Helen, Helen show host on EBS, interviewed Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, grandson of Emperor Hailesellasie, and his wife Princess Saba.
Prince Ermias was only 14 when the Ethiopian revolution ended the historic three thousands years old Ethiopian crown. But he had to deal with his own fair share of challenges, for lack of a better word, following the collapse of the imperial government. In addition to the story of his grandfather who was suffocated to death the members of military junta who carried out the revolution, the entire royal family was imprisoned for many years.
Asked to point out something the he would like the public to understand about the reign of his grandfather, Emperor Haileselassie, he said that a lot of lies had been told about Emperor Haile Selassie during height of the Ethiopian revolution. Specially, the rumor about the emperor stashing away billions of dollars overseas was pure lie, he told the host of the show. The allegation that the emperor was indulging in lavish royal life style while famine was ravaging Wollo was not true either ; it was just propaganda – he says. He believes that his grand father did the best he could but admitted that there were things that could have been even better and things that should have been done differently.
Apart from that, he shared his own fond memories and stories of the royal family that did not make it to the headline. He also fondly talked about Jamaica and Jamaicans ; apparently very much impressed about their knowledge regarding the history of Ethiopia. He visited Jamaica recently.
He is currently the chair of The Crown Council of Ethiopia. And he is thinking in terms of numerous projects along the lines of improving the lives of impoverished Ethiopians-projects that could perhaps link him to many Ethiopians in the future.
With all the problems that Ethiopia is facing right now, he seem to be optimistic about the future of Ethiopia. It is only recently that he returned to Ethiopia after living for 34 years abroad and his dream is to live in Ethiopia.
While Prince Ermias is a piece of history, by virtue of the contribution of his grandfather not just to Ethiopia but to Africa, he does not even have a residence in Ethiopia. Certainly, regrettable -for lack of better words. It is our history and we should treat it as such, at least.