borkena, Ethiopian video
Menelik’s rule of love and conflict resolution wisdom is arguably unrivaled in modern Ethiopian history. Unmistakably,and needless to say, he was a product of Ethiopian society gifted with all the qualities of leadership.
Due to radical ethno-nationalist politics in the post Mengistu era, radical revision, based on misinterpretation of Ethiopian history, became hallmarks narratives of Ethiopian history. Generators of it are political elites – primarily in Tigray People Liberation Front and Oromo Liberation Front ( now neo-OLF)
Owing to the above mentioned circumstances, this generation has been denied opportunity to learn from the wisdom of Ethiopian leaders whose leadership quality stood the tests of time. Tarnishing such an important leader like Menelik has become a “revolutionary” like “political quality” for radical ethno-nationalists. They even go to the extent of fabricating stories to serve that purpose. And there are times when accepting the fabricated story is flashed out as a precondition to discuss the future of Ethiopian history.
In the above video, Wubshet Worqalemahu,a big name in the advertisement business in Ethiopia, shares captivating story as a tribute to the 121 anniversary of Adwa victory. Credit for the initiative goes to Rafatoel. Based on the story Wubshet shared, there was an argument among Menelik’s nobility on the level of punishment on a certain Ethiopian who committed what constitutes an offense at the time. Nobility verdict-ed that the accused get seven lashes. Apparently, Fitawurari Habteghiorgis, war minister and top adviser on a range of administrative issues, did not take part in the decision. Then, Emiye asked for his opinion about it. Habteghiorgis said that the accused deserves no lashes. His reason? That the accused is a veteran from Adwa battle and he already paid a price in the battle by bravely fighting the invaders. The seven lash verdict will spoil the good image of my lord, emeye Menelik, said Habtegiorgis. Emiye agreed that no lash for accused.
When Habtegiorgis was away from Addis Ababa for a working trip, the nobility executed the seven lash verdict on the man (mind you even against Menelik’s order). Habteghiorgis was later informed about it by one of his staff that the man got seven lashes. Wondering how his lord broke his words and Indignant about the execution of the verdict, Habteghiorgis avoided him for about a week which was not like him. When Menelik asks about Habteghiorgis, he was told that Habteghiorgis is back in town and staying at home as he was not feeling well. Menelik understood that something is not right with Habteghiorgis; otherwise he would not have avoided him for a week and not inform him that he is not feeling well. He noticed there was a conflict without even getting details of it,one.
Menelik then ordered his horsemen to follow him and asked one of his vassal to bring a big rock with him. Destination was Habteghiorgis house. When he reached there with the entourage of nobility, Habteghiorghis was informed about it and came to watch from the balcony of his one story house. Menelik was carrying a big rock – a gesture of asking forgiveness in Ethiopian tradition. Habteghiorgis fainted, narrates Wubshet, and asked Menelik to remove the rock. Menelik resisted. “You are offended.otherwise I know that you have a good heart for me.Forgive me first before I put the rock down,” said Menelik. Then Habteghiorgis had to come down and remove the rock from the shoulder of Menelik. The nobility including Habteghiorgis were in tears and breakfast was served in the residence of Habteghiorgis. There is a second point that should be noted here; Menelik never allowed ego to stand between him and his desire to ask forgiveness from his trusted colleague and adviser. A nation builder acts with wisdom. And no leader is greater than one who builds a nation with love,respect,tolerance, bravery, justice and recognition. Menelik combined these qualities, among others.
Video Credit : Rafatoel