It was eating me alive every time I thought about writing this post, Until I couldn’t find a way to put it .You may disagree with me, because of your national pride or you may not get what it’s all about. During my campus stay I have been blessed with meeting people from all across the world. I have met a student from Brazil, did a project with an Irish girl, toured Mekelle with interns from Belgium, engaged with American Students for community service, and established an organization with Ghanaian and Italian friend, pizza with a German colleague, church with Ghanaian friend and work with Nigerian brother.
In all these exposure I was exposed to the list of factors that are hindering us behind the world, the effect of these factors remain unnoticeable to these very day and they still remain excusable with a powerless and repetitive word Sorry.
The difference that sets most Ethiopian apart from the rest of the world (I listed these factors by correlating to my personal experience)
In the year 2012 I was appointed as a Google Student Ambassador and I send an email informing my happy news to lots of university staffs including all my teachers but most of the congratulatory notes I get were from few high profile Ethiopians and many foreigners. In the year 2013 my view on African Union was posted on Aljazeera website and I once again shared this good news to my teachers and staffs around the university, except four peoples none of them responded. In all these emails none of them congratulated me. I am not a guy obsessed with congratulatory notes but I am a guy who is very sensitive to the failure of our academic staff’s ignorance and negligence toward their fellow students. I still don’t get it why we remain enemies instead of being soldier in the same platoon fighting to make a change.
Appreciation is a lubricant fluid of moral that keeps your motivation gear to hum even better. For these reason I can’t stop wondering how I might have progressed toward making change if my teachers shows some respect and shared my joy.
During my campus stay I have selflessly served in community service projects. I was working for HFDW (a student initiative that works to provide clean water service), Blind School (attended holiday lunches, volunteer works), researched for a community project that works on prevention of drug. In all these works I have witnessed the following demographic group being more active (students with urban background, medium in their academic performance, mostly females).students that are high grade scorers fail to meet our expectation with the potential of what they can do. There exist a bold difference in culture of community service between Ethiopians and Foreigners. I never forgot the sixteen girls from America who were carrying stones, digging with shovels at blind school, the American engineering students from Engineers without borders who were building water pump and electricity for the abandoned Mekelle Blind School. A guy from Ghana and Italian who strived to make Ethiopia part of a successful student initiative called Aiesec.
This last semester when HFDW inaugurated a water project we invited more than 80 University academic staffs to attend our ceremony but none of them showed up. Their failure is a reflection of their disrespect for causes that affect thousands of poor lives in a better way.
As a citizen we should give back to our community. We shouldn’t be forgetting that if it wasn’t for the money that was taxed from the poor farmers we wouldn’t be attending a higher education with such negligible price.
The relation of Ethiopian University Students and academician with book remain complicated as unhappy marriage. Unless it’s the academic bible book it’s very hard to find a student or academic staff reading books to broaden their perspective about life and the world we live. Students from private school background, mainly females remain happily engaged couples with book.
It’s highly likely to find a student who graduated without reading one book in his entire life, except the books his teacher told him to read. People who don’t read are resistant to change, remain narrow minded, intolerant to other views.
The intimacy of book and the western world still remain intact despite the engulfing age of technology. Students in Ethiopia who are accessing internet and laptop are becoming victim of series movie invasion and facebook addiction. In order to escape from their guiltiness they create a NEW FOLDER for soft copy books they won’t be reading.
Regarding initiating my culture of reading I always remain grateful for my Irish Friend Siobhan who always send me hardcopy books by saving from her college pocket and also for my former German director who always sends me books that could have been unaffordable if they were selling Book World store.
The Sucks Chronicle
The sucks chronicle discovers the sham and the failure behind our institution that ought to be serving the people with honesty, integrity and transparency .The following institutions (ETV, ETC, EEPCO, MOE, EFFORT, EPRDF, INSA) are some of the few who will be covered. Their failure to serve the people instead of carrying out their hidden agenda makes them institutions that terrorize the establishment, foundation and future of this nation.
The foundation of these institutions is laid on the corner stone of spying, lying, corruption, discrimination and so on. Like a house build on sand the existence and continuity of these organization won’t resist the storm of righteousness and freedom.
During my early childhood days ETV was one of the best things I ever wanted to watch. Talak Film (Selina, Siborge, The Specialist, Six Day Seven Night), Ababa Tesfaye(a story telling TV host ordering kids to sit properly through TV screen), Hibre Tirit, ETV Music and 120 (a Sunday 2pm entertainment curfew).are all printed in the memory of any kid who grew up watching ETV.
My joyful affair with these monopolized state media starts to cease upon realizing myself as a grown man.as a man and grown up you became keen to hear about things that matter and you seek for the truth to be told. But these wishes remain unfulfilled in a nation like Ethiopia where the government cares so much for the people choosing what they should hear and instead of what they want to hear.
We don’t need to go way back to discover the failure and sham of this organization. Just this year alone ETV directed an award losing documentary titled Jihad Harekat a documentary that brew bicker among the public.Interms of terrorizing the public nothing matches the damages done by ETV following it’s unpopular documentary that deceived the two greatest religion followers. For the significant portion of the society who viewed the documentary it’s a bit harder to rationalize and to figure out the conspiracy theory choreographed by the government.
Also this year ETV disgraced the nation at continent level by transmitting African Cup of Nation Ethiopian Team Match without paying. The incident proved ETV habit of lawlessness is not only endemic but also cross-continental.
As a result of its continuing lie and unprofessionalism it’s viewers number is declining in quantity as well as quality.in some houses it’s becoming saloon pets favourite channel since what ETV talks about doesn’t make sense for both human and pets. The last time I remember watching ETV was in my dream and I woke up with nightmare and sweating.
Finally ETV has finalized its preparation to broadcast its programme to Hell following the devil and the sinner residence community request. Finally you can tune with the following frequency.
You can consider me as post EPRDF generation since my presence in these world coincides with the presence of EPRDF in Addis.I don’t actually remember what it feels like during the early days of EPRDF days rather I acquire most of my knowledge after realization of myself. My very introduction with EPRDF actually starts with the hearing of ordinary jokes.
An eprdf soldier arriving in Addis saw a traffic police and asked a guy next to him saying “what is this guy doing?”
the guy replied saying “he is a traffic police” and before he finishes his explanation the soldier pushed away the traffic from his task saying, “stop discriminating you should let all drivers go in all direction they want it’s democracy”
Until 2005 election trauma and I haven’t really felt or wondered about EPRDF rather I was reminded about the party existence in a quarter report of the late PM address to the parliament. After 2005 election I became more interested in politics in a moment were many people lose their hope.
On its 22nd birthday I portray EPRDF as a father who raised different kids in a different ways
The kid that turn 22 but who is already spending a great deal of his time chewing Khat and who see himself trapped in the Bermuda of the Drug world.
These kids were able to join universities as a result of the expansion of many Universities. The majority of these have no confidence in integrating their knowledge with the real world and those who already have the capacity dig a way to leave their country.
Art exist in any given situation whether in oppressing or free state.That’s why the nation never fail to produce amazing artists during 1960’s and 1970’s (Tilahun, Mohammud, Menlik…).These artists never fail to produce hits that doesn’t fade along with generation in the darkest hours of the nation history. But if you look out the EPRDF generation it really fails to produce artists that connect themselves with the society and narrates the Ethiopian life in song, dance and paint except few exceptional who were also bitten for their uniqueness.
These kids are from everywhere, some of them are educated or even have a PHD and some of them don’t actually know how to write but they all are bonded with one thing and that is Passport. Have you seen the impressive queue the system created allowing the nation to become a Refugee Camp for its own people. This group represent the 16 year old girl who fled to Middle East without knowing her fate, the graduated students who seeks asylum in the name of the people he never speaks up once, the 20 year old young man who bait on his life to cross the Sahara desert and find a better life in Rome.
Home Made Diaspora
This kids are reflection of a group of teenagers who are detached with their identity. They are more American without going to America. They spice their native language once in a while otherwise it’s all (hommie,chillin,nigga).They are allergic and immune to the nation facts and before they go to bed they ask their dear lord please take me to states.
My life journey have gone through most of the groups and still I am trying my best to be a best citizen not a citizen of the system.
This group are not result of the EPRDF rather they are an oasis in the oppressing land.They are from all walks of life and they are criminalized for being able to put words that speak truth.They are labeled as terrorist cause they waken a dead generation.
I am an orthodox Christian; I really enjoyed the ceremony of Epiphany, the fasting season of Easter and the unorthodox but western Christmas trees. Even though I am Christian Ramadan fasting season was also one of my favourite. When I was in high school I remember constantly reminding and nagging our Muslim class mates to bring us homemade biscuits, Temr.I also remember my mom cooking for our Muslim friend who attended one full Ramadan fasting season at our home.
The moment I joined campus the harmony of our religious diversity, tolerance cease to exist. Upon arriving at the campus gate at the very first day I was welcomed by senior students. These seniors didn’t welcome me because I am a fresh student but they welcomed me because I belong in the same church as they do. At the same time with or without knowing many fresh students were welcomed by seniors by figuring out their faith from the cloth they wear, the cross they have or the hijab they covered with.
Once you are welcomed at the gate by your senior acting saints they will fix your locker, show you were to pee or eat, which department you should join and so on. After a week or so the senior saints will prepare a welcome divine party in their synagogue, mosque, church and Centre. From this time on you will be slightly taken away by their faith institutions.
I personally don’t have a problem with anyone exercising its religion but time after time I am becoming concerned by the growing extremism and division. Why students tie their friendship bond with the likeness of their religion, why students form a dorm filled with their religion partners not classmates, why is it hard to date a cute girl when you have different faith, why the faith bond remain strong than the friendship and the purpose we have in campus.
We are staying in campus to join the workforce in building a better Ethiopia but we are acting like a builder of a church, mosque or a centre. The reason why I boycotted from letting my photo to be published in church Graduating Class is because it fails to narrate the complete story of my campus memory.it fails to narrate the lunch I have with my Muslim brother ,the assignment I did with my catholic classmate or the protestant girl I had a crush.
Why I became Outspoken
Six years ago when I arrived at campus I was also sure of the field of study am gone pursue.Since I was an eighth grader becoming an architect was my dream that was the only reason why I chooses Engineering stream.I was able to score the required grade needed to join the department unfortunately I was denied the chance by a man who I still don’t bother to say Hi even-though he snatch’s away my dream.That was the first moment I cried in a public space and after that I was faced with difficulty of choosing a department that interests me.
The architecture hangover stayed with me for almost two years even though I was pursuing my bachelor in Mechanical Engineering.For a very flexible,free guy like me Mechanical Engineering precision and numbers accuracy was not my thing as a result I start to study for exams instead of interest.
When I became third year I have had the privileged to be appointed as a representative for our institute transformation team a team composed of department heads and administrators.My promotion to the position wasn’t really welcomed by most of the old-school academic soldiers who don’t hesitate to fire F on your grade report.Because of my inexperience and eagerness I start to reflect the student demand and at the end of the semester I became the only student to be academically dismissed in an inconvenient way.My academical dismissal wasn’t not taken by my family well as a result my family start to restrain me from engaging any activity outside academic.
The academic dismissal was the trigger factor for me to start to be outspoken because at that time I felt like I have nothing to lose and since justice is JUST-ICE(making more sense in these context than its real definition).
After being readmitted I was more fired up to actively engaged in issues that represent the student and on community service also.Following my close ties with our Ferenji Directors and President I have been given two warning letters by the political affiliated student council,there were also teachers that uses me as a lower grade launching pad.Despite all these discouraging realities I was only able to preserve my courage and commitment by exercising my freedom in my blog page and Facebook wall.In the past three years I have kept my family in dark about the real who I am,they don’t know as much as you guys who is reading this post know me,they don’t know that I wrote 52 blogs,they don’t know that I contribute article to Global Voice,they don’t know my ETV SUCKS page.It hurts me more than anything to keep them in dark about my activism I wounder how these truth will reveal to them.Imagine what would they feel if I am jailed for my activism and if they find out their son was nothing but a stranger to them.Despite all their effort to see my fruitful days imagine my mom bringing meal to jail.This horrors are also my concern as much as it is yours but I couldn’t help it but I pray about it.That’s why I am still alive and well blogging,posting while 50 government officials and business tycoons are in jail.
As my graduation day get closer and closer, like any one else I am planning what my next move should be.In the first place I am not passionate or confident in the field I am graduating but this is Ethiopia and first degree belongs to Family not Me.Regarding my next move I am faced with options that needs the two time thinking before I decide.
There is one opportunity that is considered by all my classmates and the opportunity is to be trained as a Mariner at Bahirdar University for six month and earn 20,000 USD annually after two year.Despite how impressive the offer can be I reject it from my table because I am not a guy who is willing to waste all the connection,resource and experience I gathered to lead a life in a ship that is deserted by human connection.
At the same time my grade are too low and they can freeze you if it was temperature and for this reason I am not qualified to pursue as a lecturer which I am glad because I don’t have that much left knowledge to share in my field.
The other option is an option that can’t consider me as candidate for the job because of my ethnicity and it’s the job vacancies posted by EFFORT(Mesfen Industrial,Mesebo Cement Factory,Sur Construction) all this organization give priorities for students from Tigray in a sense that the company is established to benefit the war affected regions of Tigray back in 1990’s.But the company operates on the four corners of Ethiopia.
Also I am not privileged to get equal opportunity like that of student cadres who are asked to attach their CV through the four government parties and their CV will be sent to different governmental companies and will be given better chance.Their political membership ID can easily dilute my resume no matter how good it can be.
This are some of the facts the nation has presented me but that doesn’t mean I will be jobless pity boy sitting in a stone waiting to make a cobble stone.Rather I am a believer of building my own path not following the path presented by the system.Because of this I have already secured two part time jobs and considering another third one.Declaring my independence from system will allow me to be more influential not censored and silenced in my activism for the sake of feeding my belly.
When are you Ethiopian
To think about your country these days among my peers is considered as a topic to be avoided from the table with no hesitation, to think about your country situation can be perceived as an old school attitude or boring. Unfortunately this software that is uploaded on the young generation is not compatible with my mentality. That’s why I don’t back down from speaking my thought despite the irrational mouth gun that opens to convince me with the irrational tool of force.
Caring about Ethiopia is not only defined in terms of the words we chant for our national team , athletes or the words we preach for the Ferenji about our faded legacy which is a mirror image of the current status quo. Day after day I am becoming radical and polarized by the degree people are becoming negligence and ignorance about their nation affair. The hope of the nation, the educated and the future consider Ethiopia as a bus station or airport terminal that accommodates till the vehicles of immigration arrive.
When are you Ethiopian, why our love for Ethiopia sky high when we leave the nation, why our patriotism only reveal itself in football fields and race tracks, why we only share the Simpson injera eating Ethiopia, the Angelina Jolie adopted Ethiopia or the Beyonce Abesha dress Ethiopia ,why we discriminately serve our best for the foreigners ,why a hotel guard search me for being his own blood while comforting the white, why only the German lady become a first responder or my Kenyan friends joined in changing his profile picture in my quest for publicizing Reeyot Alemu.
You consider me dumb for pouring my thoughts freely like a river stream in a nation where the many follow the tunnel of thought channelled by tyranny, you consider me as a fox disturbing the flock of sheep that are being herded to get slaughtered. These sheep are always deceived by the talk of grass mirage in their final destination(job after graduation if they join the government party).
If you consider yourself as Ethiopian while neglecting the things Ethiopia wants you to think, confront and challenge. Then I will not level myself with you saying I am Ethiopian but only a Freeman.