By Prof. Alemayehu G. Mariam
Battle of the social media troglodytes and the intellectual
In this commentary, I salute and pay tribute to Taye Bogale.
It is hard for me to describe Taye Bogale, whom I have neither met or spoken.
But his name may be telling: Taye (He is seen) and Bogale (burst of brilliance as in lightning).
He is a burst of brilliance on the social media Forces of Darkness
Here is a man whose destiny seems to be shaped by his name.
Taye Bogale is a man with a mission: Search, find, expose, challenge and take down pseudo-intellectuals and frauds, those who parade fairy tales as Ethiopian history, fabricators of falsehoods, empty barrels, political opportunists, self-promoting con-artists with bogus academic acronyms after their names and social media twits, nitwits and dimwits.
To this horde of wretches, Taye Bogale is a the wrath of God.
To those who admire him, he is the quintessential intellectual whose lips drip with torrents of indisputable facts and razor-sharp analysis about Ethiopian history.
He speaks truth, not just to power, but most importantly to those who are power hungry, power thirsty, power brokers, power crazy and brain power challenged.
Taye Bogale recently burst on the Ethiopian intellectual scene like a thunderbolt on a clear summer afternoon.
He has been quietly, out of public view, preaching the virtues of Ethiopiawinet, unity and public accountability for years as a teacher and an occasional government official. He has taught in high schools and colleges. He says his greatest blessing is to be a teacher.
But he was not widely known in the Ethiopian diaspora.
Today, no one, especially social media trolls, can pretend not to know or easily dismiss their indefatigable nemesis Taye Bogale.
He has emerged as a one-man army in the cause of Ethiopian unity, fraternity, liberty, identity, dignity, nationality and authenticity.
His passion for all things Ethiopian is peerless and stunning.
He does not negotiate on Ethiopiawinet.
Not only that, when push comes to shove on Ethiopia, he takes no prisoners.
He does not mince his words but will make mincemeat out of the brokers of hate and coaches of division and strife in and out of Ethiopia.
He is passionate about the honor, dignity and sanctity of Ethiopian identity.
He will confront and give a whipping to anyone who dares to scandalize Ethiopia’s history, demean and divide the Ethiopian people or engage in the trash-talk politics of tribalism, communalism and sectarianism.
He is fearless, gutsy and relentless in his attack against the merchants of hate and death, financiers of ethnic division, vendors of communalism, peddlers of sectarianism, hucksters of opportunism and paid agents of negativity, defeatism and fatalism in and out of Ethiopia.
Taye Bogale talks about Ethiopia, the Ethiopian people, Ethiopian honor, history, tradition and culture with supreme pride, spiritual reverence and absolute delight.
Taye Bogale has become a force of nature on the Ethiopian intellectual landscape.
No merchant of lies has yet dared to challenge him in a battle of ideas or historical analysis.
No trash-talking tribalist has dared to meet and debate him in an open forum.
They all avoid him and show up to play their dirty games of hate and division only when he is not around. Just like the old saying, “When the cat’s away, the mice play.”
But Taye Bogale don’t play. When he is around, the colony of mice know it’s time to scurry and hide in their holes or under a rock.
He is one of a kind.
I hate to admit it, but it is true. He puts all of us to shame.
His intellectual courage in defense of Ethiopiawinet and Ethiopian unity illuminates our shameful intellectual cowardice.
I have often wondered. If America is “home of the brave”, is Ethiopia home of intellectual cowards?
By “us”, I mean to refer to those of us, the effete elite, who strut on conference stages, sit in arm chairs in the public forums and exhibit ourselves as intellectuals, academics, scholars and men and women of knowledge.
We are content to add acronyms after our names and call ourselves “Doctors”, “Professors” and such and pontificate endlessly about what should be done. “Why doesn’t Abiy Ahmed do this or that? Whey doesn’t he take action? Why doesn’t he do something?”
We are ready to issue orders and commands but are self-paralyzed from standing up and taking a stand or taking any action.
In private, we all talk about Ethiopiawinet, Ethiopian unity and the rest of it. But few of us have the courage to stand up in public and proudly defend Ethiopiawinet and Ethiopian unity facing the slings and arrows of those whose life’s mission is to destroy Ethiopia.
I have talked about the AWOL Ethiopian intellectuals in my April 2018 commentary, “Ask What You Can Do for Your Country”.
How many of us so-called intellectuals dare to stand up alone for what we believe in like Taye Bogale?
Sadly, we are victims of our own self-inflicted herd (tribal/ethnic) mentality.
We have traded courage, duty, honor and country for self-interest and safety in numbers.
We tow the line blindly and follow the tribal flock like sheep just because that is what the harebrained elite herders want us to do.
Herd mentality drives us into circling the ethnic/tribal wagons.
We organize our ethnic herd to battle the other ethnic herds.
Taye Bogale does not need acronyms after his name.
Taye Bogale does not follow the herd. He stalks it.
He is a one-man army in the cause of Ethiopian unity, dignity, nationality and identity.
He is the wrath of God on the purveyors hate on social media and the blathering sponsored stooges off social media.
For us “intellectuals”, Ethiopian unity, dignity, etc. are negotiable. They are available to the highest bidder.
I know many “intellectuals” who have sold their souls for a grant of 500 square meters of land to build a house.
I know many “intellectuals” who have sold Ethiopia’s honor, unity and dignity for the privilege of starting a business; and they have licked the boots of thugs for it.
Not unlike Judas Iscariot, they sold out Mother Ethiopia hoping to live like kings among a nation of paupers.
I know them all. They are my Janus-faced “frenemies”.
I wrote about them in 2010 in my commentary, “Where Have the Ethiopian Intellectuals Gone?”
I knew where they had gone.
I also wrote about them in my July 2019 commentary, “Now is the Time for All Good Ethiopian Men and Women to Come to the Aid of Their Country!”
Ethiopia’s so-called intellectuals by and large were no where to be seen to wage a battle of ideas against thugs in power. They had sold out.
When I battled thugs in the battlefield of ideas with my pen and keyboard every week for 13 years, without missing a single week, they were no where to be seen.
Truth be told, they used to tell me in my face, “You are crying in the wilderness. Nothing you do will make a difference. Only with the power of the gun can you get rid of the thugs in power.”
I told them, “We will get rid of the thugs with the invincible power of civil disobedience and peaceful resistance.”
I knew the pen was mightier than the sword.
In 2012, defending press freedom against thug repression, I prophesied:
The final struggle between the dictators who wield swords and the journalists who wield pens, pencils and computer keyboards will be decided in a war for the hearts and minds of the Ethiopian people. I have no doubts whatsoever that the outcome of that war is foreordained. In fact, I believe that war has already been won. For as Edward Bulwer-Lytton penned in his verse, in the war between swordholders and penholders, final victory always goes to the penholders.
But today Ethiopia has an intellectual of unrivaled courage, prodigious knowledge of his country’s history and spellbinding oratorical skills.
When the s _ _t hits the fan, we hit the road running.
Taye Bogale stands his ground in the battlefield of ideas and won’t back down.
Ethiopia today is a theater of war, a battlefield of ideas.
Of course, they are those holed up under a rock doing their doggone best to start shooting and unleash a civil war.
They think they can spread their stolen loot to set Ethiopia on fire.
But the era of 27 years of the fire of corruption and criminality in Ethiopia is over.
I prophesied in 2007 the thugs would be swept out and dumped on the trash heap of history by young Ethiopian firefighters. Today, they are all holed up under a rock from whence they came.
We need to tell our young firefighters they are the towers of our power. Let’s uplift their spirits. Let’s assure them they can put out the fire, and we are right there behind them manning the water lines. Sure, it is not going to be easy for the young firefighters. But they must fight the fire, the power. They have choice. They must rescue the fire victims. Let’s reach out to them, talk to them, inspire them and build their confidence. Because in the long run, it is their forest home — their future — that is on fire.
Let us never doubt that our young firefighters, though they may inherit a society devastated by decades of political repression and human rights abuse, will one day be able to build a City Upon a Hill — a just, humane and pious society — where no man or woman will fear his or her government, where government will dutifully respect the rights and liberties of its citizens, where every person can stand tall and freely speak his or her mind, and where no man, woman or child will ever lose life, liberty of property without due process of just laws.
My prophesy has come to pass, and all can stand and witness.
Ethiopia is fast becoming the City Upon the Hill for the African continent.
Ethiopia’s young people have doused out the fire though it flares up here and there. But that is temporary.
Those who fanned the flames over the past 27 years should heed the old saying: “Those who play with fire end up getting burned.”
It is written “Ethiopia shall soon stretch out her hands unto God.”
Indeed, Ethiopia stretched her hands and was plucked out of the crucible of thugtatorshp miraculously and cured of the malignant cancer in her soul.
But the Forces of Darkness will never stop trying to pull her back to hell, their eternal resting place.
They will succeed only when hell freezes over and the devil goes ice skating.
No need to preach to the choir of the Prince of Darkness!
Today, the Forces of Evil grovel on social media and yelp on YouTube every day agitating conflict, strife and war.
They accuse PM Abiy Ahmed for not “taking action.”
They are never clear what they mean by that phrase.
“Why doesn’t Abiy take action?” is the refrain of the social media ignoramuses?
What they mean, of course, is why doesn’t he jail, kill, torture and terrorize the people just like they did for 27 years and soak his hands in blood.
These modern-day troglodytes (cave dwellers, under rock crawlers) have no clue that Ethiopia will never return to the killing fields of the last 27 years. This should be clear to anyone being groomed by the washed up thugtators.
Suffice it to day, Taye Bogale is a force of nature on the Ethiopian intellectual landscape.
He is a hurricane on the Ethiopian ethnic landscape.
He is a tornadic force that wipes the floor with the dregs of social media.
When the battle and war of ideas is raging in Ethiopia, Taye Bogale is just one of a handful of individuals who stands in the battlefield and duke it out with the merchants of lies come hell or high water.
My highest respect for a man who says what he means and means what he says.
My highest respect for a man who says you can stand me up at the gates of hell but I won’t back down against anyone who challenges my Ethiopiawinet!
That is exactly how a PROUD ETHIOPIAN feels and lives!
Taye Bogale is killin’ them with the truth…
Below are snippets of statements taken from Taye’s public speeches and presentations. The translation is my own. Advance apologies my inability to capture Taye’s eloquence in my translation.
Ethiopia is meshed into my flesh and soul. I came forward into the public space to stand up to the social media activists who are inciting hate, strife and conflict in Ethiopia with the ultimate aim of destroying Ethiopia and our age old way of life. I took a stand because as the saying goes, “All that is needed for the forces of evil to succeed is for enough good men to remain silent.” [I would add Dr. King’s words: “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.]
The one thing that ties us all together is Ethiopiawinet. Nothing can change that because Ethiopiawinet is something that grew in me for ages. Other things may be taken out of my blood but not my Ethiopiawinet.
Ethiopia is at the crossroads. There is struggle between Ethiopiawinet and ethnonationalism. The aim of the ethnonationalists is to destroy Ethiopia. Approximately, 85% of the people, Oromo, Amhara and others, are farmers. They love Ethiopia like I do and they do their work. Out of the 15% leftover, 10 million of them suffer malnutrition. The elites who play politics are a miniscule number.
The way they’re talking, it is like Emperor Menelik II is running for election in 2012 (EC). Why do they attack Menelik? It is a stratagem used to deceive the people. In fact, they have demonized the name of Menelik to internally displace 2 million people and commit hundreds of ethnic killings. Their plan is not only to destroy the country but also destroy families.
Money is behind all of the instability in the country. People who could barely operate their businesses not long ago today are buying all sorts of businesses. Where’s the money coming from? There is effort at the highest levels to destroy Ethiopia. There is a global effort currently underway. Egypt provides a lot of money. Other Middle Eastern countries spend a lot of money for the purpose of destroying Ethiopia.
Let’s talk real history. Menelik is Oromo. His mother is Oromo. His leading generals were Oromos including Ras Gobena Dache.
It is said Menelik cut off women’s breast. If such things did happen, who did the cutting? Gojjam, Gonder and Wello were under the rule of Atse Yohannes. This is incontrovertible history. Nine-tenths of Menelik’s soldiers were composed of Oromos and people from the South. One-tenths came from North Shewa. That happened in 1896. If forgiveness must be asked about the cutting of breasts, it should come from Shewa Oromo, Wellega Oromo, Jimma Oromo and people of the South. People from Gojjam, Gonder, Borena and Guji can stand on the side and watch them exchange forgiveness.
Since we’re talking about chopping off breasts, in our area (Borena), there was an odious practice in which young men preparing for marriage would go out and cut off the testicles of other men. I know people will have suffered such misfortune. Why do we raise the alleged one-time breast cutting atrocity of Menelik while remaining silent about those who have been cutting testicles for ages?
I just don’t understand. Those who write so many bad things about Menelik never bother to write good things about our Geda system? Why is that?
Addis Ababa belongs to all Ethiopians collectively and the residents of Addis Ababa, which has as much population as the country of Israel. It is like a large country. To say that someone should come from outside the city to administer it making Afan Oromo the official language is blatant apartheid. It will not happen.
I don’t have a quarrel with the people of Tigray. That is why I took a big risk and traveled 600 km to Negele Borena to defend an individual of Tigray origin. I went there because I love the people of Tigray.
Many high-rise buildings are owned by individuals who come from Tigray region. These are the people who deposit large sums in the banks. But when a question is asked, it just said the bank is Amhara-owned. Is the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia an Amhara-owned bank? METEC owned that bank for 27 years.
Jawahr is inciting insurrection using the Amharic language. Ezekiel Gabissa said he does not know Atse Menelik. Bekele Gerba who urges his followers not to speak in Amharic published a book in Amharic and sold it. It is a shame for us to communicate in English with the rest of the world why we’re being told not to speak in Amharic with each other. We have given unnecessary importance to such persons.
I will not respond to comments on my social media pages as I used to but delete them. Responding to lowlifes will turn you into a lowlife. I have the commanding moral Heights and will not lower myself to their level.
Ethiopia is a paradox. She is first in the world and receiving refugees. She’s also the first in the world in creating refugees.
Those who do evil fall by their evil deeds. Those who live by the sword, fall by the sword. The only way to administer Ethiopia is through love.
There is no Derg Army. Only an Ethiopian army that protects the country.
The woman who owns the Morning Star Building in Addis Ababa today got it because of me. After she had won the lease in a bid, the federal police stopped her construction claiming they had made a numerical error. Various ministers called me since I was the chairman of the city district. I told them they will take it away from her and give it to someone else over my dead body. She won it fair and square. Later she offered me a tip for helping her. I told her to give it to the beggars at the church.
The common people feel differently. When the 175th birthday of Menelik was celebrated, I and others attended the event. We were greeted by Shewa Oromo horsemen. When I told them people say Menelik is bad, they told me they don’t want to hear any of it.
The mentality of the Oromo people I know was seen during the crash of the Boeing Max 8 airplane in Bishoftu, not in those who kill and rob banks. When that airplane crashed, the Oromo people cried their eyes out. They did all of the traditional mourning for the dead.
Today, those who promote hate, violence, killing and plunder are held to be heroes. Those who preach peace reconciliation are considered to be enemies.
Woyane used force for 27 years to stay in power. But God plucked them up from power suddenly and dumped them in Mekele without any bloodshed. He incapacitated these fat cats (tuba people). They sold the country’s gold, metals and the country itself. Suddenly, unexpected people rose from under their feet and swept them off. And they said Oromo’s are simple-minded!
I have stopped working to do research and writing. I have four books planned for publication. I have a 1000-page book ready for publication. We have established an organization called “Love Conquers All.”
Where are all of the “Taye Bogales” of Ethiopia?
In 2010, I asked, “Where Have the Ethiopian Intellectuals Gone?”
In 2019, I ask, “Where are all of the ‘Taye Bogales’ of Ethiopia?”
By singling out Taye Bogale for special tribute, I do not mean to discount the efforts of those who have made their contributions.
There are a few, mostly young, courageous Ethiopians today who are manning the trenches every day on the battlefield of ideas. Everyone knows who they are because we can count them all on the fingers of two hands.
There are a few in the older generation who make an effort to stand up and speak up.
I appreciate them all.
But in my view, none can match the knowledge, passion, audacity, resolve, forensic skills and determination of Taye Bogale.
That is why I am singling out Taye Bogale for a special personal tribute.
I do not doubt there will be some who will moan and groan about my tribute to Taye Bogale.
They will say, I should not endorse him because “He is so divisive. He is a ‘nationalist’. He is not true to ethnic roots. Blah, blah, blah…”
In anticipatory response to those who will yelp on social media, let them be be forewarned of my longstanding policy of mind over matter. I don’t mind and whatever they say does not matter to me.
In more literary form, paraphrasing Shakespeare in Macbeth:
All the social media ignoramuses could strut and fret their hour upon the social media stage
And whatever tale they tell about me or Taye Bogale is a tale told by idiots, full of sound and fury,
Onward and forward, Taye Bogale….
Taye Bogale YouTube videos: