By Dawit Woldegiorgis
It is difficult writing this. It is a heart breaking moment in my life.
Nobody I have known in the last few years is as patriotic, dignified, loving, compassionate, knowledgeable and humble as Zewdie was. He was a role model for the younger generation. He tells the truth as should be told and has always got the courage and conviction to tell and retell the truth even in communities that have radical and distorted views of the truth. Armed with the truth he can face any crowd.
He was a younger brother who loved me protected me, stood with me, educated me, and transferred the confidence that enabled me to communicate with his generation effectively. He was humble and yet principled and strong.
He was a family man who loved his two kids and wife who were foremost in his life. He was workaholic and would never go to bed without meeting deadlines.
When we worked hard in the last few years to close the gap between the Oromo and Amara community, he played as a very important bridge through his broad minded and realistic approach towards ethnic differences. He was bold and courageous in breaking the taboos and talking and writing with pride and honesty on the history of the two ethnic groups. He fought stereotypes and appealed to people to reach out for each other in the grand spirit of love and belongingness to Ethiopia.
Above all he was a special person in the truest sense. These kinds of people are rare. Me and him have organized so many public and private meetings. We have sat down for hours and talked. We have drafted together many speeches and statements. Even when I am here in Africa, we are never apart. We talk for more than an hour at least evry week. We correspond and we follow up on our discussions. It is always about Ethiopia. Ethiopia was at the center of his heart. He was indefatigable, vigilant well read and always with fresh ideas.
I was hoping that he would go back home and play a role in this change that he has spent so much of his time and energy for. He stays high and tall in my life and I will and so will many others who have worked with him, cherish his legacy of selflessness, love of family and country, his generosity and his compassion.
So long my brother until we meet and in the mean time RIP
YOUR LOVING BROTHER
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