News Analysis | Jan 05,2020
Mar 9 , 2019
By Michael G. Behailu ( Michael G. Behailu is an economist, gender activist and blogger. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. )
The first Saturday of March saw the celebration of the Victory of Adwa, a commemoration of Ethiopia’s victory in the late 20th century against Italian forces. It made the nation the only country in Africa to have been able to successfully fend off a European invasion, leading to independence that was maintained until a five-year interruption between 1935 and 1941.
The celebration was as warm and colourful as it was highly anticipated. There was though a shallowness to the commemoration that was too glaring and yet barely discussed.
The incessant mention of triumph over a foreign force remains, in the end, meaningless without the continued effort of generations to carry the torch of bravery and defiance shown by the very same people we praise. The history of this nation triumphing as a collective people rings hollow, considering the monumental victory that was achieved over a century ago. We have regressed ever since, and we are divided now more than ever.
The Victory of Adwa has, more than anything else, been about the unity of the nation. Against all odds, a nation came together to defeat a common enemy. Differences among the people faded at the time, considering the larger target that was aimed at, the sovereignty of our nation.
Fast forward into the 21st century, we have a hard time reaching a consensus over even matters such as a national flag. But in reality, we are faced with a far more formidable common enemy that has haunted the nation since its founding - poverty.
Ethnic tensions and conflicts are increasing, with innocent lives being lost and property being damaged. Political leaders seem to have no other purpose than shifting blame or promoting and using political power for their own agenda and personal use without feeling perturbed for failing to provide alternate policies.
We seem to be in a never-ending cycle of self-destruction. I dread to think what those warriors would have said had they known that the blood and sweat they sacrificed for - a strong and united nation – is far from reality.
It is frustrating when the Victory of Adwa is constantly championed without ever acting on the central tenants of its significance. We can talk about this day in the media or visit the Menelik roundabout en mass. Both though will remain pointless if we fail to pass on to the next generation a state with history, culture and institutions that are inclusive enough to fight for.
The celebration should be in our effort to work hard to build a country where no one starves, lives on the streets, is not left out of access to education and does not pay a price for being from any lingo-cultural group.
We should celebrate by educating our young, taking care of the old and implementing policies that better people’s lives. It must be displayed in our effort to create an environment where businesses and individuals can excel and raise the flag of the world on the international stage.
It should be in making sure that the country’s name is mentioned by international media for all the right reasons, for excellence in the arts, sciences and sports. We should celebrate the victory by contributing to the country, so our universities produce Nobel prize winners and our society fosters the next great leader, humanitarian or moralist.
This is how we can continue the legacy of our ancestors during that ballet, not by repeating mottos and slogans that on their own mean little. That is just simple bravado, contrary to actual bravery displayed by our ancestors when they defeated Italy. After a century of celebrating the battle, it is about time we walk the talk on what makes it significant.
PUBLISHED ON Mar 09,2019 [ VOL 19 , NO 984]
News Analysis | Jan 05,2020
Fortune News | Jan 26,2019
Viewpoints | Nov 20,2021
Featured | Apr 22,2022
Radar | Jul 20,2019
Fortune News | Mar 27,2021
Fortune News | Sep 26,2021
Life Matters | Oct 05,2019
View From Arada | Oct 16,2020
View From Arada | Jan 15,2022
Photo Gallery | 67213 Views | May 06,2019
Photo Gallery | 58993 Views | Apr 26,2019
Fortune News | 51828 Views | Jul 18,2020
Fortune News | 51484 Views | Sep 01,2021
Commentaries | Mar 18,2023
Life Matters | Mar 18,2023
My Opinion | Mar 18,2023
Sunday with Eden | Mar 18,2023
Agenda | Mar 18,2023
Editorial | Mar 18,2023
Dec 24 , 2022
Biniam Mikru heads the department of cabinet affairs under Mayor Adanech Abiebie. But...
Jul 2 , 2022 . By RUTH TAYE
On a rainy afternoon last week, a coffee processing facility in the capital's Akaki-Qality District was abuzz with activ...
Nov 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
Nov 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
Mar 18 , 2023
Ethiopia's economy once hailed as a paragon of growth and development, now faces a co...
Mar 11 , 2023
Ethiopia is rapidly emerging as one of China's top African debtors, second only to An...
Mar 4 , 2023
Once again, Ethiopia has claimed international attention in the past few weeks for re...
Feb 25 , 2023
Millions of people in Ethiopia have continued to be deprived of access to information...
I met Solomon Desta a couple of years ago. He lives and works in a religious institu...
A comedian made a joke about how citizens' wishes are not granted but rather what government thinks is ou...
Mar 18 , 2023
Residents in the capital are all too familiar with the rationing of running water supply as the 0.48 million cubic meters of water pumped ou...
Mar 18 , 2023 . By MUNIR SHEMSU
Consumers in the Benishangul-Gumuz Regional State feel the pinch of a high cost of living, exacerbated by...
A Korean-based consultancy firm, DONG IL Engineering Consultants bagged the contract to conduct a detaile...
Mar 18 , 2023 . By AKSAH ITALO
Authorities raise the minimum price threshold for horticultural products on vegetables and fruits exporte...
Or see contact page