Nobody argues the fact that Ethiopian patriots had fought bravely for their beloved country giving priority to their sovereignty and freedom. They all loved their country with all their hearts. Without exaggeration, they had paid a lot of sacrifices for their country. Though several patriots had consecrated their lives in different battle fields, due to the constraint of space, in this piece, this writer would like to throw light on two Patriots from both gender. They go by the names Shewareged Gedle and Ras Desta Damitew.
Patroit Shewareged Gedle
As everyone is aware, patriot Shewareged Gedle is among one of the Ethiopian heroines who had played a major role in defending the country from Italian invading troops bringing into play various methods and techniques. Furthermore, she was one of the prominent spys at some stage in the Italian invasion.
When the Hager Fiker(love of motherland) Association was established, Patriot Shewareged was the first female to get registered in a little while. She did not have a wee-drop of interest to get married,while her country was under occupation. She was also a student of an ecclesiastical school. She even opted for hermitage in Jerusalem. What is more, Patriot Shewareged Gedle was the first bank client. Above and beyond, among the points which made her unique was her bold patriotic zeal against fascist troops.
When Italian soldiers invaded Ethiopia for the first time, hoisting their own flag was what they opted to do. Showing no respect for Ethiopian flag, which was flapping high on the sky for centuries, they impetuously dared to bring down the tricolor flag and hoisted their own one. When Shewareged observed the tragic turn of events, she could not control her revulsion. She did not know what she had to do. She began complaining, “ My country is invaded. It is being humiliated and downplayed.” She was bitterly crying. She could not swallow her remorse. She did not care a fig about Italian troops. Thus she made a point belittling them. Vexed by this move of hers, in due course, the Italian officials filed a charge on the patriot Shewareged Gedle. In court, she responded with pride, “Yes, I have bitterly cried for my beloved country. When I discovered my country’s flag was taken down and your flag was hoisted, I could not hide my disgust. Why must not I cry for my country? Also why must not I express hatred towards your troops?”
She had spent quite a lot of years in buying and trafficking weapons for patriots, doing intelligence work, sending medicines and what not. The Italian soldiers were not comfortable in what she was doing. Ill at ease, they kept on giving her warning every so often. Eventually, they charged a file against her once again. She did everything for the love of her motherland. Patriot Shewareged Gedle had demonstrated to what extent she adore her country when she sold her properties and donated the money for the Red Cross Society.
Likewise, she was making Ethiopian women to prepare and send pieces of clothes for dressing wounds. Furthermore, she had played a major role by collecting and disseminating information. As Italian officials were not happy in what she was doing, they passed a verdict of capital punishment on her. But later she was sent to Azimar island to lead her life there as a prisoner. As her stance was one and the same all the time, distance could not change her mind. She got herself engaged in hunger strike against Italians. She could not change her stance or lay down her arms. After a year in prison, she was made to come back to Addis Ababa.
When the stronghold of Italians was being broken, she was playing a great role in spying, collecting and conveying information for patriots. She had played an elephantile role in this regard. Later, she changed the idea of being in Dejene and joined the war with major Bekele Weya and Dejazmath Geresu Duki. After four hours of fight, she was caught and thrown into prison. At the end of the day, when Italian soldiers were driven out of Ethiopia she was freed.
Ras Desta Damitew
Ras Desta Damitew was born to his patriot father Fitawrari Damitew. It is said that Fitawrari Damitew had heroically fought in the battle of Adwa. As he followed the footstep of his father, Ras Desta Damitew was highly influential in the politics of Emperor Haile Selassie. That was why he was married to the daughter of the emperor named Tenagnework Haile Selassie. As Ras Desta had visited a lot of foreign countries, he had made an effort to modernize Ethiopia.
At the time when Italy invaded Ethiopia, Ras Desta was governor of Sidamo. He had partaken in the war which took place in Negele Borona with the intention of wiping out enemy forces. He as well had partaken in Somali front to defend enemy forces, which emerged in the same direction. Moreover, together with Dejazmach Beyene Mereid, he had partaken in big battles in Maichew.
In the same way, when he was in Dollo, he had been intimidating Italian soldiers. At that point, Grazzini was constantly telegramming to Mossoloini. He was constantly saying, “The 100,000 soldiers in Somali are not enough for the war. I do need additional forces.”
By mobilizing the inhabitants of Mogadisho, Merka, Jenalie, Awidegele, Biloburte, Beled Weyne and other parts of the area, Mossoloni began agitating Somalians dishing out unfounded accusations, “Ethiopians have got themselves ready to invade Somalia. If we suffer a defeat, we will retreat back to our country by means of our ships. But if Ethiopians invade you country, as you do not have anywhere to retreat to, they will for sure cut off the breast of your women and reproductive organs of men. Before you face such a lot you better join the fight closing ranks with us.”
This time, thinking that everything was true, they jumpstarted receiving guns and joined the Libyan soldiers to fight Ethiopians.
After Ras Desta Damitew valorously fought for a year, at the pick of a military feat he was martyred in 1929 EC.
To revive his military prowess and sacrifice in the mind of citizens a hospital is built in his name.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
Ethiopia is an ancient nation which has more than 3,000 years of astounding culture and history. It is the cradle of mankind where the 3.5 million years old human ancestor, scientifically called Australopithecus Apheresis and also known as Lucy had been discovered. Moreover, it contained one of the four ancient civilizations, the Akusmite civilization. In addition to this, it is home of Kings and Queens. Among the famous royalties in the Ethiopian history is found the Queen of Sheba.
The legend of queen Sheba is very popular in Ethiopian culture and religion. Especially her relationship with King Solomon of Israel has paramount importance. But who was the Queen of Sheba and where was the Kingdom she had been ruling located? In Ethiopia, she is widely known as Queen Makida.
Misganaw Bahre, Lecturer at Addis Ababa University, Department of History told the Ethiopian Herald that the dynasty to which Makida belonged is believed to have been established in Ethiopia around the year 1370 B.C. The founder of the dynasty was Za Besi Angabo.
‘‘When her father passed about the year 1005 B.C, she was a young lady. She was not at the ripe age she was supposed to take over her father’s throne and rule the powerful kingdom of that time. Thus, she reigned until about the year 955 B.C,’’ he states. Though she was a young queen, she was sagacious enough and intelligent to handle lofty responsibilities. She was also very beautiful. It is further told that she was exceedingly rich. She had huge amount of diamond, gold, silver and other precious stones.
Misganaw adds that the legend of the Queen of Sheba has shaped the Ethiopian national identity through legitimizing the Solomonic dynasty.
‘‘The legend makes the Ethiopian royal families, the Felashas and Ethiopians at large to claim that they have direct lineage with the Solomonic dynasty. Especially it is normal to see the Christian faithfuls associate themselves with Israel, King Solomon and Queen of Sheba.’’ The belief is also rooted the monarchy in the concept of divine kingship and this idea is embedded in the 1955 constitution of Ethiopia. How was her relationship with King Solomon and what does the legend that was cited in Kibre Negest tells about her trip to Israel?
Queen of Sheba was an admirer of King Solomon, who was very wise. The Queen of Sheba learned about the wisdom of King Solomon from a merchant called Tamrin. She grasped information how he worshiped God and his skills in building a great Temple in Jerusalem. Hence, the Queen decided to pay him a visit and witness how he worships God aside from his many skills. When Queen of Sheba met King Solomon in Jerusalem she presented him many invaluable gifts and she asked him many questions to test his wisdom. Finally, he was able to answer all question forwarded to him.
Once, while they were chatting together in King Solomon’s palace, he made her promise not take anything from his house. After that his servants presented her salty food which made her thirsty. Then, King Solomon went to bed on one side of the chamber and Queen Sheba went to bed at the other side of the chamber. Before King Solomon slept, he placed a bowl of water near Queen Sheba's chamber. As she was thirsty, Queen Sheba woke up at the middle of the night and found the water, which she drank. At this point Solomon heard noises and woke up and found her drinking the water. He accused her of having broken her oath not to take anything from his house. Nevertheless the beauty of Queen Sheba attracted King Solomon and the relationship between King Solomon and Queen Sheba was consummated, resulting in the birth of a son named Menelik I, the founder of Ethiopian Solomonic Dynasty.
When Menelik I became 22 , he asked his mother about his father. She told him his father was the wise King Solomon of Israel. One fine day he told his mother “I want to visit my father!” He won her consent.When he arrived in Jerusalem, his father welcomed him warmly. He stayed there with his father for 3 years and managed to learn the Law of Moses.
As Menelik I highly resembles his father in every aspect, people were at a loss to tell who is who. They were confused to identify their differences. People who were living in and around King Solomon's palace complained of confusion in the similarities of the two. Thus, they asked King Solomon to send his son back to his home country Ethiopia. King Solomon said “If you want me to send my son back home the high priests would have to send their oldest sons and 1000 people from each tribe of Israel with Menelik I.” The high priests agreed to send their oldest son and 1000 people from each tribe with Menelik I.
Mewael Hiruy, post graduate student of Ethiopian history at Addis Ababa University said when Menelik I returned back to Axum; his father gave him the Ark of the Covenant,
‘‘The Ark of the Covenant is the most reserved holy relic of God. Embodied it became part of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Christian religion for thousands of years. The Ark of the Covenant makes Ethiopia the most prominent and researched country in the world in terms of Christianity. That is why many European explorers and scientist were highly anticipating about the Ark of the Covenant.’’ According to the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, this priceless treasure is still secretly kept in a small chapel in the monastic complex of Saint Mary of Zion Church in Aksum.
Nowadays, the legacy of Queen Sheba is ubiquitous in the northern part of Ethiopia. There are golden antiquities, palaces, bath rooms and other heritages claimed to belong to Queen of Sheba. There are also other artifacts which are not yet unearthed. Taking all these into consideration, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism should exert its maximum efforts in promoting the history and legacy of Queen of Sheba.
BY TSEGAY HAGOS
Today’s guest is Laureate Talegeta Loul. He is re-specialist researcher and principal scientist. He as well is a clinical dentist by profession. He earned a diploma in dental therapy from Jomo Kenyatta University. Furthermore, he has successfully plunged himself headlong into in private research for more than 35 years. Above and beyond, he has a long-experience in new and self-motivated “re-biology science and re-bio genetic engineering”. The re-specialist researcher, Laureate Talegeta has tried his hands and heads on innovative and improved agronomic techniques apart from discovering better water-harvesting-and-reserving device. He is also known for the production of “genetically-automated seeds”, which are branded by the Ethiopian Intellectual Property Office. He has a wealth of experience in innovation of “Re-biology and Re- bio genetic” inventions, key for human health. Given his accomplishment, he has been awarded accreditation certificates and trophies from seven institutions.
In the same way, Laureate Talegeta Loul has served for more than twenty three years in a range of capacities in various governmental and non-governmental organizations. He is the founder and manager of Re-nature Eternal Life Agro processing company. He has been in the profession for years in addition to successfully conducting research revolving around dental treatment, natural science, social science, soil development, among others. More to the point, he has come up with more than fourteen new theories in re-biology, gene, cellular therapy, chemistry, land science, space science, dental therapy, water, soil and other related aspects. At this point in time, the researcher possesses three unpublished research papers in re-biology science, Re-Bio Dental therapy, and re-biogenetics engineering and re-nature science.
The Ethiopian Herald had a short stay with Laureate Talegeta Loul with the intention of familiarizing his personal and professional life with readers. He has touched upon a number of issues revolving around his findings. Excerpts:
How did the idea of innovating automated perennial (long-lasting) crops' seeds come into your mind?
I was born and raised in Northern Shewa. As I grew up in the rural area, I know Ethiopian farmers’ deplorable life as the back of my hand. I closely observed they were constantly leading a hand-to-mouth life due to the unproductive farming system. All their efforts were merely going from bad to worse. Farmers did not have an inkling about how to get to the bottom of their problems. Though farmers were working hard, they were fettered by poverty. They were suffering from hunger. Hence, they were forced to opt to migration.
I was thinking of something which could turn round the lives of farmers ensuring food security. When the right time came, I studied dental therapy at Jomo Kenyatta University. That allowed me exposure to research. Later, as doing research on agricultural research proved to be my calling, I got myself fully engaged in demand-driven agricultural research with the aim of making my dream come true. Through the passage of time, I came up with new innovations and improved agricultural inputs that enhance agricultural productivity such as crop Genetic Treatment, best organic fertilizers, rain water harvesting device and other Eternal biology principles under experiment. They are useful for to the betterment of the lives of citizens.
Medication and agriculture are diametrically opposite sciences. How do you mange to handle tasks aligning the two?
“Re-biology and re-biogenetic engineering” depict cell as “a source of life, nature as the core source of new life and the like.”The re-biology science changes the concept of biology science into practice at advanced level. Re-biology studies are anchored in the positive and negative form structurally built in genetic make ups. Re-biology life is also changed to Eternal Life Biology at its third stage. It studies about biological life creations and the health and aging aspect of life, people’s health, animals and plants life, among others. But for the sake of specialization, it is categorized as zoology, human biology, botany, genetics, bio-technology and the rest. As biology studies about living things, anybody who would like to study medicine and plant science gene, can actualize his/her dream as there is no much difference in researches focusing on the genetic system.
How did you prove yourself to be successful in research without the enriching opportunity of advanced education?
The scientific theory that we put into practice could be subject to a new creativity, findings and hence recasting. Sometimes, it may not depend on the long-held or long-cherished educational and professional theories. Based on the revealed theory, a new education discipline and profession could evolve. It is because discoverers or innovators in the past came up with different innovations based on their own creativity we appreciate them but not because they wholly relied on the system which existed before or at some stage in their time. As could be surmised from research histories, the seed bed of most of the disciplines that we specialize in at different universities is founded on innovations and intellectual capacity.
As of the time of creation, human beings have been leading lives by the sweat of their brow as opposed to other animals. As a result, they had to prepare their own food.
Flipping back to the gist, as food is the most important thing in life for the continuation of human species, currently displaying population explosion; I placed much emphasis on genetic treatment of crops. I have been working day in and day out to achieve the desired goal—balancing demand and supply. The research has taken me from 35 to 40 years. Among the theories claimed to take agricultural productivity to a new chapter of success, salient is the theory of enhancing the genetic of crops seeds which accounts from 30% to 40%. Hence, researchers I took on board, have innovated a fruitful genetic research which could ensure food security across the nation shortly.
What benefit could Ethiopia secure out of the Automated Perennial crops seeds (the genetic treatment on crops)?
Ethiopia could reap a lot of benefits. In the beginning, it extremely lessens extra expenses of land preparation /cultivation as rejuvenating crops will be harvested for longer period of time. It as well renders one’s surroundings green. Besides, every household turns out to be self-sufficient owing to the continuous harvest. Apart from that,the trend stabilizes market as the supply grows to be surplus. Without a shadow of a doubt, automated -Perennial crop seeds improve the nutritional status of citizens in addition to making toddlers and young children healthy, productive and creative. It also plays a major role in preserving natural food taste. Aside from getting better the economic status of the community, especially farmers, conflicts and hunger will be highly resolved as ethically-strong community will be created at national level.
What activities are you running at Re nature Eternal Life Agro Processing S.C.?
Well, I am the founder of Re nature Eternal Life Agro Processing S.C. It is a legally registered share company. It has got Investment Permit from Addis Ababa Investment Agency. It is a Startup company engaged in multiplying over and coming up with yields based on the new technology. At the moment, based on Research and Development, it is engaged in production of Special Organic Fertilizers. What is more, the company focuses on inclusive industry clusters, which produces inputs for agricultural works targeting at spurring agricultural development. Moreover, by embracing bio-technologists, agricultural economics professionals, statisticians, measurement professionals, lawyers, also professional on mechanized agriculture and industry and the like under the umbrella of the main research and development department of the company. We have successfully achieved knowledge management exchange by making use of quite a lot of strategies over the past two years.
Likewise, pertaining to the new theory, we have made a thorough discussion with 12 Ministry organizations and other government organizations, 7 famous universities and 9 key government officials, 48 professors and researchers and the rest have been made. Quite a lot of positive feedbacks have been entertained in this regard.
It is said that the project is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology. Is it true?
Yes, it is indeed. In May, 2015, FDRE Ministry of Science and Technology extended small grant research project fund for an Ambo area research demonstration site. The site was working on genetic treatment on Cereal crops such as Sorghum and Teff as well as on pulse crops like Bean. It came up with good results on those crop types. Hence, on March, 2016, the project was awarded gold medal and trophy from the former Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn at the National Science and Technology Award ceremony.
Secondly in May, 2017, to scale up the project to a suitable Agro ecology site, the Ministry had signed a project agreement worth over 2.7 million Birr. The first 35% of the budget was released and subsequently the project was carried out at the Dukem and Akaki project sites. The project was entitled “Multiplication of automated perennial crops.” Here, also the project has portrayed remarkable results and commendable achievements.
Hence, seizing the opportunity of this interview, our research team and its host company would like to extend heartfelt gratitude for Dr. Ing. Getahun Mekuria, Minister of Ministry of Science and Technology, who has a kindred-soul. He is far sighted and visionary higher level decision maker. Without whom our effort would have been futile. He is the backbone of this cutting-edge scientific theory and innovation to enjoy the spotlight soon and to be embraced by the contemporary scientific community. We would also like to thank higher level decision makers at the Ministry for their contribution and technical support.
What major problems have you encountered?
We did face stubborn resistances (lack of a vibrant and responsive scientific community) .Considering Africans as feeble mind ones was the other challenge. And giving little scientific space for researchers from the continent was another hurdle we faced. Some of our unprecedented theoretical principles were met by cold shoulders taken as traditional ones that went off the normal paradigm. To the surprise of many, unable to believe their eyes to the manifold yields that continuously sprout on our research sites, some experts attach the astounding outcome to “Superstition” , while others say it is “Supernatural, Spiritual and magical.” There are some researchers who went to the extent of uttering “Who the hell are you?” They consider my work “A heresy to contemporary science. Yours desecrate ours.” On the contrary, some demand the winning formula and technical issues. There was even an attempt of thievery of the scientific codes.
Another thing is the presence of practical measurement and interpretation difference between conventional and our scientific theories and innovations.
In addition we fail to get consistent research fund. We are facing pulling factor and pressure from other countries. A case in point, I was invited to Europe, Middle East and Far East countries with a promise of special assistance.
What are the enabling factors?
There is a similarity in scientific methodology with contemporary science. We have conducted product Lab Test at Holeta Agricultural Research Center and Pasteur Institute. Hence, there are no health side effects detected in our yields since yields are organic ones.
Currently, we are at deconstruction and visibility stage of the new scientific theory at National level since it is also cited by researchers at Japan Intl. Agricultural Research Conference as the lasting solution for enhancing Agricultural productivity. Due to this fact, we are getting support from Principal scientists from CGARI, ILRI and from other specialist breeders on sorghum crop. It can also address and focus on global Issues such as the Millennium Development Goals. There is also a high commitment from Government officials in supporting our innovative approach since it is product -oriented and problems solving research.
Could you tell us about the technical description of automated perennial crops and its productivity?
Automated perennial crop seeds are automated and perennial. They have no genetic modification. They are multiple tillers and have natural Genetic structure (GSC). We are engaged in activating the dormancy of “ratooning system” and their Genetic Soft copy (GSC). They are also drought resistant. Concerning the reproducibility of automated perennial crops, Teff successfully grows from 1-2 years, white and red seeded sorghum land races grows from for 2-7 years, bean grows from 1-2 years.
What are the benefits of organic fertilizer and the rain water harvesting device you came up with?
To start with, the fertilizer has more than 50 mineral ingredients containing anti acids and anti dot substances harmful to crop development. What is more, it is emission free: No Nitric acid & Di-ammonium phosphate, its pH level is ~7.09, enriched with a package of minerals (both macro and micro substances). It has multivariate benefits for leaf, stem, roots, fruits, seeds, cells, stalks, flower and crust so that the plant growth becomes effective and what not.
Concerning the benefits, it prevents soil toxification and serves as a soil cleaner which helps wipe out dreadful chemicals. It also dissolves crystals of acid sludge with the purpose of reducing toxic acids and alkaline. Moreover, it does not pollute nature as it is free from hazards of nitric acid. It is applied based on soil type and specific pH level as it affords high nutrition supplier to crops and micro nutrients to the soil. In the same way, the fertilizer neutralizes bad chemicals, improves the performance of microorganisms, bacteria and fungus to ferment the soil, has adaptable benefits for all crop types as it prevents lodging, increases the number of tillers in crops, has no harm to the soil microbial, and the rest.
About the rain water harvesting device, it ensures food and water security, reduces work load of women and children in Rural Ethiopia, expand harvesting period of from twice to thrice per annum, there is no need for fuel and electric cost since it is mechanical, it replaces irrigation, it reduces children & women workload, it serves as an alternative water bank, it curbs farm land shortage.
Generally, it helps to have a green planet, due to its contribution for environmental and soil protection.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
I grew up in a countryside, a small town called Debre Markos. When I was a child my family used to call me ‘ The fool’, Denqoro in Amharic. The word can directly mean ‘deaf’. But in my case and contextually it means a ‘fool’. And that was because I was slow in everything. Most of the times I did things the total opposite of what I was told to do. My mom would call me “Hey Denqoro… Denqoro”.
“I want you to go to your auntie and tell her that I need to borrow her ironing machine and I will return it as soon as I finished ironing”. Then she would spit on the floor and say “You better hurry and come back before this drop of saliva on the floor dries up”.
Running I would go to my auntie’s and say “Mom said let me send you my ironing machine if you need to borrow. But you should return it as soon as you finished.”
My auntie would stare at me with no surprise and shaking her head side to side would head to the bedroom. She would return with the ironing machine and handing to me she uters “Here you go fool. Just tell your mama that it might be better if she irons your brain than the cloths.”
I would say “Okay,” and I’d start running on my way back home because I have to get there before the saliva on the floor dries up. And often I wouldn’t have time to hear when my auntie pitifully say “I’m just kidding fool”.
As soon as I got back home I would hand my mom the machine and say “Uh… mom Aunt, Wudde also said it might be better if you iron your brain than the cloths”.
My mom and aunt Wudde had went through lots of fights because of my misinformation of several times.
For many years I thought I inherited this forgetting or message reversal problem from my father.
Sitting on the porch, my father would shout “Hey Denqoro….Denqoro”
“Come here. I gotta’ tell you something.”
I would go to him and say “What’s it papa?” Then he would respond “What is it? What 'The fool'?
“You said that you wanted to tell me something”.
“Oh …yes uh… listen fool, I was thinking that uhaaaaaa, that uhaaaaaa….what was it fool?”
“What was it what papa?”
“Damn fool, when I was your age I would snatch the words from my father’s mouth before he spoke and I would do whatever he wanted me to do quick.I used to read his mind”
Well, I took that lesson from my father and one day he called me to the living room where he was eating his special meal; Spaghetti. Me and the kids in the house were not allowed to have a bite from his special meal.
Well, I rushed in to the leaving room and approached the dining table looking at the spaghetti and salivating I said “what’s it papa?”
Pointing his chin at the spaghetti , he said “I want youuuu….”
I didn’t let him finish the words. I just said “Thanks papa.” And stretched my hand, fetched a mouthful of spaghetti and shoved it in to my mouth.
Papa looked at me so furiously. I looked at him and stopped chewing. Then we both glanced at the walking stick placed next to him. I think that was the moment my mind started to think faster and doing what I have to do quick. I just ran out of the room before he picked up the stick.
“Come back here fool. I will never let you go with that even if you hide in your mama’s womb.”
I know he would never catch me.
BY HENOK TIBEBU
I Am Me
By Biniam Zewde
(Jigjiga University, Ethiopia )
I wish nothing but the best for me
If I could be the change I wish to see
To have a place in everyone’s mind
To be remembered by the world
I would dedicate something different
They‘ll be proud of my work
I strongly believe and strongly think
The time is not gone, still young
It is true that
I can bring something new to the world
That could help a lot, so much more
Tomorrow is coming and today is going
I feel I could turn back today
The day and the time that is going
Once it has been said,
Time and tide waits for no man
But what I just mean now is…
The time is waiting for one man
That is me
I am me!
Wedding ceremony takes place across the country in a range of mind-blowing ways based on the wedding cultures of the different Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia. Some of them are celebrated in modern ways while others stick to the tradition of their ethnicity. Unfortunately, some people celebrate their wedding in a way which does not entirely reflect the Ethiopian cultures.
Some of the wedding ceremonies which are held in different parts of the country are missing the intended target. They give due weight and attention to foreign wedding ceremonies oblivious about their whereabouts. We should be able to reflect our own culture. We do not have to be fans of foreign wedding ceremonies as Ethiopia possesses different untold traditional wedding ceremonies. We do not have to be off the track.
If we stick to the original wedding ceremonies of different ethnic groups of Ethiopia, we can preserve our cultures and pass them down to the coming generations in addition to making them a tourist magnet.
Flipping back to gist, the focus of this writer is acquainting readers with the traditional wedding ceremony of Dera. The inhabitants of the area are still on the track. They give due weight and attention to their culture. They respect their culture with all their hearts. What makes the Dera traditional wedding ceremony different from others?
To begin with, in Dera, according to the custom of the area, a day or two ahead of the wedding ceremony, a small hat is built at the bridegroom’s residential house commonly known as Chagula. That same day, in the afternoon, earlier than the wedding ceremony, Tedebe is prepared. It is a small room built in the heart of the Chagula room. The room does not let sunshine in. The entire room is encircled with grass. Before the ceremony is kick started, they make sure that the room does not let any sunshine in. According to the custom of the area, sunshine is not allowed to fall on the bride by any means. Surprisingly, for the sake of preventing herself from sunshine, the bride goes to restroom before sunrise and after sunset. She is strongly advised not to go outdoor while the sun shines. The whole thing is done very carefully.
On the wedding day, nobody is allowed to go out of the Tedebe. Lasses and lads hang around in the room until the bride comes home. Some groups are sent to bring the bride from her parents’ home. In fact, they are known as Amamota. They usually return home with the bride at night.
When the Amamota come within reach of the bridegroom’s room, they begin singing different songs and other similar activities signaling they are bringing the bride. This time, everybody from the bridegroom’s house come out and embarks on singing welcoming songs. Everybody sings different songs.
A ceremony is held before the bride enters into the bridegroom’s house. The bride and bridegroom are made to sit down on a carpet. They are not allowed to sit on the carpet as they see fit as the ceremony has got its own rules and regulations. When the formal procedure is over, the bride does not merely enter into the bridegroom’s room unless she receives dowry. But after she has accepted the money, she enters into the bridegroom’s compound without rubbing her eyes for a fraction of a second. Then, they temporarily sit at the residential house of the bridegroom’s parents.
When the ceremony is over, the bride and bridegroom go straight to the Chagula room. The bride is accompanied into the room by the first bridesmaid. She stays there for three weeks or a month. The second bridesmaid is known as Wahela. She is responsible for taking care of the bride in the absence of the first bridesmaid. In due course, the bride is accompanied by the bridegroom’s sister or other near relatives. From that day on, lasses and lads will not go anywhere leaving the bride.
On the morrow, the bride and bridegrooms will be visited by quite a lot of people for the most part who would like to see the bride. Most people are eager to see the bride. Subsequent to the wedding ceremony, lasses and lads are not allowed to join the bride and bridegrooms in the evening.
A lot of activities take place until the bride and bridegrooms leave Chagula room. More often than not, the ceremony is celebrated colorfully on Saturday and Sunday. Unless, lasses and lads join the ceremony, it will not be that attractive. They give color to the ceremony more than anything else. Among the different activities which take place at the residential house is a kissing game. It takes place between the bride and the bridegroom. As the custom of the area dictates, they are not allowed to kiss on the lips but on cheeks.
How does the game of kissing take place?
The person who is going to start the game is made to stand by the door of the bride and bridegroom’s room with a stick in his hand. If the bridegroom does not apply what he is told to do so by lasses and lads, he will be beaten. As the rule of the law, the bridegroom is ordered to cover his face. When he is ordered to do so, he does not have to take action almost immediately. When the bridegroom is going to be beaten, he has to cover his face in a jiffy. This time the bride has to follow everything very closely. When she figures out the reality on the ground, she has to unearth and kiss her husband on the cheeks. If she is late, the bridegroom makes an effort to beat her. This time, the bridesmaid does not let anybody touch the bride.
By the same token, the best man has as well got a lot of responsibilities. A case in point, he controls a person who gives a lot of orders during the game.
BY ADDISALEM MUALT
Ethiopians are well known for using cultural medication for ages. Still, they still use it parallel to modern medication.
At organizational level, a modern medical service was kick-started in Ethiopia around the eruption of Adwa war in 1889. It was members of the Red Cross Society from Russia that established the Russian Red Cross Hospital around Kebena River in Addis.
Such health institution's service gradually rippled from urban to rural areas of the country.
But it was not easy to deliver the much-sought-after health service as desired. The nation's deplorable economic situation was a constraint on the sectors for a long period of time.
Now, the country has placed focus on the sector. Twenty five years ago, Ethiopia used to have less than 100 hospitals but now it has three times as much.
Similarly, the number of health stations was around 1400, but now it has made an upswing to over 3000.
Health institutions are dramatically rippling across the country. Even health institutions are being furnished with modern and health materials, but still they need to develop enough to meet citizens' satisfaction pertaining to numbers and modern technological equipment.
Dr Yibeletal Mekonnen Clinical Service Directorate Acting Director within MoH told to The Ethiopian Herald that, currently health institutions' coverage in the nation is about 85% - 90%. For about 100 million people, there are over 3620 health stations and 18,000 health-post. Also there are about 400 governmental hospitals in the country. From these about 28 give advanced medical services. The rest are first level and state hospitals.
Beside the increment of the health stations, the service given in the institutions and the ethics of health experts are key to the satisfaction of the public.
Citizens are getting relatively better services from the institutions as Dr Yibelital said. In the health-post and health stations,basic services are being given like communicable and non communicable disease medication, mothers and children services included. The first level hospitals also give basic and emergency services including surgery .
The higher hospitals give services on maternal, child and other surgery and internal illness . Different sub specialty and supper specialty like cancer and heart case services are given through tertiary level hospitals. They will be rendered by federal and referral universities, mentions the acting director.
Always follow up from the higher government bodies is need to renovate the old institutions and strengthen health posts as required. Strengthening the available needs as much attention as creating new ones.
Assegid Bekele health institutions inspection coordinator within The Federal Food, Medicine and Health Care Administration and Control Authority (FMHACA).He said that, it cannot be said works done are enough.
Regarding the fulfillment of necessary equipment, drug supply and deployment of experts in the sector, FMHACA has conducted an assessment at a national level. It had a identified the presence of a gap in the sector.
Stakeholders have already discussed on the research and they are taking actions to fill gaps, as to the coordinator. Specially there is a call for addressing equipment maintenance and human power problems.
The health sector needs added attention before any further action.So there is a call for cautious move of experts as well as the other stakeholders.
Asegid added that, institutions which cannot meet the standard were put out of service. The punitive measure would be temporal or on limited services, FMHACA gives them time to fill their gaps. Otherwise, the license of institutions, creating negative impact on the health of communities, will be revoked.
Dr Yibeletal said that regarding health materials, MoH is striving to render the country's health sector modern. For special medication including mechanical ventilator and others materials useful in IC room are available. This special medical equipment are made available in about 30 institutions. They have already begun giving services.
He said works are underway to have two surgery tables in one institution. City-scan and MRI,useful for a special test, will be made available in states and in Addis.
Increasing health stations and stepping up their service delivery are tantamount to protecting millions from death. Specially, in developing countries a number of mothers have been dying with problems related to deficient service delivery of health institutions.
Zenebe Akale Mother's and Youth's Health Group Coordinator for Maternal and Children Directorate within the Ministry added that to emerge successful in decreasing maternal mortality rate, the increment of health institutions and the availability of technological equipment play great role. Human resource developm ent in the sector and assurance of accountability are the other troubles hooting solutions. Now mortality rate in the country is almost getting under control, he added.
We are witnessing change and it is true that the nation is achieving more on health institutions development. To make the sector more modern and accessible for citizens, collaborating with stakeholders, MoH should work more to fulfill every needed modern medical equipment states badly need. The same must be done for federal hospitals and other health institutions. And it will not be too distant the country see a more effective Ethiopia in the sector.
BY GENET FEKADE
It is obvious that in the effort towards boosting the agricultural productivity of the nation the role of farmers is key. This is especially true if they are trained and if they have grasped the role of their productivity to support the national economy. Despite the fact that farmers takes the lion's share in increasing product and productivity , there are also other active agents who support the agricultural sector.
In this regard, it is worth to mention the role of Farmers Cooperative Unions. Starting from their launching the Unions have been doing their level best to boost agricultural productivity and smoothing market transaction. This is in the form of providing farmers with fertilizers, improved technologies and improved seeds. Sources indicates that almost 98 percent of improved seeds and fertilizers are provided by Cooperative Unions.
According to Cooperative Agency, Director General Usman Surur, the Agency is doing its level best to create strong bond between farmers and Consumers Cooperatives. He said that the previous performances shows that the strong linkage between the two parties is easing the marketing structure.
This is in the form of providing customers with quality products with reasonable price and avoiding illegal brokers between consumers and producers. The system has created a strong linkage between the providers in rural and remote areas. This includes Addis Ababa with remote rural areas.
The strategy has enabled consumers to have an easy access to almost all forms of agricultural products including fresh fruits and vegetables. The system has created a conducive environment for both parties and it has eased the marketing system.
The Director further said that the system has created a conducive environment to producers to have easy access to suppliers and to decide on price without intervention of greedy brokers. Also to consumers to have an access to various types of products. According to him, this does not mean that all the paths are smooth and all the marketing system is perfect. There might be hurdles and there might still be gaps that need to be bridged.
The Director indicated that the market link is creating more and more closeness between the producers and suppliers. This is specially true in the form of Union-to -Union link. For instance, Gamo Gofa Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Cooperative Union has created link with Addis Ababa Consumers Associations. This is a good indication how strong the link between Unions be and how it is positively impacting the market. For instance, a Killo of banana which is sold 15 birr around Lafto Sub City Cooperative Unions might be sold 25 birr in the nearby market. Absence of brokers between suppliers and consumers is one reason for price cuts and smooth marketing system. .
He further indicated that, the price fluctuation that mostly observed during holidays is also averted by intervention of Cooperative Unions into the market. The recent Easter Holiday is a good manifestation in this regard. Due to the strong linkage between Cooperative Unions the price fluctuation which was common during Holidays is curbed.
Cooperative Unions are unique by their nature says the Director. The first thing is that their product is known. In other word it is well understood where a given agricultural product is coming from. This will give good information to consumers. The second thing is quality. The Cooperative Unions provide quality products to Consumers Associations. The other most important thing that makes Cooperative Unions special and unique is that they provide quality product with reasonable price. This is what the health market is looking for.
In this respect, farmers need training that will enable them to provide quality goods to the market. When the provide quality product they will get “Quality price”. This in turn will encourage them to get more. This will also enable consumers to get quality product with fair price.
There might be failures in the market system. But that does not justify the whole system is a total failure. Challenges of stores in some areas, seasonal nature of some goods can be taken areas of challenge for Cooperative unions. This is specially true in areas where there s no active involvement of consumers association.
Due to the seasonal nature of products, the problem associated with market fluctuation is also getting solution. Formerly it was the middle men or brokers who will be beneficaries from the fluctuation of price. This is due to the reason that they had upper hand over the product. However now, the situation is reversed. It is the producers who decide the price. After collecting member`s product Coop erative Unions will avail the products with agreed price.
BY LEULSEGED WORKU
Prior to the launching of the all-out Adwa war, Italy had opted for several confrontation with Ethiopia. But all clashes ended up with victory on the Ethiopian side signaling the message valor is a virtue Ethiopians need borrow from no where.
In the battle of Adwa, a history of valorous military feat, unheard of in Africa , was written in Ethiopia with golden inks.
Past midnight, Emperor Menelik II was in a mass prayer when the Italian troops opened fire. He had to disrupt the prayer for the priests and deacons to finish and outright join the show down for freedom.
Ethiopian patriots ,women inclusive, that flocked to the battlefield drawn from all corners of the country went to the throat of the invading troops with a stubborn resistance that defy description. They were like bees out of their hives.
The invading troops were armed to their teeth with modern arsenals, while Ethiopian soldiers with traditional weapons like shields, spears and swords and out modded guns. Yet the latter were fighting oblivious to their surrounding.
In a show of military strategy, selecting heroic patriots Empress Tayetu succeeded in encircling the much-sought-after spring. This military strategy had tipped the balance of war in favor of Ethiopia. Disarrayed, the Italian troops began to retreat. Italy lost almost half of its troops it deployed in East Africa. Some of its generals were killed while others detained. The news of the victory resonated throughout the world. The victory of black Africans over white colonizers, salivating to scramble the continent, created a feeling of diffidence over the latter.
Forty years later, Italy,which was nursing a grudge, beefing up its military muscle—troops and arsenals— once more invaded Ethiopia. It was from three directions fascist Italy invaded Ethiopia. At that time Ethiopia's weapon were no better than the ones put to use during the battle of Adwa.
Yet after heroically resisted the five years period of occupation, Ethiopia managed to wipe out the invading fascist troops in 1941 thanks to the selfless sacrifices of its dauntless patriots that fought tooth and nail with the invaders.
This victory has once more made colonizers relinquish their nefarious dreams of annexing the continent. It made fascists scatter with their tails between their legs. It went down the annals of history as a beacon light that inspired African countries to break the yoke of colonization.
The sacrifice of patriots is not solely devoted to Ethiopia sovereignty but it has also laid the bedrock for its sustainable growth.
However, what is now being witnessed among youths of the country is not commensurate with the sacrifices. Now, heeding past history is considered as an out -modded trend among the youth. It does not come down as a surprise innumerable youths barefacedly respond “I do not know!” to the question “What is the event Meiazia 27( May 5) marks?” Hearing such saddening response from successors of the country is not appropriate.
No need to mention, it is through forefathers' sacrifices that we walk today with a square shoulder breathing the oxygen of peace and intact identity.
Drawing lessons from history or distilling the best from the past, youths of this generation has to make history catapulting current day Ethiopia , on the avenue of growth & transformation and Renaissance, to the pinnacle of success.
Nowadays, the country's number one enemy is poverty and economic morass,with which Ethiopia has successfully locked horns.
It is when we give ample room to peaceful coexistence the country will emerge a victor. The culture of lending helping hands and considerateness,long cherished by our heroic forefathers, is expected to flourish.
Though it is the responsibility of all to let students fathom Ethiopian History and the horn the government must take the bigger slice of the responsibility.
The remissness in sustaining Ethiopian history courses, being delivered at every layer in the past, has resulted in a generation ignorant to its identity.
A conspicuous gap between the one that bequeath its history and the other that inherit it is created.
There is a call for amplifying and passing down the country's history to bridge the chasm.
Historians say Ethiopia’s long history has been characterized by long spells of conflicts trying to repeal aggression, expansion, invasion and occupation of various sorts at various epochs. At times, these spells of struggles were fought internally as the disputes were internal. Rivalry for power and attempts to be the next ruler could be among the motives for internal conflicts, craving to be the next king, governor or head of a certain region. At times, the fight was even fratricidal, an issue among family members. At others, the invasion came from alien lands and Ethiopia’s geopolitical location implied that controlling Ethiopia would amount to controlling the Red Sea route. This must have exposed it to attacks and invasions.
When the modern state of Ethiopia was in its formative years and power was being consolidated by the latest king of kings, there was this historical phenomenon of the scramble for Africa in Europe. European leaders were trying to expand their jurisdiction in Africa in search of new resources, new sources of wealth while at the same time they also needed markets for the products. Hence, they sent first their missionaries. Then they accompanied them with soldiers as a pretext of protection. But not always were these ‘missionaries’ peacefully and voluntarily welcome. There was if not outright resistance, some diffidence to their influence, to their values. At times the incidents were violent and fierce. Territorial integrity and freedom were at stake.
Ethiopia was one of these entities which were subjected to such extremes. But Emperor Menelik’s masterpiece of military strategy and genius passed down to history as one of the most glorious chapters of African history with the successful rejection of any form of submission to a foreign dominion. Adwa hence rewrote the history of relations between Europe and Africa.
It sent a clear message to all potential aggressors and Ethiopia remained an independent state while the less fortunate other African countries were not spared the cruel dominion of colonial masters.
However, this state of affairs for Ethiopia was to last only some decades. Forty years after Adwa, the wounded enemy created a pretext to reinvade Ethiopia.
Fascist Italy had a huge ambition of trying to expand its east African colony and invested more than it actually could afford in the exploit. Mussolini bragged about his country’s past glories pledging to refresh them in the 1930s. He also talked about cleansing the ‘shame of Adwa’ and refurbishing the tarnished image of his country. He fancied the Roman Empire days. To try to achieve his objective, he did not even refrain from using any means, including bombarding innocent peasants from the air as well as spraying on them nerve gas, meant not only to kill them silently but also to create terror and agony among the population thus preparing them for total submission.
The world watched without moving a finger and the shame of those episodes went down to posterity and history books. Only in certain progressive corners in Europe and the United States was there some campaign and lip service to denounce and expose to the international community the atrocities committed by the Fascist Regime.
Ethiopians were subjected to five year of heinous atrocities during which the Fascists tried in vain to rule the country which despite the collaboration of certain feudal landlords who were bent to capitalize on the state of war and occupation to settle certain private accounts, the whole country was in defiance of the occupation.
In the meantime, the Emperor continued with his diplomatic battle from Europe and harnessed support and sympathy to finally consolidate his grip on the resistance movement.
The attempt by His Imperial Majesty to present to the attention of the international community had hardly got him anything. He had hopes in the League of Nations but it betrayed his expectations resulting to be a lame duck, not being able to take any significant deterring move against the aggression of a member state such as Ethiopia by another power such as Italy. The other powers such as Britain and France did not dare nag Mussolini’s Italy and preferred the policy of appeasement which later on was to result suicidal. The Emperor then had warned that “what has happened to us and our country today will happen to you too tomorrow,” and the world would be a place where the big fish would not hesitate to devour the small fish. The prophesy was to materialize when Hitler and Mussolini embarked on a series of invasions against several smaller countries.
The politics of appeasement was later to result a devastating miscalculation .The entire continent of Europe was progressively invaded. It was Winston Churchill who had admonished about the dangers of appeasement to the dictators and had advised prompt resistance. But he was not heeded in time.
When France fell and England as well was attacked, the Allied Powers began to counter the Axis Powers with Churchill on the lead. The Second World War had exploded.
Incidentally, Ethiopia began to profit from such international scenario because it obtained more attention as a victim of aggression. After five years of stiff resistance, Ethiopia was to recover its full sovereignty and independence and Haile Selassie to reacquire his throne.
May 5, 1941 is hence a very symbolic and significant day in the history of modern day Ethiopia. It is the day on which Emperor Haile Selassie returned to his capital triumphantly leading a group of Ethiopians and British troops along with Major Orde Wingate later to be General Wingate.
It was exactly five years to the day when the Fascist forces officially occupied Ethiopia when they were evicted by the Ethiopian patriots and the Allied Troops.
Today, after 77 years, there is still not enough research done on what exactly happened during these five troubled and agonizing years in Ethiopia. There is still not enough research done on the way the battles were carried out, including particularly the way the Fascists committed the most heinous of crimes against helpless and innocent Ethiopians. Not enough light is shed on the various battles patriots of the resistance movement fought to repel the invading forces. This will be a homework for the current academics so that others will learn from it. Freedom has never been obtained without sacrifice and resolve.
We have often heard describe the infamous five years of Fascist Occupation as the Dark Days of oppression. Our ancestors were ripped of their dignity and had to resist using all of their resources. They had to abandon their families and loved ones and join the patriotic movement in the bushes. They felt it was their duty and they never regretted it.
Those who could not join the resistance movement for a number of reasons had to either collaborate settling for some favours and alms or else undergo utter mistreatment, abuse and death. What is more, there were the arbitrary moves of the ‘askaris’ or non-Italian soldiers who were themselves subjects of oppression such as those of Somali and Eritrean origin. The Fascists themselves committed rape and other forms of sexual abuse and violence on Ethiopian women. Sadly, the collaborators who presented themselves as popular leaders claimed to secure peace and stability for the Fascists’ hierarchies in exchange for salaries and other gifts. They were indeed mercenaries.
However, in the end, there was no manner of resisting the craving for independence of the patriotic people of Ethiopia and the day of liberation had to come any ways, though it involved extreme sacrifice.
It is a pity that there are no accurate records of the number of people killed during the various battles and ambushes, the number of those martyred during mass executions. There are no numbers regarding the maimed ones. The number of people who were forced out of their homes and driven to the bushes later on even eaten by wild animals as well are not known. There is no light on who suffered from various forms of torture under detention, no accurate records of those.
When we mark the anniversary of Victory Day, we need to take in to account many of these factors and consider what should be done to put the records straight and put the wrongs right. The sacrifices of our forefathers shall not be vain, and more honour should be bestowed up on them by the current youths who are usually prone to take things for granted. The noble deeds of the patriots have yet to be well documented and preserved to the next generations.
In fact, some anti-fascist writers did carry out some research documenting the messages, telexes, orders, and reports from the libraries and archives of Rome and have made their own points. However, we need to step in with our own nationals and conduct meticulous research on this epoch that somehow united us all against alien occupation.
When we often hear elders say that Ethiopia has always lived in dignity thanks to the sacrifices and bravery of its patriots, they mean exactly this. May 5 deserves every respect and glory because it depicts the glorification of our brave patriots. It deserves a special place in our hearts and the youths need to be congnizant that the free state we have today is a result of all these sacrifices.
By Fitsum Getachew