By T, Staffer of De Birhan Media
I am gonna start today’s piece with a short inspirational story from the Orientals (tert tert). It is very interesting and was written in plain English. Read patiently ’cause I gocha 2Pac’s song later.
As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not. He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away.
“Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them. As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
I phoned and spoke today to a friend of mine in Addis. He has just completed his Masters Degree in Education and thus been employed by a Zonal Education Bureau as an expert. He knows a lot about the political corruption within Ethiopia’s education system. I asked him; do you see this regime going anytime soon? He said “haaaa? I doubt if they go after 20 years”. He says school children as young as 8 and 9 are being trained (recruited) in the political and ideological lines of EPRDF just like the Communitst Party of China (CPC) does in Chinese schools. He says if you happen to speak to children in elementary or secondary schools, you will learn how they have been baptised by the Revolutionary /Developmental Democrats. A student moles his own classmates. My friend wonders when it would be possible to uproot such a regime that has gone grassroots in every family, school and village. EPRDF might be the next CPC of Africa, he fears.
More than 50 per cent of Ethiopia’s largely rural population is under the age of 25. Adolescents and youth aged 10-30 constituted over 50 per cent of the total population. Young Ethiopians suffer most from the growing unemployment, political, health and economic problems to mention few. Increasingly, these youth are using the three weakest methods of challenging problems. These are ignoring, running away and silence. Few of today’s youth have been able to enlighten themselves and others and unshackle the psychological and physical manacles.
The so called EPRDF generation (mainly those under 30) grew up nurtured with the political and ideological mantra of the TPLF/EPRDF. This generation has been brought up with the mentality that politics, freedom or issues related to individual rights are secondary and therefore what we should worry is about our individual success (economic or social). The generation has been made to think that being an Arada (modern) is not asking about rights, reading books about liberation, individual rights or democracy. That is foolish and terrible as to their books. You are an Arada- when you don’t touch them (the TPLF/EPRDFites) and do your own business. They say literally “Kaldereskebachew eko minim ayareguhem”. Therefore, a generation that mainly cares on how it can accumulate dollars by trading in China and Dubai or emigrate to the West and be rich has been framed, not excluding me.
Why has reading, discussing, caring, arguing and obsessions on/with politics, liberty, justice, freedom and better ways to develop our country or even “self determination” become extinct within our generation?
I opine that in addition to the self defeating and destructive scars of fear left by Ethiopia’s worst regime ever, Mengistu Hailemariam’s Dergue, the current regime’s tactical usage of “control behaviour” and attention diversion played a big role to that effect.
As I witnessed in my former schoolmate’s case, Ethiopians feel that they cannot uproot the “internal colonisers” eaisly. Our compatriots at home “believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
Regardless of that I say, not only in political issues but in every of our dealings from personal addictions (cigarette or Khat) to our bad traditions, abuse of women or our huge national concerns that have had us put in irons, we the elephants can break the ropes, to use the above tale metaphorically “We could at any time break free from our bonds but because we believed we couldn’t, we are stuck right where they were”.
Keep Ya Head Up ma people