Peeling Back The Layers of ‘Rooster in The Chicken Coop?’: A Rejoinder to Prof Tekola-Hagos’s Article!

By Tsega Menkir

Prof Tekola-Hagos
Prof Tekola-Hagos

After reading the good professor’s temper tantrum on the new Ethiopian administration, where he clearly displayed his misogynistic as well as narcissistic traits in the article titled, Abiy Ahmed, ‘the rooster in the chicken coop?’; if you think it was written by a self-serving petulant man-child with unresolved anger issues on women, rather than a renowned professor, who cut his teeth in politics, you will be forgiven.

The grumpy professor started his unsavoury article by accusing, Dr Abiy Ahmed, the new and young prime minister of Ethiopia, who is thought to be a reformist by any standard and a beacon of hope for Ethiopia; for appointing women to almost half of his cabinet ministers positions; on top of the presidency, the chief judge of the Supreme Court and chief of the electoral board.

In the malicious eyes of the pontificating professor, the hundred or so million of us Ethiopians, who are witnessing the renaissance of our beloved nation and enjoying the new found freedom as well as enthralled by these appointments, which is led by the new team in Arat kilo, are sycophants, blinded by the love of the devil; an accusation that is clearly out of bounds.

To understand, the oomph behind what prompted the grumpy professor to write such an obnoxious, misogynistic and narcissistic article, flavoured with his temper tantrums, on an administration that is seen as the only hope for Ethiopia, going forward, led by a person who is filled with love, forgiveness and humility; one needs to peel the professor’s article like an onion, one layer a time to discover the truth.

Misogynistic traits

From the get-go, the good professor couldn’t help to hide his misogynistic traits when he titled his piece by masculinising men as ‘roosters’ and feminising women as ‘chickens’. It is just telling of the man from the past unable to relate with the modus operandi of the present, let alone embracing the future, where gender equality has become more of the norm than a taboo. From his choice of the title, it is easy to figure out that, the professor is so stuck in the era when, ‘men were more equal than women’ that someone needs to wake him up from his coma, and march him to the 21st century.

His criticism of Dr Abiy Ahmed continued unabated, for appointing the new and first Ethiopian woman President, Wzo Seblework Zewde, who served her country as a plenipotentiary ambassador in different countries, and as UN envoy in east Africa.

However, in the spiteful eyes of Professor Hagos, it didn’t even make a difference as he belittles her and throw his unfounded accusations as if she doesn’t know enough about her country and immediately, the pompous professor, disqualified her in his scorecard. Even more so, he went on bemoaning, not knowing a lot about her family’s history, then and now, as if intentionally it is hidden from the public knowledge insinuating a negative perception in the readers mind.

The self-serving professor then goes on audaciously nominating himself as well as some of his handpicked nominees; all of whom happen to be men; and surprisingly enough, he could manage to pick only one woman out of fifty million Ethiopian women, for Presidency, because of her royal heritage. If this professor is not stuck in the 19th century, no one is.

Professor Hagos continued his rampage by collectively denigrating all women in the cabinet, appointed in the recent reshuffle, as ‘unfit for office and questioning their ethics, morality and advancing Ethiopian traditions’. He levied all these accusations without any specificity as to who lacks what ethics, and why someone is unfit for that office and the reason behind it; as one would expect from a learned professor.

Furthermore, he scolded the administration for the appointments of women, who are lacking the necessary experience and proper vetting; as if he was involved in the vetting process.

It was obvious from his article that, Professor Hagos, so consumed with hate, never bothered to pay attention to their credentials. Had he done so, he would have found out that some of whom have a colourful experience he can only dream of.
Saying that, coming to such a unanimous denigration of all the women in the cabinet, without any specificity and evidence to prove his point, but rather relying his argument purely on hearsay and innuendos, is unbecoming of a professor.

Moreover, his portrayal of the working environment of the prime minister, with his esteemed women cabinet members, using the words ‘harem’, ‘sariglio’ and ‘Turkish bath’, implicitly sexualises and belittles women who are our mothers, sisters and daughters, to say the least.

To his dismay, these appointments of women to the very powerful positions in Ethiopian administration has been complemented by everyone across the world, on every reputable newspapers, he could easily lose count of, if only he paid any attention. The fact that the misogynistic professor couldn’t find any thing positive to say about these appointments, speaks volumes of the mindset of the twilight professor.

Narcissistic traits:

Furthermore, contrary to the testimony of many prominent figures such as Dr Kassa Kebede, Professor Mesfin Hailemariam, Artist Tamagn Beyene, Ato Andargachew Tsegie, Professor Berhanu Nega and as recently as a couple of days ago, Ato Bulcha Demeksa, to mention the few about the humility of Dr Abiy Ahmed; it is just beggars belief that the ‘I know it all’ professor’s caricature of Dr Abiy as one of control freak and tyrannical, still based solely, by his own admission, on hearsay and innuendos; displaying a narcissistic trait yet again of unbecoming of a professor.

The condescending professor, further rebukes Dr Abiy, for not nominating a role model for the future generations of Ethiopians; that begs one to ask which planet the hallucinating professor lives in, If the likes of Wzo Birtukan Demeksa, Wzo Meaza Ashenafi, Wzt Dagmawit, Wzo Aisha, Wzo Mufriat Kamil, etc are not the role models for our kids, who will be? I am sure he has not done his due diligence otherwise, he would have discovered that each one of these high caliber women’s credentials is as big as the reference pages of his PhD thesis, of not bigger.

But it is suffice to say that, by judging from his mindset, the role models the nostalgic Professor, who is so consumed by his family’s heritage more than his own, are men and preferably older, preferably from the baby boomers generation; his cohorts, if not an ex-royal.

The pompous Professor Hagos tells us that he is an equal opportunity basher as he was battering the last administration with the same force and vigour. But he bemoaned that Dr Abiy’s administration is the one with a thin skin and hell bent on vengeance as his family have been evicted from the property they have been renting for twenty or so years; without any proof of evidence to back up his claim, whatsoever.

As the saying goes, there are two sides for every story and the truth is in the middle; the government can defend itself on these accusations, if indeed it is true. But it is difficult to believe the grumpy professor, given his irrationality so far.

Last but not least, Professor Hagos, had the audacity to dedicate this mediocre, temper tantrum filled, narcissistic and misogynistic article to the great Ethiopian minds of @Megabi Hadis Eshetu Alemayehu and @Diacon Daniel Kibret, is insulting not only to them but also to all Ethiopians who admire their work.

The Last Layer: Trump-esque Tekola Hagos!

Be that as it may, as much as this writer wants to cut him some slack on the article for having a bad hair day, one of the greatest American presidents comes to mind:

The late great President Abraham Lincoln once said ‘you can fool some of the people all the time, you can fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time’

Therefore, It is not a rocket science to know that the camouflaged professor’s deep rooted contempt of Dr Abiy and the new administration is nothing other than the obvious: ethnic politics.

Contrary to what one expects from a professor, who would be expected to write a piece on facts rather than hearsay and innuendos, the gossiping professor wrote the whole article based solely on ‘his reliable sources’ who are most likely ghosts that are creations of his mind to affirm his confirmation bias with zero, zilch, nada facts and evidences.

His article is typical of today’s ethnocentric Ethiopian politics, where by ethnicity and divisiveness, took over his rationality; even to the extent of blinding a learned professor in anger; while at the same time shielding him from seeing the reality and disclosing his misogynistic and narcissistic traits in the process.

To see ethnic politics on steroids, turning a learned man with great potential, into a simpleton Trump-esque, is just incredible.

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