By Alemayehu G. Mariam
Last week, two important announcements were made attesting the fact that Ethiopia is a rising bright star in the world.
Reporters Without Borders is one of the foremost organizations defending press freedom globally.
The icing on the cake: The main celebration of the prestigious UNESCO World Press Freedom Day 2019 will be held in Ethiopia on May 1-3. One hundred smaller events will be held throughout the world.
Days before the Washington Post-Reporters Without Borders announcement, H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed was named Time Magazine’s “2019 100 Most Influential People in the World” list.
Those who make Time’s 100 are “recognized for changing the world, regardless of the consequences of their actions.”
PM Abiy changed the world for the better and Ethiopia for the best.
In June 2013, I prophesied, “Ethiopia’s Cheetahs (young people) will rise and shine and soar to new heights. They will lift up and carry Ethiopia on their wings.”
Behold Abiy Ahmed in April 2019!
He is soaring the heights carrying Ethiopia with him as the wingless turkeys cluck and cackle hate and jealously down below.
But since 2013, I have been prophesying “Ethiopia Shall Rise!”
The prophets of doom and gloom today prophesy Ethiopia shall be a failed state.
On May 27, 2018, I told PM Abiy publicly, “Ethiopia Shall Rise!”
In prophetic language, I rhetorically asked PM Abiy and answered my own question:
Are we witnessing the glorious rise of a failed Ethiopia?
We are today witnessing an Ethiopia rising. Behold, Ityopia’s Tinsae. My cup runneth over just thinking about it.
Behold an Ethiopia rising, higher and higher!
I told PM Abiy what else is going to happen:
Ethiopia shall rise like the morning sun and the full moon at midnight.
Ethiopia shall rise up and shake off the sooty dust of dictatorship that covers her.
Ethiopia shall rise again and brightly shine like a precious gem.
Ethiopia shall rise above sectarianism and communalism.
Ethiopia shall rise from the depths of doubt to the heights of faith.
Ethiopia shall rise and stretch out her arms to God and embrace all her children.
When Africa was under colonialism, Ethiopia was the beacon to the sun light of freedom for Africa.
Today, Ethiopia is rising as a shining example of freedom, human rights and democracy on the African continent.
Then there are those blinded by hate and jealousy who wish Ethiopia nothing but failure, collapse and downfall
The Good Book talks about “Lead[ing] out those who have eyes but are blind, who have ears but are deaf.”
There are villains who chose to walk on the Dark Side and wish Ethiopia failure, collapse and downfall.
They say, “Ethiopia is a failed state.”
They say, “It is Apocalypse Now in Ethiopia.”
They say, “Ethiopia is going to hell in a hand basket.”
They say, “Only we can save Ethiopia from itself.”
They prophesy the three “D”s. Doom, death and destruction in Ethiopia.
Are they so blinded by hate and jealousy they cannot see Ethiopia rising and shining?
Have their hearts turned to stone to feel the ecstasy of an Ethiopia rising?
Have their mind seized and stopped working infected by blind ambition, greed and narcissism?
How can they dream of war and destruction when peace and harmony shine brightly over the horizon?
For crying out loud, are they sentient beings or just humanoids who appear human without actually being one?
Why do some people put their personal interest above their people and country?
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men and women?
Still the wolf pack howls and daylight hyenas cackle
On April 29, 2018, barely a month into office, I advised those who opposed PM Abiy, “Ask Not What Abiy Ahmed Can Do for Ethiopia, Ask What You Can Do for Your Ethiopia!”
Here are a few excerpts from April 2018:
There are those clamoring for PM Abiy Ahmed to do everything under the sun in less than 30 days.
(Apparently, he did better than I expected. In December 2018, BBC wrote, “Abiy Ahmed has been doing the seemingly impossible ever since he unexpectedly became prime minister of Ethiopia in April and has done the “equivalent of making the sun rise from the west.”)
It is obvious that what he can possibly ever do will not be finished in 100 or 1000 days or in the lifetime of any Ethiopian alive today or at any time on this planet. But PM Abiy has made a great start.
PM Abiy’s trolls are coming out of the woodwork to spin their tales of defeatism and cynicism. “Oh! He will definitely fail. They will not allow him to work. They will keep on a tight leash. They have him surrounded by the old guard in his cabinet. He talks a good talk, but he has not done anything.”
(In April 2019, the prophets of doom and gloom declare, “Ethiopia is a failed state. Call out the army to get rid of Abiy Ahmed in a coup. d’etat.”)
In the past nearly 13 years when I was in the trenches every day and every week speaking, preaching and lecturing truth to Meles Zenawi and the TPLF, I rarely saw the wolf packs that are hounding PM Abiy today standing with me and howling truth at the TPLF.
They were either coming out to do a hit and run once every so often or writing in pen names and hiding in the anonymity of cyberspace because they did not have the courage to stand up and be counted.
Now they are slithering out of their underground lairs to preach their gospel of pessimism and negativism.
(In 2019, the wolf packs and cackling hyenas still come out once in a while to do a hit and run on Abiy Ahmed. They should know that they could hit and run, but they can’t hide. There will be those standing in the shadow watching.)
Now, the wolf pack is unleashing and howling lies-as-truth at PM Abiy and demanding not only that he walk on water in less than 30 days but also soar in the sky without wings.
Now, the Johnny-come-latelys (ye dil atbiya arbegnoch) are ganging up on a young man whose philosophy is Ethiopiawinet and preaches peace, truth and reconciliation.
I don’t want to be misunderstood.
I would not mind if they criticize PM Abiy by coming up with their plan to solve any of the myriad problems faced by Ethiopians.
I would cheer them on and stand on their side if they were to deliver a comprehensive economic plan to PM Abiy. Or a plan for a comprehensive constitutional revision. Or a plan to deal with the shortage in hard currency, attracting foreign direct investment, dealing with the dire food shortage throughout the country and…
(In 2019, they declare, “During his one-year premiership the country’s situation has gone down from bad to worse with a serious possibility of a civil war.”)
The deceitful windbags are incapable of putting their ideas to paper… It is becoming increasingly clear that they will continue to scandalize and delegitimize PM Abiy regardless of what he does or does not do.
Two simple facts seem obvious to me from what PM Abiy’s trolls are doing.
First, they are scared to death he will indeed succeed and bring a measure of peace, reconciliation and hope to Ethiopia.
Second, they believe if PM Abiy succeeds, they are doomed to fail. Their ambition for power, fame, fortune and glory goes up in smoke.
What I am seeing and hearing today are modern day self-appointed Emperor Neros trying to burn down Ethiopia as PM Abiy Ahmed is toiling and crisscrossing the country as a Fire Chief with millions of young firemen behind him. As soon as he quells one fire, the pyromaniacs will set another one…
I must say, I pegged the doomers and gloomers spot on in April 2018.
Two types of Ethiopians: Let me speak my truth!
I believe there are two types of Ethiopians today.
There are those who believe the Ethiopia glass is half empty — those who have lost power, lost status, lost access, lost hope, lost their dreams of being political leaders — who have failed in their lives and can only see a failed Ethiopian nation and state.
Then there are those who believe the Ethiopia glass is half full and can be made full to the brim and boldly march on — hell or high water — guided by the principle Ethiopia’s best days are yet to come.
Put another way, there are those who see Ethiopia and see a nation of losers, and those who see a nation of winners.
Those who see Ethiopia as a nation of losers are themselves losers who think they can get recognition and acceptance by carping, complaining, moaning and groaning.
Those who see Ethiopia as a nation of winners put their shoulders to the wheel and noses to the grindstone and keep on plugging away.
Losers always expect failure because that’s their life experience.
Winners have a can-do attitude, a burning desire, a clear vision and a dream that tomorrow will be better than today and yesterday.
Losers have only blind ambition. That’s why they always stumble, fail and fall.
In the end, it is a contest between losers and winners.
Ethiopia’s destiny hangs in the balance between losers who look at things the way they are and ask why and winners who dream of things that never were, and ask why not?
In July 2012, I wrote about my dream of an Ethiopia at peace.
But on January 4, 2015, I laid out all my dreams about things that never were — 18 of them and counting — in my commentary, “Ethiopian Dreams for 2015 and Beyond”.
Abiy Ahmed and I dream of such things that never were and ask, “WHY NOT?!”
Ask not what Abiy Ahmed can do for Ethiopia, ask what you can do for your Ethiopia
Is PM Abiy the only man responsible for solving Ethiopia’s problems dating back generations in less than 30 days, 365 days?
Is he the only one who has all the answers?
Is he the messiah who will bring salvation to Ethiopia?
President John F. Kennedy in his 1961 inaugural address proclaimed,
Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans who… are unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.
He urged, “In your hands, my fellow citizens, more than in mine, will rest the final success or failure of our course.”
He then posed the question that ricochets through time, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”
Today, I pose the same questions to my fellow Ethiopians: Ask not what Abiy Ahmed can do for Ethiopia, ask what you can do for your Ethiopia!
After 13 years of relentless struggle for human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Ethiopia, I am convinced more than ever that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Ethiopians (Cheetah Generation) who are unwilling to witness or permit flagrant violations of human rights in Ethiopia.
That Cheetah Generation is PM Abiy’s, not my Hippo (older) generation.
Ethiopia’s fate and destiny hangs in the balance of the success and failure of Ethiopia’s Cheetah Generation.
Everything else is the ineluctable white noise of the paranoid, inane and vacuous.
I will do whatever I can to make sure PM Abiy’s generation succeeds because state failure, political failure, economic failure and social failure are not options for Ethiopia!
Ask what you can do for your Ethiopia because Abiy Ahmed has done more than his fair share for Ethiopia!