የሌሊት ወፍ

እነሱ ገና አንድ ወር እየቀረው have yourself a merry little Christmas ምናምን እያሉ ሲዘፍኑ እኛስ ቅዳሴ ብንሰማ ከለካይ አለብን እንዴ? ሆጵ ሆጵ ሆጵ

The ቅዳሴ came on my earphones while I was doing late night work on a presentation. It was nice. It almost felt like I was attending የገና ዋዜማ ሌሊት ቅዳሴ. It ain’t got shit on የፋሲካ ቅዳሴ though. You know that the celebration of gena in ኢትዮጵያ is subdued as compared with that of fasika. What the Westerns have failed miserably to understand is that if He came to the world, and let us say, just chilled until ripe old age, then redemption would have been out of the question. The death trumps the birth; and in this case, we as a nation are not being our usual fatalistic selves.

A person asked me when our holiday was and I answered that the nearest was Christmas even though it falls on a different date (later on I would kick myself for not having remembered that we celebrated Eid al-Adha just last week.) Person was kind of disappointed that we did not have “indigenous holidays” as if Christmas was their gift to the rest of the world. There is a strong possibility that my people may have been celebrating Gena back when person’s people were on their harvest festival shit. And now they expect us to tell them when our harvest festival is?

I don’t believe my being  Catholic would stand in the way of my pride in being an Ethiopian and the traditions of other pretenders to heaven. In our church, የግዕዝ ቅዳሴ አለ and ብዙዎቹ መዝሙሮች are taken from the Protestant churches. It’s like having the best of both worlds:

Had I been alive at the time of the Italian invasion, and of the same religious persuasion, I would definitely have been an አርበኛ. Ok, may be not an አርበኛ but most definitely not a ባንዳ.

I don’t spend too much time worrying whether my religion is the right one or not, dissecting our differences (“ካቶሊኮች በድንግል ማርያም ያምናሉ ግን ቤተክርስትያን ጫማ ሳያወልቁ ነው የሚገቡት”) It is enough for me to know that God is right. Come judgment day, I hope it is going to be an all-or-none phenomenon.

It is hard to be Catholic in Etyopia, man! No, there is no persecution. But the pool of chicks to marry from is narrow, very narrow. A good number of Catholics end up marrying outside of the religion. Perhaps they want to prove that they are in high-demand, limiting their realities may be. For people like me that translates as “Just because we are both Catholics, does not mean that you stand a snowball’s chance in hell with me.” Speaking of snow. I should have known ዛፎቹ መለመላቸውን ሲቀሩ –we is about to get fucked. Good thing we dabble in ግዕዝ and መዝሙሮች though:: They are survival skills, whichever path the need to procreate might lead us. (A modern day Macbeth at his final hour tells his nemesis that he cannot be defeated by any man born of coitus. Nemesis retorts that he was a fruit of IVF and shoots him. And then the twin of the nemesis appears.)

It was well and good if one could be a citizen of the world, all categorization flung out of the windows. But recent events are making one take stock of one’s situation, about who one is and where one stands in the struggle:

I can’t say that I have experienced racism since I came here. Not that I know of. But should it decide to rear its ugly head, I know that I am not going to be immune just because I am a “light-skinned” Ethiopian. Although there are many shades of black, I doubt if those shades would matter in the face of antagonism. Not that the shades should matter: our trials and tribulations as well as our hopes and dreams have got to be shared.

But I still have got to worry about what other black people would think of me (have thought of me) when they meet me (met me) for the first time: Africans -stuck up, Africa Americans -bush.

I still also have to worry whenever I mess up at school, whether it would reflect on the intelligence of black people. Now, after I mess up, there would be another layer of feeling awful, in addition to the old stalwart: hours after said mess up, I would still be thinking how bad my performance must have appeared in front of people.

I had a lot of ደንባራ in me even before I left home; Sami would know. But coming here is like a whole ‘nother level of መደናበር:: In Bahir Dar, I used to bow my head even when greeting my students. My friend used to tell me that I was making the students confused: if I do the bowing what is left for them to do? When I do the same thing here (or when I walk or sit with my head down, as has been my wont from time immemorial) I fear that it could be construed as a loss of confidence (some truth in that), obsequiousness, deferring to the “superior race”, a relic of unresolved childhood issues,… who knows?

ወዘተ ወዘተ  እሺ አሁን ወደማጠቃለያው

So, I am  Catholic, and a black man. Two things that, in the Etyopian context, are loaded with ambivalence.  Catholic – Orthodox vs. Protestant; Black ­– Black black vs.  መለስ ያለ black.  On a personal level, even my field of study is pretty ambivalent. The biomedical sciences straddle the line between medicine and natural sciences. Hell, even ጉራጌ መሆን ራሱ መሀል ሰፋሪ መሆን ማለት ይሆን? እንዲያው God forbidና, if shit were to go down between any two of the big three, we would be the ones providing both sides with the ammunition. አንደ ባሎቴሊ ሳልከሰስ ላቁም:: ግን እኮ even Standard Oil did business with the Nazis.


ለካ ኤዞፕ ጥቁር ነበር?!

immortality (ኢመዋቲነት) and other… (cont)

Actually the song I was looking for was the one that went:

በለው በለው በለው በለው በለው

በለው በለው በለው

በለው በለው በለው በለው በለው

በለው በለው በለው

አትለውም ወይ አትመታውም ወይ

በሀገር የመጣ ይታለፋል ወይ

በለው በለው


One of the old የቅስቀሳ ዘፈኖች. Couldn’t find it on YouTube, hence ቱቱዬ.

[Update 08/24/16: found በለው በለው 🙂 ]

Nitric oxide, NO, is a molecule that plays an important role in learning and memory, defense against microbes and blood vessel dilation and subsequently increased blood flow to a region. Erections are the handiworks of NO secretion and its downstream lackeys. That’s how our region gets to be that way, and the following dilemma solved:


Taken from  (የስብሃት ገብረእግዚአብሔር) ማስታወሻ. ዘነበ ወላ.

Lately my posts have tried to break from the usual theme and I have tried to infuse into them as much learned ቁምነገር as possible. However, I see to my consternation that I keep on gravitating to the same old shit. But I can’t help it. Nobody (Keith Sweat voice) can. I mean, students from prestigious universities in the country were parading around campus, carrying the slogan “NO means yes yes means….” I am not condoning their action in any way. I am just saying that at least they have kind of got the mechanics of the thing right. NO has been known to elicit a barrage of yes! yes! yes! (Roughly translated to በለው በለው በለው since አዎ አዎ አዎ won’t do)

Wait, have I blogged on this thing before? ይገርማል, መገረብ ጀመርኩ አይደል?!

እስቲ ትንሽ ቁምነገር ልሞክር

The trouble with Ethiopia

The trouble with Ethioipia resides in the name itself: E-thio-pia. The presence of thio in the name of a molecule is indicative of the presence of sulfur. Despite sulfur being essential for life, its compounds have a reputation for very bad smell. Think mercaptoethanol, rotten eggs, brimstone (hell),…Strange thing is that I have seen sulfur being traditionally prescribed as የቡዳ መድሃኒት:: እሾህን በሾህ ማለት ነው::

So, my country has got sulfur in its name. This is not smack talk, just because I have been in a foreign country for one hundred days. We need to take the stink out of the name, that’s all I am saying. ገጽታ ግንባታ at the most fundamental level. The more reason to take up the way of writing put forward by GeTere sometime ago: Etyopia.

And about the multiple mentions of Ethiopia in the bible:

  1. They are accounts of geography, racism, cases of about-to-smite when all of the sudden the party that was to be smitten repents to the Lord and Ethiopian asses get kicked, a couple of eunuchs, natural resources which are possible sources of conflict, subjugation, shame and dire warnings. Hardly stuff to brag about.
  2. They are not about just us. They are about black people who live south of Egypt, which we happen to be part of.

Next post is going to focus on one of the things Etyopia has got going for her.

One of my short term life goals, to dance to this:

I thought it was a new release. I wonder why they did not play it in the club next door back when I was home. Personally and Chop my money were the ones that were on heavy rotation.

And some revolution:


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