Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013
Education was Echoed by Every Participant at Obang Okumo’s Graduation Ceremony as the Key to Anyuawa Future.
It was very cold day Saturday when we left Minneapolis, at 11:30 to attend Obang Okumo’s graduation ceremony at Austin Minnesota. It was a 2hrs or one-half very long hectic drive but anyway we hit the road to Austin. As they say one must go social activities, for one must also acquire social responsibility, accountability responsibility for each other’s. Anyway I am social animal, who likes to mingle, associate with others for important social forms of activities. I appreciated the invitation, so were my friends too. We drove-drove, crossed, crossed, passed by, went by many rural towns, terrains but Austin still not even nearby.
We thought we were going to be late, worried a little bit; our concern was justifiable because the scheduled on the invitation paper tells us the Graduation party procession starts at 12 o’clock PM. And we don’t want to be late comers, who walked into something where we all would be alerting everyone sited to look behind their back, which is a very shameful episodes, I had learned, experienced while I was young that at the primary school, I hated it, I don't like being looked at with unfriendly gestures.
But fortunately, I can say we were lucky bunch of dudes nothing happened to us like what I was describing. By the time we got at the church compound it was 1:45, we look around there was no other cars but us. We thought we may have the wrong place; we let one of us called the man in charge himself Mr. Obang Okumo.
We found out he too was one of unfortunate man that day, who was too busy bringing back and forth everything provisional from Owatonna to Austin church without getting help from others at same town with him except for Mr. Akway Okado who helped him, who like us came from far way Minneapolis.
Anyway the ceremony started at 3:30 Anyuawa time, with sermon after sermon, by the time they were done, it was 8:30 PM. I was almost collapsing with diabetic, I needed something to eat or drink something sweet. I left the hall to look for soda vending machine, I couldn’t find one. I came back, before I enter the hall I met somebody I know long time, who goes by the name James Akodhi , I stated my condition to him, was so sorry for the predicament I was in. he said let’s go to the Walgreen, as we tried to exist the vicinity, a lady who might had heard us talking told us don’t leave we have a lot of soda at the church brought by members for this occasion, what’s going how can something like this happened without help being rendered to you? We said it is okay, she went inside, brought me some soda, in a nick of time I was fine, my headache was gone. I thank those people for their concern of me. At 9:00 PM the allotted time for distinguished speakers, friends of Obang Okumo begun but many were not around or didn’t show up at all as they were called one after another.
Finally Gugo Obang was present; he was called to the podium to give his memoir or recollection. After him the daughter of Gorge Nicolas, Okello Tekabe, Brehanue Owar, Akello Kidi, Omot Niygowo, Akway Okado, Amhare Gilo, others presented their memoir of Obang Okumo. With each starting where they know the man Mr. Obang Okumo, how they happened to know him? What kind of person he was both in public and on individual level. And without doubt many spoke of Mr. Obang Okumo as a public servant who dedicated his life to public services, and helping others. They considered him also as a teacher, mentor or role model for others. They all thought of Obang as man of principle with high regard for his country, fellow countrymen. All of them were happy to see him finish his MAED, welcome him to do more for himself and his country.
All speakers spoke about the important of education, urge all members of the Anyuawa Diasporas community to consider its stand on education by emphasizing more, encouraging all their members to go school be it night or day, that it’s key to future, and to the survival of their community. Speakers after speakers reminded the audience about the difficulties families are going through in America, highlighted their concern but reiterated the important of cooperation between wives, husbands in helping each other, encouraging each other on education, that it is imperative for both of them wife, husband to obtain education. And that, no co country can advance in political and economic, technological development without the participation of men, women. In conclusion no country can progress without women being part, parcel of the overall socioeconomic development activities, that through knowledge, education we shall become good, better, and productive citizen of our country.
Friday, November 15, 2013
It has been 70 years or so when youths of Abobo swore, pledged the commitment to “work “with Amara’s government. They sang Wani ya wani wana jai ne poya-Amhara,Lum poya-Amhara bacanjali andegna uletegna” that fathers we the youths of Ababo understand very well what Amara’s governance all about, what we understand, should not be worrying fathers. Please fathers we beg you, plea with you to give us a chance to working with Amara government. This was the sentiment echoed by Abobo youths seventy years ago; it represented a watershed in Anyuawa contact with outside world and with modernity in general.
In fact the word juru Odiel was not a coincident or farfetched word of some kind but real, with real people been contacted by “jure” the so call “mountaineers or highlanders” who came to hunt or to buy of buffalo horns in the Anyuawaland, was followed by Amhara government settling its first governances , and stationed in Gambella. But what happened after that was history today. From that epoch, time the Anyuawa movement toward modernity was constant but also was slow due drawbacks from push and pull cultural or traditional factors in the Anyuawaland.
It was in that epoch when small number of our communities left behind their villages, migrated townships, with most migrant from Abobo settled around government created districts, mostly around the town of Gambella. Thus the so called Gambella town, all of the missionary stations, known as Akado or Pokwo or Pnyudo or Agenga, Pomanpiny in Adura near Kotgar sub-district Akobo Cero have been the Anyuawa, Nuer people modernization magnets, or civilizational attraction centers.
“Anyone who wants to be called Turuk, must have lived in town otherwise he is not a turuk”
But despite, new hopes, dreams, the quest for new beginning harbored by village migrants; the township life has not accommodated the new immigrants very well to fit in, many suffered from lack of jobs, as the result many left, returned to the villages they came from. And for those couldn’t return home to their villages, those who stayed put it was a different ball game for them, instead many had a second chance for employment, therefore substantial number of them were hired into police force, and some took jobs as translators or clerks, messengers, shopkeepers, some work at bakeries, clinical dresser, so forth.
In spite improvement of the lives of the new immigrants in the townships, their absences from the villages were taken lightly by those they left behind, vocally they were met with condemnation for abandoning home and their love ones. They were criticized, rebuked, painted with ugly social stigma, they were chastised, ostracized, insulted as wicked, devils, unproductive, unwanted criminals; the list goes on, on. Though many committed no crimes or killed anybody; it didn’t matter, and in the eyes of the villagers they were considered as social pariahs.
Not only that, Women who married to town’s men, were also rebuked, even harsher than men. They were called all sort of names: harlots, prostitutes, witches, devils who deserved no respects for refusing to stay home in their villages; pound grains like other women; or like their peers, or like their mothers and grandmothers were; again they were looked at as women who ran into towns to hide themselves from all social responsibility of villages’ lives.
Nonetheless, two decades later the clash between townies visa vise traditionalists in the villages changed, for the better. So life in the villages to use Thomas Hobbes’s words was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, short,” unquote. So statistically when one looks at the Anyuawa migration patterns of their movements into the townships one would likely to find that those who left Anyuawa country were youths, that shows the Aboboeans youths were right in their oration 70 years ago, that the demographics of the towns today shows all towns around Gambella were settled by young men, no old men in them. They the youths were only one who understood what modernization is all about.
The feud between tradtionist, modernists was over in this case. Anyuawa youths were flocking into towns in good many numbers, a lot of them who have relative in towns searched for their blood relations they had abandoned for decades; they found them with too much surprises. They found out that their relations had fared well, living fine, with their children well clothed, well, groomed, and properly schooled. They looked different from anybody they have seen. They look polished, vibrating, and very “turuk”. Here the bad relation, or old wounds between the relatives was made to heal quickly, the wound faded away with the new reproach. And the old, decayed, rusted attitudes were washed away by the new mood of understanding, new imperative of starting anew in cultivating kinship relation.Specially the town’s kinsmen didn’t budge or dwelled on past bad blood relation they had with each other. In spite they welcome their kinsmen with open hands, treated them handsomely. They treated them with goodies, provided comfortable accommodations, when some of them retuned home they carried with them lot of items such as: clothing to wear, soaps, beads, or salt, or mosquitos' nets, and oil, needles, razors, axes, machetes, hoes, fish hooks etc...etc.. And they all felt good with each other’s ending decade’s bad relations between them. No more condemnation, no more dispossession nor more disowning.
So battle was won by townies. It is of what author Kinley Dorji, the paradox of materialism of which he said after centuries of Bhutan rulers dragging their feet from modernizing their country, only dwelling on spiritual practices, honest hard work, Bhutan he said could not prevent the penetration driven by the forces of the globalization, the invasion of the commercial media, the complex implication of development, in this he concludes for real change to come to Bhutan, Bhutan must control change or be controlled by change.
And in our case the diffusion of ”reia” perfumes, saboon or soap, skin cream, hair cream, which were hated most by the village people won the battle of ideas for town’s people. The idea that change is dynamic, that it's inevitable became synonymous in every village, hamlets, the youngsters from Anyuawaland accepted the norm of the new paradigm. It is paramount, importance that our society by all means open up to change, we should not listen to do no good doers nor should we lower our guard down to work for the betterment of our society.
However we should all know by now that the reactionary forces of anti-development were not alone. In fact some of our brothers in the west sometimes were cowed, hoodwinked by environmentalists, globalists, who called themselves the friends of indigenous people but behind the façade they had a grandeur agenda to keep developing world trapped in the cycle of poverty, of misery and wars. They want to oppose, restrict development from coming to our society for the sake of maintaining some harmful traditions which are counterproductive to progress and developments.
From what we understood so far these are forces that do not want us feed ourselves but friends who want to see us creeping, collapsing, just like sorry souls who should wait for handout until it reaches them. I don't now why many of us are having difficulty getting this kind of tricks understood, no I don't.Mind you, during the junta government of Mengistue Hailemaraiam everything was done in secrecy without consultation with public, all the developments were done without media being informed or invited about the ongoing projects. Because those who run the regime believed that the end justified the result of everything they do for the Ethiopian society. There was a very pervasive believes that the mobs were better informed only with the end results than the means of how to accomplishing them.
Therefore he who felt unease about any policy under the totalitarian regime must stayed muted or else if the they spoke up for something they will end up being incarcerated behind bars. It is not an, elite things anymore this is a different regime better than the gone one with the wind of social changes. Gone were those days when things were left in hands of tiny crooks of elites to muddy around with people aspiration. Policy makers implement decisions already taken in secrecy, public concern was not a matter to them. We are at different ball game. We should organized ourselves into mass movement to play the very effective role to confronting the current political climate we are in, effective organization is paramount and important.
The Anyuawa people should not fear modernization; they should fear the fear itself, not development. All development developed with thorough understanding, of the political and economic environment of the local inhabitants is imperative, essentially rewarding.
What we don’t understand now is why government has not listen to the voices at the local arena? Why all things must be from Addis Ababa? I was sadden by Mr. Samuel Zewedie Hagos sentiment he expressed, which I saw was very concern for the situation in Gambella, was helpless to do something that will bring positive changes “ Here, said whether you have master or more unless you come from Addis nobody listen to your advises and research findings! There is a saying in Amharic "Awekush Nakush". We don't have a platform where we can forward and reflects our view on regional development” this, many more voices I have heard it all, they are real and must be listen to if we want to positively change our region for the better.
After all it is federalism. All answers must come, must be handled by the local governmental officials. All problems must be solved by local authorities, the people they governed must be informed first with situations at hands . If the people of Gambella were not the one coming up with solutions to their problems, were always made to wait for answers from the federal government than their rights to self-determination, their rights to govern themselves under the federalism was hijacked, without them knowing. Therefore they must demand for the return of political power of self-determination into their hands.
If all the economic developments were geared toward good purposes, the aim was to improve the lives of our people from age old miserable conditions as may sound than why is the government shying away from being criticized in its wrong policy or when their policy run head on to the walls?
The goal of any democratic government is to find ways to furnish economic empowerment through jobs creations, push for market economy, by developing entrepreneurships, and other social developments. But first we must see to it that our people are provided with skills necessary that would make them attain those lofty goals. Mind you in order to compete in this fast changing world we need to train, educate, and equip our people in various skills, so that they can have a say in the global economy.
Look, it is a brutal world out there, one must be prepared for one navigate in the ocean of comparatives atmosphere. There are social forces in Gambella , which look forward, want to see their society modernized and be fitted into globalized society as we are moving in this fast projected social trend, without modernizing our lives first, we cannot cope with heavy influences of globalization. Second there are those forces of retrogression, backward looking elements who wanted our society tied down into what the political scientists called “known past”, for the fear of the unknown future. For them the fear of the unknown future is real, the love for known past is unshakable, many glorified past lives whatever it might have been for them, they want it back in their lives at any cost, and without compromises. These are selfish elements who love Ethiopia only on their leaps. They shouldn't worry the majority.
However that’s not the way to confront modernization. We must train and equipped the forces of change, we should take roads to talk, listen to our people, explain policies in a way they understand us better. We should through representation of people redress our people grievances to the appropriate governmental bodies that hold polices in questions, see we could find remedies before wrong policy hurting the very people we trying help in the region.
Friday, November 8, 2013
Egaro political history narrated, by Amhare Gilo
Egaro; is a tiny village in the Openo region; which borders Pinymoli, Abole; Nykwo. Hitherto it was a large land ruled by hard headed tyrants; much uncontrolled megalomaniacs; who fought wars against much chiefdom around them. Egaro was undeterred, unrestrained- from its madness, drunkenness of power, and lust of aggrandizement of territories. It was led corrupt leaders, very tyrants who wouldn't listen to nobody. It was run by warmongers and blood thirsty authoritarians "flashkorch" who fought wars against all. They were belligerent in their behaviors, with constant aggression against all; they had frightened the adjacent chiefdom from peaceful coexistence with them.But one day all the adjacent states; ganged up on Egaro's power, to put an end to Egaro's perpetual aggressions and warmongerings. As a result all the chiefdom united under the banner of “common front to stop all aggressions” fought a lasting war to end all wars emanated from Egaro for too long. The war was a devastated blow for Egrao; it vanquished its mighty power. Egaro almost vanished from its existence as a state. After the war those who survived the coalition war on Egaro were those who weren't at home during the invasion, and fight. And they were few in number.
Nevertheless the remnant of Egaroian, from the devastated war reconstructed their doomed village from the ashes. Egaro state like the Arizona of America that rose from the devastated fire that almost finished state, likewise Egaro also rose from the ashes of war. And had to be reconstituted as a micro state, had to be called Egaro again. As we speak the population of Egaro is the smallest in all the entire Aynuawaland. The "Egaroian"as I call it, thier political narrative is one of the lessons we should all learn from developed developing countries all have such maniacs in them. That bad leader with untamed aggression, war mongering behaviors can deliver a beautiful, beautiful nation into fire. What was needed here was for someone to stand their ground, say enough is enough, and challenge the chief, put end to madness.