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A  Gallop in Ethiopia:  Wax, Gold & the Abyssinian pony

Wax, Gold & the Abyssinian pony
The book cover
Press Release

(Voir le Communiqué de Presse en français :  Un Galop en Éthiopie : La Cire, L’Or et le Poney Abyssin – achetez le livre en français – dès le 14 février) 

A  Gallop in Ethiopia: Wax, Gold & the Abyssinian Pony will help you understand Ethiopia by giving you useful insights into the country’s culture and history. Filled with the personal observations of the author, Wax, Gold & the Abyssinian Pony will provide you with some pointers to help you ‘get’ a country that is often misunderstood. This is a book for anybody interested in Ethiopia who would like to get a better grasp of where the country is headed.

Yves-Marie Stranger is the author and translator of several books on Ethiopia. The author launched an equestrian stable near Addis Ababa and ran horse treks in the highlands to the north of the city. He later had a parallel career in conference interpreting in the ‘capital of Africa’, which brought him into close contact with both Ethiopian and foreign political and business elites. A Gallop in Ethiopia is a brief memoir of the years the author spent running horse treks and trying to comprehend Ethiopia. 

A Gallop in Ethiopia:  Wax, Gold & the Abyssinian pony includes three interviews with people who have intimate knowledge of the country. Rahel Shawl is a well-known architect who designed many of the most iconic buildings in Addis Ababa.  Beede Mekonnen is a respected businessman once jailed for the crime of being the grandson of Haile Selassie. Éloi Ficquet is a co-editor of Understanding Contemporary Ethiopia (Hurst), and a former director of the French Centre for Ethiopian Studies. 

Filled with unorthodox analysis and insights into what makes Ethiopia ‘tick’, chapters include:

  • An introduction: ‘Everything you’ve always wanted to know about Ethiopia—but never dared to ask.’
  • An account of the author’s first failed attempts to understand Ethiopia, starting in the year 2000.
  • A sketch of the great Ethiopian writer, Sebhat Guebre Egziabher
  • A portrait of Hapte-Selassie (‘The Father of Ethiopian Tourism’) and his secretary,  Ato Worku Sharew.
  • Encounters with local (Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Meles Zenawi), as well as foreign elites (Bob Geldof).
  • An application to Ethiopia of the family theory of Emmanuel Todd.
  • A tongue in cheek outline of the importance of the Abyssinian Pony in Ethiopian history.
  • An afterword by Manuel de Geez, ‘The Era of the Princes—with Drones.’
  • Three interviews with people who have intimate knowledge of the country.
  • Ethiopia in 10 words.
  • A historical chronology of Ethiopia.

Yves-Marie Stranger is a writer and translator. He is the editor of Ethiopia through Writers’ Eyes (Eland Books), and the author of Ces pas qui trop vitent s’effacent  (L’Archange Minotaure). His exhibition ‘The Abyssinian Syllabary’ was shown both in Ethiopia (Addis Ababa, Alliance Éthio-Française) and in France (Carré d’Art, Nîmes). You can also listen to The Abyssinian Syllabary podcast on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Youtube. He is the translator of the books Menelik and African Train, Djibouti-Addis Ababa (Hugues Fontaine, Amarna).

A Gallop in Ethiopia: Wax, Gold & the Abyssinian Pony ($ 10.57, 166 pages, paperback, ISBN: 978-2-9581656-1-1). Buy the book – available from the 14th of February).

Scheduled for release on February 14 2022
Contact:   Yves-Marie Stranger,


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