Sunday, April 21, 2024
HomeOpinionStanding Against Fano’s Bravery Is Selecting Slavery Over Liberty!

Standing Against Fano’s Bravery Is Selecting Slavery Over Liberty!

FANO Ethiopia
Author Provided graphic work

By Belayneh Abate

The history of Fano is the history of liberty, dignity and sovereignty. Like language, religion, and culture,  the spirit of Fano might have originated from certain regions, but this spirit has no ethnicity, religious affiliation or geographical demarcation. 

In order to appreciate how the spirit of Fano hold the heads of the series of Ethiopian generations up, please read at least the relatively new book “*Empireland” by a British Indian author, Sathnam Sanghera. Mr. Sanghera’s book is one of the most scholarly, written, and profoundly researched, I have ever read on the ever-lasting scars of colonialism. Almost one third of the book is a list of references.

Empireland teaches details how the British empire colonized and mistreated its colonies, especially the Indian subcontinent for more than 300 years. The British Empire colonized the Indian subcontinent after it established all methods of control through a mischievous trade tool called the East Indian Company. The empire sent 250, 000 soldiers to India and it fooled the Indians that they were guards of the East India Company. (page 32). In addition to the arms control, the empire used India’s diverse ethnicity, religion and Caste system to divide and rule and make them fight each other while it looted their national treasure.

Once the empire controlled the Indians, the Indian men and women were treated as subjects, not as people with dignities. The empire forced Indian men to fight the Empire’s world war I and II. During world war II, 1, 440, 500 of the British troops were drawn from India. (page 198). Similarly, the empire used their women and men as slaves and soldiers during the scramble for Africa and other colonies.

Although the Indians were serving the empire in every capacity from cleaning their dirt to becoming soldiers for their colonizer’s global expansion, their colonizers were treating them as subhumans. For example, one of the empire generals used to label them as ” a kind of dumb, almost animal, servility” in his letter to his parents (page 29). Another colonizer general dismissed Indians as indolent, luxurious, ignorant and cowardly and blamed them for the famine that killed about 10 million Indians in 1770. (page 129). In 1860, it was a common encounter to call Indians as niggers (page 39).

As the Empire used a trade company to colonize the Indian subcontinent, it utilized piles of Bibles to colonize Africans. As Chinua Achebe stated in his “Things Fall Apart” novel and later Desmond Tutu used it in his speech, when the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and Africans had the land. The missionaries said, ‘Let us pray.’ Africans closed their eyes and prayed. When Africans opened their eyes after praying, they had the Bible in their hand and the missionaries had the land.

After the empire colonized Africans using the Holy Bible as a weapon, it started selling them like raw materials. Between 1660-1870, the empires shipped around 3 million slaves to America. As the book Empireland described the journey, “the slaves were kept shackled to each other or to the deck to prevent mutiny during the middle passage, stacked in tiers with no space to stand or turn…”. The empire generals used to say “negros are made on purpose to serve the whites as the black ants are made on purpose to serve the red ants” (Page 159).

Furthermore, when one of the colonizer generals ordered blacks to be killed, he used to say, “niggers mean nothing to me, it was like killing dogs”. (page 163). In Kenya, disobedient slaves used to be “roasted alive” (page 206). In Gambia, one colonizer whose African wife had given birth to a black baby accused her of infidelity and crushed the infant in a mortar and fed it to a dog” (page 215).

While the empire was colonizing subcontinent India through a trade company and Africa through piles of Bibles, it appears that it had cordial relationships with Ethiopian Fanos, such as Fano Tewodros. In fact, Fano Tewodros had a pistol gift from Queen Victoria. (page 60).

However, the pistol gift gesture was to test the water of the Fano’s mender (village), which has been hostile for invaders perhaps since man was created or the progenies of Lucy evolved to humans. Assuming the cordial relationship was genuine, Fano Tewodros requested the empire craftsmen to assist in establishing a national weaponry plant. However, the empire sent him several missionaries, who actually were spies.

Understanding the intention and the plan of the expanding empire, Fano Tewodros was unable to stand this betrayal and treachery like his ancestor Fanos who had been defending the liberty, dignity and sovereignty of their country for thousands of years. As a result, he imprisoned these spies, and this bold action irritated the empire. The irritated empire assigned general Napier, who was credited for crushing the Sikh army during Sikh Indians uprising (page (page 60).

General Napier organized 13,00 thousand soldiers, and 26, 000 camp followers. (page 60). As usual, the empire used Indian and other colony soldiers to invade Ethiopia. As we know, the empire also seduced and used our own traitors to betray Fano Tewodros and fight other Fanos. Since life and death with dignity is the hallmark of Fano, Fano Tewodros took his own life after the well-equipped British army had the upper hand over unprepared traditional Fano fighters who were also fighting with indigenous traitors otherwise known as BANDAS.

After Fano Tewodros took his own life for his dignity and the honor of the nation, the invaders were still loathed and rejected by surviving Fanos. The invading Imperial soldiers left after looting the country, especially the treasures of the Ethiopian orthodox church.

According to Empireland, the British scholars have had “intense fascination” for Ethiopian orthodox Christianity, and during the invasion they sent a team of religious experts with the soldiers so that they would effectively loot the church assets (page 59).

The war against Fano, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church dates many thousands of years back. Unlike subcontinental India, Africa and Latin America, Ethiopian Fanos and the Ethiopian religious scholars have been instrumental in anticipation and early recognition of the intention and plan of the expanding European or other Empires. These empires were unable to use the bible as a tool because Ethiopian was the land of the Old and the New Testament way long before the European Empires. They could not use trade or missionary as a tool because of the three-dimensional culture of Fanos and church scholars.

As history demonstrates, the culture of Fanos is highly tied to liberty, dignity and sovereignty. The spirit of FANO has reserved the unique physical, cultural and religious independence of Ethiopians since the ancient nation was established. Later, the spirit of FANO did shine like the rainbow at Noah’s ark to declare and spread freedom in Africa, Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

Therefore, please abstain from your ill-spirited intentional or ignorance-related reckless propaganda against Fano. Please think at least a hundred times before you speak against the former, the current and the future Fanos, who were and are willing to sacrifice everything for liberty, dignity and national integrity.

Standing against Fano’s bravery is selecting dishonor over honor, preferring subjugation over independence and choosing slavery over liberty.

*Empirelalnd by Sathanam Sanghera, 2021 Edition

The writer can be reached at

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of  


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  1. There were four Tewodros’s in my elementary school. It is safe to say they were named after the second emperor of Ethiopia by that coronation name. MELKETTIFOON BESIM YIDEGIFOO might be true since none of them became emperors. Also safe to say bc chances of the monarchy coming back before they split from this world is near to nil. And I hope I’ll be gone before any one of them, in my sleep and without pain.

    Teddy MJ was my favorite Teddy b/c he did the moon-walking but he was a diva and won’t dance for us unless he wanted to. I was also jealous of him bc high school girls gave him too much attention and even let him in their day-time-parties. The only time high school girls gave me any attention back then was when they wanted me to get them a glass of water or something.

    I worked in IT since I graduated with a proud 2.6 from a school even google map can’t spot. It took me double the time than it should. But to my own defense I was never a good student. I’m not even sure what my major was or if I had any. But some nerd friend of mine saw my records and told me I had enough credits to claim my degree. Three months later I did graduate. I was almost 30 on my passport. The very next week I left my usual table from where I watched American football for years and sat at the bar. The first word out of my mouth was ‘look at those uneducated losers’. But my old friends at the old table didn’t over hear and I threw the peace sign to them out of guilt.

    I didn’t know there were second interviews. The hiring guy thought I was from south Asia bc of the Amharic book I had with me. I didn’t correct him. He wanted to know what the book was about. I lied and told him the story from BeAlu Girma’s book I almost memorized by the age of eight. I figured he wasn’t going to read it. I borrowed that book from a friend that morning and hadn’t read it yet. When he asked me to hand it over I panicked a little. I’ve heard about some Armenians and Greeks who were born and raised in Ethiopia. He looked at the cover and browsed through a few pages. He started to read from the last page. That was not my problem. He seemed a little puzzled. And he gave me back my book and declared I was hired. He didn’t ask me anything else. I tried to hide my surprise. I couldn’t wait to call an ex-girl friend who dumped me b/c of my ‘lack of ambition’.

  2. A Chinese guy from Hong Kong was my new trainer. And he spoke British. He seemed to appreciate the fact that I was from the old continent. He warned me about ‘those Indians’ and told me about his difficult start. I listened. I thought he was exaggerating but still I listened to every word he said.

    FARA can’t even describe a tenth of what those did at work. Racism is just normal to them.

    BTW the Indians that were born or raised here are more human and American and don’t do that kind of thing at work. Have you watched the comedy show of Russel Peters? He put down what I said above more bluntly, may be bc he is ashamed of it.

    The caste system over there is extremely brutal. Only recently we saw some clips and learned it was still extremely brutal towards minorities in 21st century. Good or bad they are known to be very nationalistic even in their host countries. Have you been to some African countries? Sure 80% of India is of one group. I know it is their problem and Ethiopia has turned into hell in the past four years and it is not my place to say anything about anybody. I’m also glad the Indian gov’t stood by Ethiopia’s side at the UN in the past two-three years.

    But, have you been to some African countries? BTW, there is no evidence to support that community had helped develop any other host country. It is not their fault at all. It’s Africa’s fault. As if European colonialist haven’t done enough damage already, the best of everything went to brown people in Africa. But then again the first Ethiopian shop owners had to bribe kids with KOSHO KEREMElA even though they sold the same goods from the same suppliers for the same or lesser prices.

    Ethiopia didn’t do much with her independence.

  3. But Ethiopia was a very lucky country. The Armenians and the Greeks didn’t mind domestic competition and had no colonization for hidden agenda. Ethiopia’s ambassador in UK researched life in Africa and the Caribbean and advised the emperor to decline the offer of tens of thousands of Indians settling in Ethiopia. That was back in 1950s. The AMICE covered the much needed auto mechanics and some Ethiopian minority groups from the south and east did fantastically in trade. There were also very friendly gov’ts that helped constantly. Ethiopia had a head start in almost everything in Sub-Saharan Africa if you ignore the cities elsewhere which were built for colonizers only.

    Aste Tewodros and all the other 225 kings and queens of Ethiopia are long gone. They did what they needed to do in their times respectively. Ethiopia’s civilization might have been impressive a very long time ago. But it is considered very primitive now for 21st century. Hundreds of civilizations have abandoned their old ways bc some better ones were out there. Copying as fast as possible is what the developed countries do best. They even have spy agencies for that. They constantly steal from each other.

    Printing press was there since the 16th century but we’re still very proud of our BIRANA technology which still went on in the 20th century. The Chinese have invented paper before the birth of Jesus and nobody but us was writing on BIRANA to begin with. If our skin color was any lighter not much of our proud history would’ve been noticed by foreigners. We didn’t do anything that other people didn’t do. OR we didn’t do much since the 16th century. Since we couldn’t invent anything new, we were stuck. Sure we kept our independence and many oppressed people by other people looked up to Ethiopia back then. But not any more. Ours is an arrested development.

    Arrested Development. I remember a unique and wild band from Atlanta by that name which had great songs. Their style was later stolen/copied by some white dudes and is now the beginning and the end of the hit sit-com called Big Bang Theory. Arrested Development had the Ethiopian GYR colors on stages. Were they mocking us? But their song Mr. Wendel was my favorite.


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