel day, prom night April the fool and who knows if they start celebrating thanks giving too. This group of people including me are obsessed with the billboard chart, box office list and Hollywood gossip, junk food like burger, American elections and English football match.
Sometimes I consider myself as being a victim of western media influence and tradition that is bringing cultural genocide in the mind and heart of many young teenagers like me. If you carefully notice my identity and personality you can hardly find an Ethiopian touch. The type of music am interested in listening to are all western, I can’t hardly finish a sentence in my native tongue without spicing some English words even if I try not to, I always remain pessimist and sceptical in fulfilling my goals and dreams in the land I was raised, my mouth always tied up to express my intimate feeling in my own native language towards the girl I am in love with, I always try to judge people value on their knowledge about western world and on their accent which is proving me wrong time after time.
After taking a deep look into me and my identity finally I am trying to reshape my distorted personality in the right direction.For this reason I am starting to appreciate and dig deeper about the Abesha rich values as a black and free people. I also start expressing my intimate feeling to the girl that I am in love with on my own native language saying ewedishalu yene mar which I used to say I love you honey. I even start to take time and appreciate the great works of art from world renowned Ethiopian artists like Mulatu Astatke, laurete Afework Tekelle, Teddy Afro and so on. My ultimate wish regarding my identity is to build a state of mind that don’t hesitate to wear local fabrics like kuta and Shema leaving Rock Wear and Sean Jean, I want to have a state of mind that addresses its thought to the public without spicing English words but only in its mother tongue to avoid confusion to the audience, I want to have a state of mind that celebrates Adwa victory better than valentine day.
As my journey progressed towards the deep and rich destination of my Abesha identity I am also trying to invite my generation to join me on the same lane. That’s why my facebook posts and blogs are mainly flooded by a topic that questions our values as Ethiopian and the path we chose to follow in building Ethiopia. If we still consider ourselves as a modest, western educated and western influenced future leader of our nation then we are no different from the biblical day’s peoples of Babylon who fail to build their wall because of their failure to understand one another. Our western knowledge should have to be translated in a way that is understandable and compactable to the significant portion of the Ethiopia people who are still remain illiterate but open hearted unlike their leaders and educated people.