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!