Arrow of Sibhat’s cupid still sharp

The 71 year old famous author Sibhat Gebregzabher has published a book entitled “Candles of Love.”  The book is a collection of love letters Sibhat wrote for the girl he loves in the past two years.



 The letters depict a burning sensation of love which is hard to imagine being experienced by a 71 year old man. Perhaps the arrow of   Sibhat’s cupid is still sharp. 


In the book’s preface he wrote, “Because we thought each letter reflects feelings of love, we entitled the book “Candles of Love.” We, thus, have presented this gift for lucky youth for whom the letters would brighten the lights of love and melt the intense sensations in them.” 


Sibhat sent the letters to the girl, who accepted his love request, on different occasions since he first saw her around the National Theatre two years ago. 


Here is the recent interview Sibhat gave to a monthly Amharic magazine asked by Etu Geremew concerning his romantic life:- 


Q. as it is widely said don’t you have an interest to appreciate beauty, to date a woman?  


Sibhat-dating her,what would I do with her? Will I dance with her or…?          I don’t want to date or be dated. Girls of this time are so much beautiful. There are lots of them as a moving flower which wore flesh. Why won’t I be happy seeing            them? My mother is also beautiful in my heart. And my wives are the beautiful ones I love. What about my daughters? There is no woman as beautiful as they are.


 Q- It is said that you have a girl friend?     


   What if it is true? Tell them that they are talkative. Even if they say that I have a boy friend that is my right. A girl friend is also my right. It is the one who questions who has got no right. This is Habesha’s interference into others’ matter. 


As he remarked, let’s leave Sibhat in his own private room and wish him a pleasant time with the queen of his heart.  

3 thoughts on “Arrow of Sibhat’s cupid still sharp

  1. M2008 Says:

    February 2, 2008 at 6:58 pm
    I am an admirer of Sebhat and his beautifully crafted genre. However, my criticism of some of his works (for example, Le’ toum) should not be construed as contradicting myself.

    I believe in freedom of expression; and yet, I make distinction between what is good taste and what is vulgar. Sebhat’s Le’toum falls in the latter category. His preoccupation with sexuality is not the issue here. Sexuality and its expressions are a reality we cannot ignore. But sexuality for its own sake and in the guise of “telling it like it is” to me is simply bland.

    Sebhat’s contention that “we are doing it any way and should not pretend nothing is happening” or that “if we are doing it behind closed doors and every one knows we are doing it, then it does not make sense that we try to hide the facts or that we should be embarrassed by them” is both misleading and self-serving. Why tell what every one already knows?

    Of course, truth-telling takes many forms; Sebhat has chosen the road less-traveled. By doing that he has succeeded to provoke our thinking. I am not censuring him for that. One may also make a case that the writer’s responsibility is not to pass value judgment but to reflect what is already there. This, I contend, is utterly nonsense. The idea of objectivity is relative and therefore the real question ought to be “who is holding the mirror and why?”

    We all agree that defecating is natural; defecating in public is not. Sex is natural and enjoyable; obsessing over sex is not. Sex is enjoyable and purposeful when it aims to procreate and express love.

    It is interesting that Sebaht’s writings correspond with his personal lifestyle, i.e., a life devoid of commitment to a functioning family unit. Is that what we aspire for in Ethiopian society? Absolutely not. Should we change some of our entrenched traditions? Sure.

    However, I will hasten to add that every society needs to sustain a level of decency in order to not fragment. Rome fell because of its debaucheries. Western nations (including France where Sebhat picked up the genre) have by and large lost their moral bearings and need not be emulated.

    The choices Europe made at the turn of the century have gradually come back with a bitter fruit: the family unit has disintegrated; fewer births in Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, etc., portend disasters that have become a matter of national security. Russia could lose as much as 42 percent of its active working population or 22 percent of its 143 million pop. by 2050.

    In contrast to Ethiopia, Western nations are literate, relatively wealthy, and practiced in democratic sensibilities. Think of the ramifications of Sebhat’s philosophy on an illiterate, conflict-ridden, choice-less, and poverty-stricken society where a large segment of the youth (80 percent of Ethiopia’s population is 30 years of age and under) is unemployed, impressionable and open to risky behaviors.

    Think again how Sebhat’s book will impact Ethiopian youth in an age of HIV/AIDS epidemic. How are Ethiopian women represented? How are traditional values presented?

    Ideas matter. Words matter a great deal. We ignore to our peril the long-term effects of the 2-part social experimentation that began in the early 1970s both of which sought to rearrange our communities along ideological and ethnic lines. The first ended disastrously; we are not sure the second will not be worse.

    What then can we glean from Le’toum in view of the ever-increasing population of homeless children and young prostitutes? Think again how his philosophy could undermine the family unit. Break up the family and you destroy society itself. Is that what we want for our communities? I know the author is NOT saying that; I am using hyperbole to make a point.

    Is that what we expect of a socially responsible writer? I hope not. On the other hand, I don’t want to appear to be clamping down on Sebhat’s rights to express himself or fail to appreciate his effort to reflect aspects of our society.

    I don’t want to go out of my way to applaud him either (other than for his exquisite writing style.) So why I do I go into all this? It is because few are discussing Sebhat from this angle; the many citations I have come across are either seduced by the titillations or sound like carte blanche endorsements.


  2. eskezare wiste gebto kertual astesasebu yimechal free thinker mehonu menor kehone endezi new engi yemin makabed new love u sibhat ( yikrta Gash- sibhat ) yigebawal


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