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The Royal Peacock: A Symbol of Menelik II or a Sign of King Abiy’s Future?

Peacock _ Ethiopia

By LJDemissie


In the heart of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, stands a vibrant peacock sculpture, a recent addition to the stunningly renovated Emperor Menelik II’s palace. This palace, a major tourist attraction, has been meticulously restored over three years under the initiative of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, preserving its original structure and designs. Yet, the placement of the peacock sculpture has sparked a wave of gossip and controversy.

The Peacock Controversy

The peacock, with its vibrant colors and majestic stance, has become a talking point against PM Abiy Ahmed. Critics argue that the sculpture alters the image of the palace, straying from its original design. The controversy was fueled by a lack of communication from PM Abiy or his team about why the peacock sculpture was placed in the palace.

However, during his February 20, 2024, town hall meeting with zone leaders of the Amhara region, PM Abiy revealed that the peacock was placed because the original structure of the palace included peacocks, even featuring peacock paintings on the walls. This explanation, though it clarified the intent behind the peacock’s placement, came almost three years after the rumor had already spread.

The Power of Proactive Communication

This incident underscores the importance of proactive communication in leadership. Had PM Abiy or his team explained the significance of the peacock at the time of its placement, the controversy could have been avoided. Rumors and gossip thrive in the absence of clear communication. By addressing questions and concerns promptly, leaders can prevent misunderstandings from escalating into controversies.


The story of the palace peacock serves as a reminder of the power of proactive communication in leadership. As PM Abiy continues his work, the lessons from this incident can guide his approach to future projects. By communicating clearly and promptly, he can ensure that the public understands his intentions, thereby fostering a sense of trust and transparency.

In the end, whether the peacock is seen as a symbol of Menelik II’s legacy or a sign of King Abiy’s future, one thing is clear: it has become a symbol of the importance of communication in leadership. And perhaps, that is the most valuable lesson of all. 

The writer, LJDemissie, who received assistance from AI technology developed by OpenAI, can be reached at LJDemissie@yahoo.com

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


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