I take no pleasure in talking about issues that confound our people and airing our dirty laundry. However, the more I observe our people and witness the level of disrespect and neglect we have towards our own heritage, the more I understand the reason we have fallen from a country that was once respected by the world to a beggar nation that has become a punchline and a caricature of our former selves . Now is not the time for ostentation; the time has arrived to have honest conversations and speak harsh truths of just who we have become.
I don’t even know where to start in terms of how far we have let ourselves go from dignity to contempt. Where our grandparents and our forefathers before them once shared a pride and love for Ethiopia, we have come to hate almost everything about ourselves. Outside of the lip service we pay towards Ethiopiawinet, too many are intent on chasing modernity at the cost of our heritage. In a rush to be accepted by the world, we transmute ourselves in order to fit in by continually disparaging and disrespecting our culture in the name of progress.
Except we are not progressing, we are regressing into the abyss as we latch on to foreign ideologies and insist on owning outside agendas. A country that survived intact for more than 3,000 and refused to bow down to colonizers has effectively invalidated the sacrifice of our ancestors in 44 years; we are now fully subjugated and owned by Western globalists and Chinese oligarchs—we colonized ourselves. What we have become is a nation of abortionists as we take machetes to almost every facet of our national identity and commit acts of self-nullification for the sake of secular acceptance.
We call ourselves “habesha”, an insulting label given to us by Arabs in order to defame us, and in the process marginalize our country that was mentioned in the bible more than any other nation. Our forefathers once rallied by our sendek alama and refused to bow down to the Italian bandira; a century and a half later their progenies dishonor jegnoch who died for the country by calling our sendek alama “bandira”. The word banda was applied to anyone who dared to bow down to the bandira during Adwa, now we gladly dishonor our sendek alama by renaming our national symbol of pride to an Italian word that our forefathers fought against. Adding insult to injury, we let Eurocentric mercenaries place a Satanic pentagram on our beloved sendek alama and gave our hands to the wicked agendas of godless merchants of death. What good is saying “we were never colonized” when we act the part from sunup to sundown?
Almost every institution within Ethiopia has become negligent in this continuing abrogation of our nation. Ethiopia was the first nation that accepted Christianity; 280 years before Constantine appropriated Christ for political considerations in Rome, Ethiopians were following the teachings of Eyesus. The shame of it all, now we have churches that import paintings of “Jesus” from the Vatican even though that rendition is actually depicting Cesare Borgia and had nothing to do with Christ.
The list of offenders is one too many to count when it comes to the number of times we keep spitting on our heritage. The military was once comprised of ranks like Dejazmach, Fit’awrari, Qenyazmach, and Balambaras; these titles all meant something and were awarded to military personnel who earned their positions through valor and dedication to Ethiopia. In the rush to be like the West, we abandoned the military system that kept us free from colonization and now refer to soldiers with foreign terms like general and colonel. In a rush to honor others, we keep dishonoring ourselves.
Perhaps nowhere else is this germ of self-loathing more evident than when it comes to the topic of the Ethiopian monarchy. Too many have swallowed whole the propaganda of Marxists, tribal nihilists and foreign interlopers who have an interest in seeing our nation fractured and broken. Though I do acknowledge that a lot of mistakes were committed by some kings and queens in the past, including Haile Selassie and my own forefather Atse Tewodros, to insinuate that the monarchy was nothing but feudalistic elites centered on “Amhara hegemony” is a lie straight from the devil’s lips.
The truth is that it was the Solomonic and Zagwe dynasties that kept Ethiopia free of colonization for more than 3,000 years. It was Atse Tewodros who united our nation, Menelik and Taitu who rallied Ethiopians to defeat the Italians at Adwa and Haile Selassie who stitched Ethiopia back together again after Mussolini committed a chemical holocaust against our grandparent’s generation. We say we are a spiritual land that believes in God, yet we disregard the Solomonic line that was birthed when King Solomon and Queen Sheba had a child named Menelik I. Ethiopian Muslims revere the Prophet Muhammad yet too many want to gloss over the fact that it was an Ethiopian king by the name of Armah who gave the Prophet Muhammad refuge when he was chased out of Mecca and Medina by his persecutors.
The Ethiopian monarchy, the oldest in the world, was once respected by leaders around the globe. Mengistu Hailemariam and his thugs deposed Haile Selassie, decimated the monarchy and gave us a generation of “leaders” who have turned us from nobility into nomads. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, we went from the bankrupt ideologies of the Derg into the tribal politics of the EPRDF. Our nation takes another step towards an internal implosion as the fate of Yugoslavia awaits us.
Pause and observe and you will see that we’ve lost our way as a nation because we keep adopting the ways of outsiders while we reject the very institutions and cultures that preserved our identity and kept us safe from colonial subjugation. Politicians and technocrats who sit at the head of tribal federalism are now set to sell off Ethiopia to the highest bidders. While our people suffer, vital enterprises like Ethio Telecom and Ethiopian Airlines are about to be forked over to global mercenaries. Instead of empowering our people, our government is about to make us homeless in our own nation and turn Ethiopia into the sweatshop labor pool destination of the world.
These pressing matters which are breaking the foundation of our nation are glossed over by people who think democracy is the elixir to what ails our communities. This democracy that we have been conditioned to accept is nothing more than Apartheid 2.0 by the name of Ethnic Federalism. Forget Zemene Mesafint, we are now firmly entrenched in the era of Zemene Zeregnenet where every tribe wants to be king only for the whole nation to become enslaved by greed and narcissism. We are a land bereft of leaders as political expediency incentivizes tribal chieftains to think about the next election and forget about the long term health of Ethiopia.
These things I write of are not trivial in nature; a people who disrespect themselves and their culture soon enough perish. We keep taking Ethiopia for granted as we care more about “our tribe” and “our people” than we do about the collective whole. There is a reason why I have dedicated myself to restoring the monarchy, it is not for the sake of vanity nor to be a part of a cult of personality. It’s because I came to the realization that depending on tribal democracy and ethnic politicians to restore our nation is nothing short of a fool’s errand. We need leaders who are able to rise above political and ethnic dissensions and speak to the conscience of Ethiopians.
Respect our heritage, stop chasing outside acceptance, put away ethnic politics and stop washing away Ethiopia by seeking foreign validation. Above all, love and take care of one another as Judaism, Christianity and Islam teaches us. Stop worshiping money and take care of the poor and put civic responsibility above tribal affinity. We have enough natural resources and intellectual capital to become the Japan of Africa, sadly we let short-sighted greed and myopic politicians turn a land of milk and honey into a place of mud and hunger.
“Princes shall emerge out of Kemet, Ethiopia shall quickly stretch out her hands unto God.” ~ Psalm 68:31
This is one of my favorite Psalms in the bible; for the longest time I used to read this passage with a mix of awe and pride in our country. Now that I’ve gained wisdom, I see this verse for what it is for this is a prophecy of what we have become and what we need to do in order to regain the favor of God. “Shall quickly stretch out her hands unto God” implies that where we are at this moment is facing away from God as we seek the ways of this world and reject our creator and deny the dreams of our ancestors. The time is now to stop dishonoring ourselves, we will stretch our hands back to God and redeem Ethiopia in the process.When we honor the sacrifices of our ancestors and choose love above selfishness, #Ethiopia will quickly restored to her place as a nation among nations. #RestoreEthiopia Click To Tweet
This video is a reminder of who we once were and what we need to do in order to restore our nation from disintegration. Pay attention from beginning to end, the music and the visuals are telling a message.
Lij Teodrose Fikremariam is the Chair of Ethiopians for Constitutional Monarchy. He is the direct descendant of Atse Tewodros II, the once Emperor of Ethiopia who united a fractured nation during Zemene Mesafint (age of princes) and imbued Ethiopia with a sense of togetherness that enabled them to eventually defeat Italy at the battle of Adwa. Lij Teodrose was born in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia but grew up in America. He has a Bachelor of Arts from George Mason University and an Masters of Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University. Lij Teodrose believes in one Ethiopia and that a nation can only be judged by the wellness of the least among us.