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Commemorating The Battle of Adwa and Martyrs’ Day (Yekatit 12): The Untold Story of The Ethiopian Orthodox Clerg

By Dogo Aba Bora, son of Aba Bora

126 years ago, the Battle of Adwa was a glorious day for Ethiopians, Africans on the continent
and in the diaspora. The Battle of Adwa is celebrated as an African victory over European colonization. The victory was significant not only for Ethiopians but also for Black people under
the yoke of colonialism. The victory ushered a spirit of revolution and revolutionary movements demanding justice globally. Adwa was the first sign of hope for the liberation of oppressed people and was a temporary pause in the scramble for Africa. 

To have achieved this momentous day, one has to appreciate the wise and united leadership of Emperor Menelik II and Empress Taitu. The proclamation for the defense of Ethiopia was unifying, precise, and clear: the able-bodied were to join the march, those with physical limitations were to pray, and those who stayed behind idly were to be punished.

The call to battle was understood and preparation was organized. Patriots mentally and physically prepared themselves. One such way was by cleansing their body with a drink prepared from Koso flower. Mentally, their strong belief in faith, endurance and intelligently organized logistics ensured a victorious outcome. 

During the second Italian invasion 40 years later, on Friday, February 19, 1937 Marshal Rodolfo Graziani, Mussolini’s prominent military officer and viceroy in Ethiopia, unleashed ‘repression squads’ of armed Blackshirts. The Blackshirts were a paramilitary wing of the Italian National Fascist Party who along with fascist civilians massacred and imprisoned defenseless residents of the capital city, Addis Ababa, and surrounding regions. The massacre resulted in the death of over 30,000 civilians over the course of three days and is now annually commemorated as Martyrs’ Day (Yekatit 12). 

As I aim to shed light on the untold stories of my ancestors who fought to defend the nation 126 and 86 years ago, I ought to pay respect to those that have had a similar mission. Thank you to Egegayehu Shebabaw, the singer internationally known as Gigi, for writing the epitaph to Adwa patriots in her song titled “Adwa”. I also want to thank the singer Tewodros Kassahun, internationally known as Teddy Afro, for exhuming the patriots’ stories in his song titled “Ethiopia”. These two gifted story tellers, composers and singers’ poignant lyrics powerfully sung lasting tribute to our ancestors. 

My respect also goes to the African American and Afro-Caribbean brothers and sisters for their unwavering solidarity and support during the second Italian invasion and occupation. Mass protest and support rallies were held in Caribbean islands, with school kids singing playground rhymes poking fun at Mussolini.

Congruously, the month of February is celebrated as Black History Month in England, the Caribbean islands and North America. 85 years ago, when news spread to Harlem about a second Italian invasion of Ethiopia, African Americans engaged in daily rallies, demonstrations, and protests in support of Ethiopia against fascist Italy. Clashes occurred between supporters of Fascist Italy and those who opposed the unjust occupation of a free and sovereign country. 

Black owned newspapers such as The Negro Liberator and Voice of Ethiopia published and updated the public on the ongoing barbaric war in Ethiopia. Thousands of African Americans in Harlem, New York and several hundred in Texas volunteered and registered to fight alongside Ethiopian patriots. Colonel John Charles Robinson, a renowned African American aviator nicknamed the Brown Cador, is remembered for his efforts in training the Ethiopian air force. These publications and mass demonstrations including the boycotting of businesses owned by fascist supporters angered both fascist sympathizers and major media outlets. One of which was The New York Times who tellingly labeled those demonstrating and supporting Ethiopia’s efforts as “mobs”. 

It is with great reverence, honor and pride that I extend an immeasurable thank you to the thousands of patriots including my great grandfather, my grandmother, my grandfather, my father, my uncle, my nephew and cousins for their efforts and sacrifice during the first and second Italian Invasion. One can only imagine the trials endured while traversing various terrains, climate zones and caring for their compatriots and pack animals as some inevitably fell ill.

My great grandfather, Memere Zena Marcos Tekelehawriat, known to us as “Janteff”, was the spiritual father of Fitawrari Gatew. Janteff and my grandmother, Wizero Desta Ali, accompanied Dejazmatch Balcha Safo, a celebrated general of the Adwa victory, in his tour of duty from Abera, Sidamo to Harar and back to Sidamo. Dejzazmach Balcha Safo was a deeply religious man and a strong supporter of the church and the clergy. He recognized the efforts of the clergy in defending their country and rewarded them generously. Balcha went on to build four churches in the shape of a cross with his residence at the center in Hagere Selam. 

In 1935, Memere Zena entrusted his eldest son and my maternal grandfather, Memere Gebremariam Zena, to trek 600 km south to Dolo, Ethiopia to answer the call for defense against the second Italian Invasion. Memere Gebremariam, carrying the same tabot (ark) dedicated to Saint George (the patron saint of Ethiopia), happily and reverently answered the call. Memere Gebremariam traveled barefoot with mules and donkeys to carry provisions, just as his father did 40 years earlier. As we commemorate Martyrs’ Day and Adwa, it is important to note that in present day Addis Ababa, one cannot carry and accompany the tabot without being threatened or shot by government police. This was made abundantly clear by the recent killing of four orthodox believers in Weibella Mariam celebrating Ethiopian Epiphany. 

For centuries, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and its priests have en masse played a significant role in all campaigns defending the nation. The priests of the Orthodox Church perform miscellaneous duties during the campaign: daily intercession prayers for patriots, daily reading and prayers, spiritual counseling and moral support for fighters among many other tasks. Moreover, the Ethiopian Orthodox clergy were excellent geographers with knowledge acquired from travels to various monasteries in Ethiopia for their theological studies and on journeys to Jerusalem. The clergy consulted and advised the best route to war fronts. At the battlefield, priests gathered the injured, tended to patriots’ wounds, consoled and offered peace of mind to the dying. Priests performed funeral services for the dead, kept records of events and the names of fallen heroes. 

The Italian invasions were no different, The Orthodox Church, which was historically an integral part of the Ethiopian state, played a pivotal role in broadening the dimension of the resistance. The Church felt self-obligated, both inside and outside the church, to renounce fascist Italian invaders onto a free country. The verse “Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God” rings true then and now. The priests employed the rarely used “gezet”, a highest order of moral and conscious appeal, that bestows a curse onto its followers who refuse or side step the advice of the priest and in this case those who sided with the invaders. 

My father, Ato Sintayehu Solomon aka Aba Bora, was the son of Weizero Desta Ali. He followed his mother’s legacy and marched south to Dolo alongside his half-brother, Ato Tedela Emdere (son of Grazmatch Emdere), and his godson, Ato Negash Asfaw. 87 years later this same spirit of patriotism and fanoism is shared in present day Ethiopia by those like Yetagese Eshete and his father, Eshete Moges of Shoa Robit, both civilians who joined the most recent war effort and died in defense of their family and community against home grown terrorist groups. As well as 50 years ago by Kebede Solomon, Aba Boras’s 6th son, who served as a soldier in the Ethio-Eritrean war in mid 1970’s and is among the thousands of soldiers missing in action. 

In January of 1936, the Dolo campaign also called the “Battle of Genale Dorya” or “Battle of Three Rivers”, was led by Ras Desta Damtew alongside thousands of Ethiopian patriots to stop the Italian march North from Italian Somaliland to Addis Ababa. The Italian forces were now, 40 years later, aided by Somali Dubats (Somali soldiers who wore white turbans and were employed by the Italian military service). In 1896, Empress Taitu dislodged Italian soldiers out of their fortress in Mekele by cutting off their water source. This time around, Italian forces used the same tactic against Ethiopian patriots at the Dolo front causing an unreported number of Ethiopian casualties and forced tactical withdrawal on all fronts. Memere Gebermariam’s helpers, Ato Dewa Menesa known as “Geberhana” and Ato Germamo Zena, were martyred at the Dolo front as they attempted to fetch water for the team, in one of the several indiscriminate bombings by Italy. 

On the northern front, Fascist Italy, began their invasion of Ethiopia from Eritrea by way of Adwa towards Addis Ababa. The Italian forces quickly occupied Adwa, the same town they were humiliated and defeated in 40 years earlier. The invading forces continued their push south to Maychew. The Battle of Maychew in March of 1936, like the Dolo campaign, didn’t go well for Ethiopian partisans. The Battle of Maychew was the last major battle fought on the northern front. Fascist Italy employed similar tactics of spraying mustard gas and the swift massacring of thousands of Ethiopian patriots as they did on the southern front. The patriotic war of resistance escalated and continued in various villages and districts in Tigray as well as in many other regions of Ethiopia.

My father’s cousin, Belamberas Desalegn Sheshege, participated in the battle of Maychew and is one of the few who made it back home. After returning from the Maychew front, he joined other Arbegnoch (patriots) in the war of resistance in Merhabete, North Shoa led by Seyoum Geberehiwot.  

During the second Italian invasion of Ethiopia, Italy successfully divided the country based on ethnic, social and religious differences and hired more bandas (collaborators/ traitors). These differences were exploited effectively to augment their advanced fire power. The division in the nation made it more difficult for the fanos (Amhara patriots) to fend off Italian aggression with full force. Unlike the patriotic march 40 years earlier, camping at night and tactical maneuvering called for extreme caution and alertness; not only to guard against wild animals but also collaborators who were equally threatening and deadly.

The resolve of resistance fighters in the four corners of the country stiffened after the martyrdom of Bishop Petros (Abune Petros) in July of 1936 and the massacre of over thirty thousand civilians in Addis Ababa and its surrounding areas in February of 1937. Bishop Petros was machine-gunned by Italian forces for refusing to sign an act of submission and refusing to excommunicate resistance fighters. 

Yekatit 12 included the killing of Bishop Mikael who died while praying as did thousands of priests, monks and nuns in various churches and towns including the famous Debre Libanos monastery. The immense number of gruesome and indiscriminate murders was the hallmark of fascist Italy. The world to date has still shied away from calling this genocide by its true name and the Vatican has never apologized for this crime although it blessed the fascist campaign into Ethiopia and for its success. 

At the battles of Maychew and Dolo, Italy had more sophisticated weapons, including internationally banned poison gas, an air force, tanks and the latest artillery to avenge their humiliating defeat forty years earlier at the Battle of Adwa. The Italian defeat at Adwa was so humiliating it sent angry crowds to streets in Italy chanting “viva Menelik!”

The death toll at the Dolo front was enormous and compounded due to a lack of food, water, and adequate means of transportation. Memere Gebermariam Zena and the surviving patriots, exhausted from battle, faced days of a treacherous journey back home as they tactically retreated. Many days traveling in the wilderness helping the wounded, the limping and blinded partisans as they retreated proved slow and debilitating. Returning home after an arduous campaign, my grandfather, my father and other patriots found their town occupied by Italian forces and their collaborators. Their homes were ransacked and burned to the ground with their family members displaced, threatened and ready to flee in any possible direction. 

Memere Gebremariam and his family were in despair, left with an immediate decision where hesitation is catastrophic and dangerous. In an act of survival mode, Memere Gebermariam’s family had the unthinkable decision to make, to abandon their youngest son and save the rest of their family. My mother, Bezunesh Gebremariam, barely twelve years old and full of hope, love and a teenager’s courage, volunteered to carry her baby brother to safety. My mother’s tearful and persistent request to save her youngest brother was combined with the promise that her actions would not become burdensome to a family retreating from enemy forces and their local collaborators. Since her baby brother was so small he was placed inside a large agelgel (a red straw basket with a lid cover) during the ordeal. 

In present day Ethiopia, thousands of families belonging to the same ethnic group and religion are displaced and flee their home in similarly dire circumstances. It is sickening to witness thousands of minors attempting to care for their younger siblings after enduring the senseless and gruesome killing of their parents. Minors attempting to fill the void created by a conflict of which they are not partial to, are left on their own without means in today’s Ethiopia. In the present moment there are thousands of people whose daily cry and existence is denied and made invisible by the current rulers and lackeys. 

After returning to Hagere Selam from Dolo, my father and his younger brother Ato Tedela Emdere alongside other partisans circled back to Hagere Mariam to stop the Italian force’s encampment and create an operational route north. In this engagement, my father and his brother got separated to never see each other again. My father with like-minded patriots continued their war of resistance for five years. Nightly clandestine operations against Italian military convoys, fortresses and posts were carried out to maximize damage to the enemy and evade local bandas. Bandas came from all ethnic groups irrespective of social, economic and religious background.

Ras Abebe Damtew (brother of Ras Desta Damtew), Dejazmatch Debale, Dejazmatch Gebermariam Gari, Fetawrari Kassa Ayalew, Fetawrari Yigeremu, Kejazmatch Ayele Gebre Giorgis, Belamberase Alemayehu Bedada, Belamberase Yegeremu Berhane, Ato Kasaye Gurara, Ato Zegeye Abeba, and Ato Mola Dobe were among the leaders and fighters in the southern front during the war of resistance, covering Arbegona, Teferkella, Hagere Selam, Jebasere, Hageremariam and neighboring localities.

In one of these campaigns aimed at the Italian fortress in Hagere Selam, my father took an Italian soldier captive and turned him over to Dejazmatch Gebermariam Gari who was one of the resistance leaders in the area. The Italian captive was threatened by a local quisling who with unfounded bravado wanted to kill this soldier, which my father objected to at gunpoint. From then on, when my father visited the detention center, the Italian captive was always happy to see him calling out “Solomoni!!”. 

Hagere Selam, is a small town with neighborhoods identified as Kese sefer, Fano sefer, Koira sefer, Gurage sefer, and Gojam sefer.  For those new to the political landscape, fanos are thought to be one of the several protest groups that have cropped up in the last decade. However, the existence of fanos dates back to Ethiopia’s fight against colonizers as evidenced by the locality bearing the name, Fano sefer.  During the five-year war of resistance my father, like many other patriots, was subjected to detention and his property confiscated by occupying forces and their collaborators. On one occasion he was set up by turncoat bandas and was saved by another sympathetic turncoat who worked as a translator for the occupying forces. 

After defeating the occupation forces, the patriots were not revengeful to these enemy collaborators. Some of these collaborators did play roles that helped the freedom fighters while others were notoriously pro-Italy and pro-fascism. The fanos despised those on the wrong side of history, who unfortunately missed the opportunity to fight for freedom.

For today’s bandas, Zemene Kasse, the young fano organizer, recently surmised that the false accusation to smear fanos martyrdom presently is characteristic and a continuation of the work of earlier traitors. Bandas characteristically undermine their own personal freedoms to serve others with the promise of whatever power is left over. To refute the false accusations targeted at fanos  made by bandas would be a waste of time. 

One European observer properly and adequately defined fanos as men and women who gallantly and courageously fight and die honorably. Contrastingly, bandas unceremoniously die loyal and true to their masters. Asmare Dagne, Melke Gobe, Aschalew Desse, Mola Dese, Eshete Moges and his son, the two brothers from the Gojam Fanos, and their corporal (aser aleka) leader demonstrate the prideful characteristics of a Fano through their great devotion and sacrifice. Simultaneously, the present day political cadres reflect the same characteristics of bandas who are willing to die unceremoniously, serving multiple masters, as observed in the last 40 years.

Recent false campaigns by western media and its local supporters against fanos characterize these individuals as “Amhara militia vigilantes”. Moreover, as brutal and barbaric, as a part of an endless campaign to vilify self-respecting patriots that are willing to forgo everything to defend their country and their beliefs. 

Thousands of Italians were imprisoned at the Battle of Adwa, hundreds of Italian captives during the five year war of resistance and presently dozens of Ethiopians have been captured in the recent war in northern Ethiopia. In each of those instances, these prisoners have been turned over to the authorities. Where is the so-called brutality of fanos in these acts?     

After the defeat of fascist forces, some of the patriots including my father were offered titles and district governorship, but most opted out and preferred to lead a quiet civilian life. My father was offered a governorship at Wadera, Borna region but chose to resume his life as a farmer. Meanwhile, enemy cohorts who worked with occupation forces acquired skills that enabled them to become active participants in government bureaucracy. The fanos, with their job done, returned home to pick up the life they left. This has been the attitude of fanos for generations.  Therefore the present rulers need not worry about appointing fanos to their rank or rewarding them for their sacrifice.

One can draw a clear resemblance to the current bureaucracy from that of 85 years ago. In hindsight, recrimination and an apology by those who colluded with the enemy would have served an important lesson to their descendants that such behavior should be shunned. Lack of condemnation and recrimination has encouraged the children of these traitors to pick up where their shameless ancestors left off with impunity. 

The descendants of traitors, encumbered with the guilty conscience of their forefathers, are actively and effectively resuming what had been partially achieved by their grandparents— to root out the spirit of unity, dignity and patriotism. The videotaping of horrific acts and circulation on social media has become a heroic act for the cowardly bunch devoid of patriotic history. Burning Orthodox churches, looting businesses owned by its adherents and mass killings is a blueprint left by fascist Italy now in play without alteration for the last 30 years. Not a single perpetrator has been brought to justice for these crimes; rather they are rewarded with government employment, villas, appointment to diplomatic positions, own private media and are hired as special advisors to the current rulers. Preaching love, peace and unity without justice is hollow at best. 

In my generation, like our Adwa patriots, we all came united with common concerns irrespective of our ethnic, religious, social, and economic background. We struggled for fair land reform, dignity and justice at home. We supported revolutionary movements for freedom in Africa, Asia and Latin America. We grew up supporting and appreciating singers like Alemayehu Eshete. His discography which includes a song dedicated to freedom fighters in South Africa and Rhodesia (present day Zimbabwe) called“Shegut Metreyesoon Angetotal ya Tekur Gessela dem shetotal”, which translates to “the black panther has slung his rifle and his revolver”. Big dreams of a fair and equitable nation were characteristic of the time. Little did we know a small person with small ideas would flourish to create a nation that is sick, disunited and devoid of empathy for its fellow citizens.

In today’s Ethiopia, solidarity and empathy for people massacred, victims of war and displaced people is non-existent. Where is the uproar, outrage and demonstrations against the Amhara genocide in Wellega, Benishangul, Southern Ethiopia? Where is the condemnation for all the civilian deaths in Afar, Tigray, the siege of the Amaro district for four years? It is apparent that the ensued chaos is covertly sanctioned by the ruling elite. The daily jarring events are driven by personal greed and dangerous politics by the current regime. This ruling group is the force behind ethnic cleansing, children hacked to death, mass burials and the untold misery of thousands of malnourished nursing mothers. To drown out the ongoing crimes and endless cries by millions, the rulers organize lavish parties for their cadres and supporters.   

TPLF rose to power introducing ethnic politics and a constitution intended to marginalize and punish descendants of Adwa, Maychew, Dolo, Korea, Congo, Asmara, and Karamera who lived throughout the country irrespective of their ethnic and religious identity. The constitution touted by TPLF and their foreign supporters as a gift by individuals of uncommon intellect and thinkers is fictional ruin. Moreover, the constitution is the precise cause of ethnic conflict all over the country and the untold numbers of deaths and people displaced. The geographic arrangement created by TPLF is nearly identical to the infamous map of Ethiopia, fascist Italy drew up 85 years ago. Moreover, the US State Department’s call in recent days to not change internal or external borders illustrates western paternalistic involvement in the affairs of an independent country.

The TPLF and its foreign supporters clearly know who were at the forefront of the battlefields with their unmistakable tabot. Delineating homelands to particular groups while excluding others actively subverts and punishes the ethnicities that never subscribed to the notion of a “homeland”. The targets were unmistakably clear. TPLF and their junior partners in their remaking of the nation, disbanded the national army and fired thousands of government employees in the process. My nephew, a junior officer during the Derg regime, is now in his mid-fifties and jobless without any prospects of employment despite his fluency in four languages including English. His grandfathers, great grandmothers, brothers, nephews, uncles and his own sacrifice for an equitable nation has failed him miserably as a citizen where ethnic affiliation takes precedence in today’s Ethiopia. 

The aforementioned descendants of patriots who do not belong to their “assigned” homeland, flee the country in thousands seeking opportunity, gainful employment and a future that they have been denied in their own country. They are undertaking perilous journeys and dangerous sea routes to reach Europe and elsewhere on rickety ships with some drowning in the Red Sea and Mediterranean Sea. Others perish in the Sahara Desert and many others suffocate to death in sealed containers packed like sardines by human traffickers. Those who make it across to countries like Saudi Arabia and the Southern African countries are met with prison with no life lines and a home country without the political power to advocate on their behalf. 

Sadly, this experiment of ethnic federalism has recently brought the demise of the constitution’s  major architects (whose inspiration drew from fascist Italy’s archives) in the recent war in the Tigray region. The ethnic federal arrangement and ideology left untouched will undoubtedly bring the demise of the nation along with its current rulers like their predecessors and mentors. The new leaders and their supporters have miserably failed to face the challenges of their own creation and save the country from coming apart.

The unity that existed 126, 85, and even 30 years ago to defend and die for the motherland has been systematically taken apart from within in the last 50 years. The fissure in the country continues to widen every day as citizens witness the absence of law and order. A country and its citizens who once believed in pan-Africanism and theorized its inception with the creation of the African Union now struggle with internally displaced refugees. The tribal city administration and its police force brutally force these refugees into unwelcoming and unaccepting regions resulting in citizens shuttling between regions with no place to call home. These same political leaders dine with refugees from Syria and other countries for optics and disingenuously and hypocritically speak on the prospects of a united Africa from a fragmented country. Meanwhile, at present there are more than three million displaced and over ten million on the brink of starvation.

The brazen Sudanese invasion in 2020 and current occupation of land inside Ethiopia illustrates a nation in deep turmoil and viewed by its foreign adversaries as debilitated. The ongoing civil war will likely usher in new or multiple state(s). The Sudanese and their allies have been directly and indirectly supporting Ethiopian opposition groups and liberation fronts for the last 50 years and know the major players in the current government. Now, with the nation weakened by mistrust and varied political interests within the ruling party, Sudanese aggression cannot be averted. This is further evidenced by the shifting and irrational position of the Sudanese government at the negotiating table of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). The commitment and the degree to which the present rulers are committed to their ulterior motives of an ethnic power grab rather than the nation’s interest is apparent to any observer. 

For the current rulers and its military commanders who are busy stealing apartments from poor city dwellers, the last thing they want to acknowledge or learn of is the martyrdom of Emperor Yohannes and the thousands of Ethiopians. Yohannes and his army died defending the honor and territorial integrity of the country from the invading Mahdist of Sudan. The shameless equating by harebrained leaders of recent quasi-battle victories from the ongoing civil war in Northern Ethiopia to the Battle of Adwa is selfish, self-aggrandizing and insulting to Adwa patriots.

In fact, the previous regime in an effort to create a government of unconditional loyalists, systematically recruited mediocre soldiers and captive soldiers from the Ethio-Eritrean war. These soldiers were promoted to the highest military ranks on the basis of a single qualification— loyalty to the regime and ethnic affiliation. Therefore, it should be no surprise if these same soldiers now touting titles like four and five star general miss the Ethio-Sudan border demarcation. The inability to discern the ongoing military buildup by the Sudanese army and displacement of Ethiopians at the border as a real threat to the security of the borders is cause for great concern. 

The 125th  anniversary of The Battle of Adwa held last year was badly mucked up, as the rewriting of the victory was soiled with cheap politics, peerless lying and lawless theatrics. Since March is Women’s History Month, there were thousands of deserving women including Balcha’s distinguished female relatives who traveled the 1600km to Adwa and back. Balcha’s photo should have been commemorated alongside one of the female patriots in the celebrations, not the current prime minister. 

Pinning medals on to these pseudo military officers in commemoration of the Battle of Adwa is synonymous to applying lipstick on a pig. These same officers failed to keep towns from burning to the ground and failed to prevent thousands of civilian deaths near their military encampment in Shashemene, Ataye, Konso and elsewhere. These are the officers who lead the soldiers when running and abandoning millions of defenseless citizens to local terrorist groups

Our forefathers shed their blood to cement the unity and territorial integrity of the nation and now the stakes are much higher for us. 

My greatest respect, honor, admiration and reverence goes out to those who fought for freedom and individual sovereignty; few were praised and some died in pursuit of these efforts. We the descendants of the memeres (clergy) and fanos should honor the legacy and history of the march into danger and death. For these individuals, sacrifice and the fight for freedom defined their life. 

May God Bless Them All!! 

Editor’s note : Dogo Aba Bora revealed to borkena that he is descendent of Ethiopian patriots who fought during the first and second Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1896 and 1935.  He could be reached at dababora@gmail.com 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I would like to thank the author for sharing the story of his gallant ancestors. Such glorious stories must be told by the descendants of those gallant people who were so courageous to face off the onslaughts of foreign bullies and connivers and came out winning. Not only winning but left history that has become the pride of every living, breathing colored man/woman on this good earth. On that fateful and glorious day at Adwa on March 01, 1896 every warrior was congealed like inseparable fireball irrespective of ethnicity and religion. There were tens of thousands of Christians on that battlefield and there were thousands of Muslims under the command of both Mikaeel and Mekonnen. There were also those who observe their centuries old traditional creed. But that day they were all one ready to pay the ultimate price with their Allah created lives and thousands of them did just that. You see, that river of human blood that ran like a raging river on that battlefield was a blood of all these groups of people rolled into one. The arrogant Dabormida died squealing like a pig when a Muslim Barentu lance anchored in his chest splitting his lungs and heart right in the middle. The final battle plan laid out by Tekle of Gojjam and Mikaeel(Mohammed Ali) was a crushing blow to Baratieri’s army. The rest of the afternoon turned out to be a moping operation and it was told that by 2 or 3 PM the war was practically over. By then Baratieri had cut loose and running away for his life like rabbit on a fastest thoroughbred he could find. I can see two of our Barentu and Gojjame ancestors who noticed Baratieri running like a scared wildebeest. From their vantage point from a hill top I can guess what they were screaming in his direction from the top of their lungs. No, no, no, I can’t repeat that on this family show. Let’s say it was every imaginable expletive word. But I can tell you one of them in its mildest form. It goes like ‘We kicked your ass!!! You son of a thousand fathers!!!’ For me March 01 has always been my proudest day. We all should.

    Again, thank you dear countryman for sharing your illustrious family history.

  2. As a decedent of Patriots, I would also like to extend an immeasurable thank you to Emperor Menelik II, HIM, the thousands of patriots including my grandfather, grand uncle, aunt and many of my relatives for their efforts and sacrifice during the second Italian Invasion.

    History has already been made. But one must pull out the truth from the myth and fabrications that translated into tangible results. Freedom is the tangible results that kept Ethiopians from slavery and occupation by Italians. What is there to argue about?
    That is how to put traitors to shame and put them on the spot. Because the descendants of traitors have their own version of history. Of course, they will never admit their selfishness and immoral stand except they remain to live and see another day when the selfless defenders died.
    Up until today descendants of traitors, with selfish and immoral behavior are alive moving from place to place looking for an opportunity with men is in power despite hurting the honest and loyal people and the country’s interest.
    My gallant patriots Grandfather, grand uncle and many relatives had to go from Addis Ababa to Maychew to fight at the battle of Maychew. My grandfather had to leave his very young child behind, my father with my grandmother and aunt. My young teenage aunt joined Arbegnoch (patriots) resistance in Showa wearing pants and afro hair.
    Sadly, I lost my grandfather in Maychew but my grand uncle and relatives were the few who made it back home.
    Addis Ababa decades if not centuries residents and defenders who lived in peace, cherished their diversity in cultural and food, married without caring to know or mentioning their ethnicity today are treated badly by the City Mayor and PM Abiy ethnocentric policy.
    Ethnic backward policy that is tearing the country and people apart is sleeping on finals farewell death bed. The only profiteers are the so-called Prosperity Party that worship money and power at the expense of the impoverished population.

    PM Abiy must also understand that being elected is not a guarantee to stay in power unless he kept his oath and promises that he will do. He must keep in mind that he is the servant not the master that must come up with solutions and results people asked.

  3. The fathers and grandfathers of the TPLF leaders like Meles Zenawi and Sebhat Nega are known to be among those who served the Italian invading forces in the period 1936 to 1941. These guys took the mission of their forefathers and mobilized the people of Tigray to attain their treasonous goal. The old man Sebhat Nega for example claimed to have crushed the backbones of the Amharas and the Orthodox church. The TPLF is a fascist political grouping and this claim of its old leader should not surprise any Ethiopians. According to the veteran ex TPLF figure ato Abraham Gebremedhin , the family of Meles Zenawi faced stigmatization and he had a difficult child and boyhood in his birth place.

  4. What a great story! As Gigi and Teddy Afro started it, documentaries such as the story above must be made to educate the lost and slave generation from 30 years till today. I too have a story whose story never been told. My grandfather, from todays Oromia region left his 2 years sons and wife to free his country from the Italian fascists attempting to colonize the nation. He never came back and died on the battlefield. My father never knew his father and decided to serve and protect his country. Every time he spoke about his father and his mother ( who struggled and worked hard making baskets, small farming, and making Ethiopian Gabi shawls) raised her two boys alone. My father, although became buisnessman by vowing to get out of poverty and reciprocate by looking after his mother, he always made sure the wellbeing of the country by participating in Ethiopia’s, concern as well as helping the poor. He knew that the emergence of Liberation Fronts, Ehapa, and Derg were dangerous and were mercenaries to the success of colonizers. Today’s pretending leaders along the three groups mentioned above are working hand and glove together with the same colonizers. The colonizers’ dream is almost materializing. Derg and current so called Prosperity party drum Ethiopia while they are unleashing unspeakable crime and killing along with their fellow mercenaries. When the youth overthrew the Tplf party and chased them out of Addis, todays fake leaders pretended they have nothing to do with Liberation Fronts, nor Derg nor Ehapa who are all mercenaries serving for colonizers and the powers as well for Arab interest took over the country and divided the youth who fought together and chased away Tplf. Tplf is alive and well and the mercinaries have never been strong enough like today. The strength if Shabia, dreaming to control
    and weakening Ethiopia is very visible and is the perfect mercinary who has now years of experience serving the masters for the sake of power by forming horn of Africa union who will wreck the benefit of Ethiopias resources with its masters. The current ethiopian leaders, just like Derg is making the people distracted by the fake unity and calling Ethiopia while annihilating the asset and core of Ethiopia that kept the country tigether and at peace, and that is the Orthodox non violent faith, the social fabric, history and culture. hen current government took over and invited its fellow radical Olf and Shabia. Tplf is intact but Tigrayans as population has been massacred because they were deceived by Tplf that only seeks power and does not even cate for Tigrayans. After all the only reason how Tplf was supported by Tigrayans is by force, blackmail, annihilation if anyone who date oppose Tplf. Populations living under the yolk of Oromiya region is losing and have been losing its identity more just like Tigrayans. These populstions are being forced to embrace foreign religions that does not teach coexistance but grooming and money, losing its national flags whose fore fathers fought and died for and rather have been forced foreign flag, the populations are losing their orginal alphabets and embracing colonizers latin writing. These are signs of accepting not only colonization but also giving away your own existance.

  5. What a great story! As Gigi and Teddy Afro started it, documentaries such as the story above must be made to educate the lost and slave generation from 30 years till today. I too have a story whose story never been told. My grandfather, from todays Oromia region left his 2 years sons and wife to free his country from the Italian fascists attempting to colonize the nation. He never came back and died on the battlefield. My father never knew his father and decided to serve and protect his country. Every time he spoke about his father and his mother ( who struggled and worked hard making baskets, small farming, and making Ethiopian Gabi shawls) raised her two boys alone. My father, although became buisnessman by vowing to get out of poverty and reciprocate by looking after his mother, he always made sure the wellbeing of the country by participating in Ethiopia’s, concern as well as helping the poor. He knew that the emergence of Liberation Fronts, Ehapa, and Derg were dangerous and were mercenaries to the success of colonizers. Today’s pretending leaders along the three groups mentioned above are working hand and glove together with the same colonizers. The colonizers’ dream is almost materializing. Derg and current so called Prosperity party drum Ethiopia while they are unleashing unspeakable crime and killing along with their fellow mercenaries. When the youth overthrew the Tplf party and chased them out of Addis, todays fake leaders pretended they have nothing to do with Liberation Fronts, nor Derg nor Ehapa who are all mercenaries serving for colonizers and the powers as well for Arab interest took over the country and divided the youth who fought together and chased away Tplf. Tplf is alive and well and the mercinaries have never been strong enough like today. The strength if Shabia, dreaming to control
    and weakening Ethiopia is very visible and is the perfect mercinary who has now years of experience serving the masters for the sake of power by forming horn of Africa union who will wreck the benefit of Ethiopias resources with its masters. The current ethiopian leaders, just like Derg is making the people distracted by the fake unity and calling Ethiopia while annihilating the asset and core of Ethiopia that kept the country tigether and at peace, and that is the Orthodox non violent faith, the social fabric, history and culture. hen current government took over and invited its fellow radical Olf and Shabia. Tplf is intact but Tigrayans as population has been massacred because they were deceived by Tplf that only seeks power and does not even cate for Tigrayans. After all the only reason how Tplf was supported by Tigrayans is by force, blackmail, annihilation if anyone who date oppose Tplf. Populations living under the yolk of Oromiya region is losing and have been losing its identity more just like Tigrayans. These populstions are being forced to embrace foreign religions that does not teach coexistence but grooming and money, losing its national flags whose fore fathers fought and died for and rather have been forced foreign flag, the populations are losing their orginal alphabets and embracing colonizers latin writing. These are signs of accepting not only colonization but also giving away your own existence.

  6. What a great story! As Gigi and Teddy Afro started it, documentaries such as the story above must be made to educate the lost and slave generation from 30 years till today. I too have a story whose story never been told. My grandfather, from todays Oromia region left his 2 years old sons and wife to free his country from the Italian fascists attempting to colonize the nation. He never came back and died on the battlefield. My father never knew his father and decided to serve and protect his country. Every time he spoke about his father and his mother ( who struggled and worked hard making baskets, small farming, and making Ethiopian Gabi shawls) raised her two boys alone. My father, although became buisnessman by vowing to get out of poverty and reciprocate by looking after his mother, he always made sure the wellbeing of the country by participating in Ethiopia’s, concern as well as helping the poor. He knew that the emergence of Liberation Fronts, Ehapa, and Derg were dangerous and were mercenaries to the success of colonizers. Today’s pretending leaders along the three groups mentioned above are working hand and glove together with the same colonizers. The colonizers’ dream is almost materializing. Derg and current so called Prosperity party drum Ethiopia while they are unleashing unspeakable crime and killing along with their fellow mercenaries. When the youth overthrew the Tplf party and chased them out of Addis, todays fake leaders pretended they have nothing to do with Liberation Fronts, nor Derg nor Ehapa who are all mercenaries serving for colonizers and the powers as well for Arab interest took over the country and divided the youth who fought together and chased away Tplf. Tplf is alive and well and the mercinaries have never been strong enough like today. The strength if Shabia, dreaming to control
    and weakening Ethiopia is very visible and is the perfect mercinary who has now years of experience serving the masters for the sake of power by forming horn of Africa union who will wreck the benefit of Ethiopias resources with its masters. The current ethiopian leaders, just like Derg is making the people distracted by the fake unity and calling Ethiopia while annihilating the asset and core of Ethiopia that kept the country tigether and at peace, and that is the Orthodox non violent faith, the social fabric, history and culture. hen current government took over and invited its fellow radical Olf and Shabia. Tplf is intact but Tigrayans as population has been massacred because they were deceived by Tplf that only seeks power and does not even cate for Tigrayans. After all the only reason how Tplf was supported by Tigrayans is by force, blackmail, annihilation if anyone who date oppose Tplf. Populations living under the yolk of Oromiya region is losing and have been losing its identity more just like Tigrayans. These populstions are being forced to embrace foreign religions that does not teach coexistence but grooming and money, losing its national flags whose fore fathers fought and died for and rather have been forced foreign flag, the populations are losing their orginal alphabets and embracing colonizers latin writing. These are signs of accepting not only colonization but also giving away your own existence.

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