አዛውንቷ፣ ሾላውና ዋርካው (The Elderly Lady and Two Trees)

The following Amharic short story is inspired by two articles:

የዘመኑ መንፈስ (The spirit of the present time) by በእውቀቱ ስዩም (Bewketu Seyoum), a young Ethiopian who is well-known as creative writer, stand up comedian and poet in Ethiopia.

Bewketu’s article deals with the political issues that divide, confuse, or challenge citizens of Ethiopia today such as Ethiopian nationalism, ultranationalism, ethnic nationalism, ethnocentrism, historical revisionism, denialism, myths and selective omission. He argues that ethnic nationalists are revising Ethiopian history by skewing facts and fabricating lies to legitimize their political ideologies.

“ባሁኑ ጊዜ…የብሄርተኝነት ምእመን ከሆንክ የነፍስ አባት ይኖርሀል፣ በጭፍን የምትቀበለው ቀኖና ይኖርሀል፣ ነገ የምትገባባት የተስፋ ምድር ይኖርሀል፣ ከሁሉ በላይ ብርቱ ችግርህን የምትደፈድፍበት የመስዋእት በግ ይኖርሀል፡፡”

He also elucidates that what led to the creation of modern Ethiopia is not only conflict, but also the cooperation of the various groups within. He rejects the view that Ethiopia became a nation as a result of the power struggle between the Amhara, Oromo, and Tigrayan ethnic groups; he thinks such arguments disregard the contribution or existence of other ethnic groups in the country (over 70 of them).

“ኢትዮጵያ የግጭት ውጤት ብቻ እንደሆነች አድርጎ [ማቅረብ ትልቅ ስሕተት ነው]፡፡  ሲጀምር፣ የግብግብ ታሪክ መሠረት ይንዳል እንጂ መሠረት አይገነባም፡፡ እንደኔ ግምት፣ የኢትዮጵያ መሠረት የሆነው ብሄረሰቦች ለጋራ ሕልውና ሲሉ የሚያደርጉት የመደጋገፍ ታሪክ ነው፡፡

“ዛሬ ዛሬ፣ ታሪክ ከላሾች፣ የብሄሮችን የ‹‹ግብግብ›› ታሪክ ሞቅ አድርገው፣ አኳሽተው ሲጽፉ፣ የብሄሮች መደጋገፍ ታሪክን ግን ቸል ይሉታል፡፡ አለያም እጅግ በቀዘቀዘ ስሜት፣ በጥቂት መስመሮች ብቻ ጨረፍ አድርገው ያልፉታል፡፡ ለነገሩ፣ ከፋፋይነትን ብቸኛ ያስተዳደር ፈሊጥ አድርጎ የሚቆጥር ሰው በታሪክ ገጾች ውስጥ መመልከት የሚፈልገው ክፍፍልን ብቻ ነው፡፡ ታሪክ ግን ብዙ በጎ የትብብር ገጠመኞችን መዝግቧል፡፡”

The second article is the response given to Bewketu’s article by a certain Tesfaye Kebede. The article is entitled “Response to Bewketu Seyoum’s Article.” Tesfaye argues that Bewketu’s article is “meaningless.”

Tesfaye states “[Bewketu’s] conclusion is that the ongoing cultural revolution is a sign of backward and stagnant mentality. Not sure why he wasted all [those] words and phrases, instead of just saying that in point-blank.” He further adds “[Bewketu’s] thesis is that the Ethiopian state is not a result of conflicts, but of cooperation. By doing this, he negates the major pillar of the Ethiopianist’s argument (his camp’s major pillar) that no country has ever been created without violence.”

Thus, I have borrowed quotes from both articles to put together the following story of an elderly lady (who dislikes politics), Fig tree, and Ficus Vasta tree. The elderly looks up at the sky and asks, “when will the conflict, suffering end, so that peace can reign?” As the Fig tree responds to the elderly woman, the Ficus Vasta tree speaks up to argue against the Fig, and as the debate heats up, the elderly, who feels uneasy about the conversation, flees the scene.

***

አዛውንቷ፣ ሾላውና ዋርካው

ግራ የተጋቡ፣ ቦተሊካ የሚጠሉ አንዲት አዛውንት “…ኢትዮጵያን የመሠረታት የሶሰትዮሽ ጦርነት ግብግብ ነው፡፡ በአማራው፣ በኦሮሞው፣ በትግሬው ግብግብ…፡፡” የሚል ወሬ ከሰሙ በኋላ “መቼ ይሆን ግብግቡ አክትሞ ሰላም ሚሰፍነው?” አሉና ሰማዩን ጠየቁት፡፡

ከሰማዩ በታች ያለ አንድ የሾላ ዛፍ ለአዛውንቷ እንዲህ ሲል መለሰላቸው:- “በመጀመርያ፣ ሌሎች ብሄረሰቦች በግብግቡ ተሳትፎ እንዳልነበራቸው አድርጎ [ማቅረብ] አንድ ጉድለት ነው፡፡”

ሾላው ቀጠለናም “ግን ዋናው ቁምነገር ይሄ አይደለም፡፡ ኢትዮጵያ የግጭት ውጤት ብቻ እንደሆነች አድርጎ ማቅረቡ ነው ትልቁ ስሕተት፡፡”…አዛውንቷ ጆሯቸውን አቁመው እያዳመጡት ሳለ፣ ዋርካ ሾላውን ተቃውሞ ድምፁን አሰማ…

ዋርካም እንዲህ አለ:- “ዝምብለህ ቃላትን ከምታባክን ለምን ማለት የምትፈልገውን ባጭሩ አትናገርም? አንተ ማለት የፈለከው ‘ዛሬ በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ እየተካሄደ ያለው የባሕል አብዮት የኋላቀርነት ምልክት ነው’ ነው፡፡”

ሾላ ደግሞ “ብሄርተኝነትን መካድ ማለት የኢትዮጵያን ብሄር ብሄረሰቦች ህልውና መካድ ማለት አይደለም፡፡” የሚል መልስ ሲያቀርብ አዛውንቷ “በሉ እናንተዬ ነገራቹ አልጣመኝም…” ብለው ፍትልክ…

***

The End.

🙂

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