Features/ Reviews

The Ethiopian Millennium: A Blessing in Disguise

“A thousand years from now, when the Ethiopians gather to celebrate the fourth millennium they shall say the eve of the third millennium was the beginning of the Ethiopian renaissance.” This is an extract from Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s speech addressed on the eve of the Ethiopian millennium at the big 10 mil. Dollar concert hall built for the celebration. Meles addressed his speech clad in white traditional cloth, unlike his accustomed appearance in a diplomatic suit. The eve night was one of the most notable one in Ethiopian history. Everyone was on streets roaming to one of the three official celebration spots: janmeda, national stadium or the millennium concert hall where the grand national festive took place. 

The town was adorned with colorful light and the national flag. The celebration at the   millennium concert hall was broadcasted on the national television, ETV on which the prime minister with his first lady, presidents of Somalia, Djibouti, Sudan, and Rwanda were in attendance.  The prime minister’s unusual dressing and his dance was one of the major talks of the day.  At midnight, the colorful fireworks heralded the coming of the millennium that got everyone, everyone regardless of any differences, in to so much sensational frenzy and an outburst of joyful emotion. Car horn sounds and shout filled the air. Everyone was cheering in happiness.An old friend of mine I met in a bar hugged me tight as he saw me and I asked ‘how is the millennium?” stretching out his arms and shouting aloud in laughter he said “Hot! So hot!!”Of course “hot” as if never cools.   As quoted in Fortune, the English weekly, never before was such a huge number of people crowding the night out on the streets since the 80th birthday of Hailesilassie, according to a resident in his mid 60s. The ecstasy was uncontaminated by any supposed political evil. With regard to the celebration, there were those who were pessimistic trying to politicize the event. No matter who rules Ethiopia, what the politics is, we shall celebrate the millennium, since it is basically of the people. Despite the expected menace and disharmony- all was perfect.

     I congratulate myself to be part of the event. The night was so warm with an Ethiopian fraternity and humbleness. Everyone was dancing, at moat places, with Teddy Afro’s new single, Gize Lekul( everything has its own time- Ge’ez) in which I found an interesting phrase 


                Shout my masinko, shout my kirar                     

               Witnessing people forgive each other


  that refers to the release of the opposition leaders recently and the spirit of peace and stability that followed as a venture worth praise. It is undeniable that there are underlying problems and shortcomings but with hope and positive vibration, we see the bright future ahead. ONE LOVE!!! 

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