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Waaqeffannaa (Amantii Oromoo):The traditional faith system of the Oromo people August 10, 2014

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Waaqeffannaa (Amantii Oromoo), the traditional faith system of the Oromo people, is one version of the monotheistic African Traditional Religion (ATR), where the followers of this faith system do believe in only one Supreme Being. African traditional religion is a term referring to a variety of religious practices of the only ONE African religion, which Oromo believers call Waaqeffannaa (believe in Waaqa, the supreme Being), an indigenous faith system to the continent of Africa. Even though there are different ways of practicing this religion with varieties of rituals, in truth, the different versions of the African religion have got the following commonalities:

 

– Believe in and celebrate a Supreme Being, or a Creator, which is referred to by a myriad of names in various languages as Waaqeffataa Oromo do often say: Waaqa maqaa dhibbaa = God with hundreds of names and Waaqa Afaan dhibbaa = God with hundreds of languages; thus in Afaan Oromoo (in Oromo language) the name of God is Waaqa/Rabbii or Waaqa tokkicha (one god) or Waaqa guraachaa (black God, where black is the symbol for holiness and for the unknown) = the holy God = the black universe (the unknown), whom we should celebrate and love with all our concentration and energy

 

– No written scripture (ATR’s holy texts are mostly oral), but now some people are trying to compose the written scripture based on the Africans’ oral literature.

 

– Living according to the will of the Supreme Being and love also those who do have their own way of surviving by following other belief systems, which are different from that of the Waaqeffannaa. It includes keeping both safuu (virtues) and laguu (vices); i.e. to love safuu as well as to hate and abhor cubbuu (sin).

 

– Correspondence with the Supreme Being in times of a great need (i.e. in times of natural calamities, unexplained deaths) and try to walk always on the karaa nagaa (on the way of peace = on the way of righteousness, on the road of truth).

 

– Having a devout connection with ancestors; in case of Oromo, the ancestors are all ways blessed and celebrated for the good inheritance we got from them, but not worshiped as some people want to mis understand.

 

The word “culture” is most commonly defined as the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group; different cultures are the distinct ways that classified people living in different parts of the world, that represented their experiences and acted creatively. African peoples have got our own culture, which distinguish us from other parts of the world, of course also having our own sub-cultures among ourselves. Aadaa Oromoo (Oromo culture) being one part of the Cush culture is one of the sub-cultures within the common African culture, which consists also the faith system of Waaqeffannaa as part and parcel of the Oromo/African culture.

 

Waaqeffannaa’s interaction with other religions

According to the expert opinions written up to now, the concept of monotheism is the whole mark of African Traditional Religion including the faith system of the Cush nations. It seems that this concept of monotheism have moved from Cushitic black Africans (including the Oromo) first to ancient Egypt, secondly, further to Israel of the Bible and lastly to the Arab world of Koran. The experts tell us that Moses was not the first monotheist, but Akhenaten was the first revolutionary monotheist; they even claim that Moses might have been black. It is also argued that Moses was an Egyptian Pharaoh known as Akhenaten before the exodus. Additionally, they do argue that Akhenaten’s monotheism revolution in Egypt was not inspired from inside, but induced from outside by the Cushites, i.e. Akhenaten might have derived his monotheism concept from Africa’s/Oromo’s concept of Waaqa tokkicha in a form of “Waaq humna malee bifa hin qabu (God has no physical form, but power).” This concept may have been misinterpreted so that the other religions later started to talk about God with a physical form.

 

It is also interesting to observe many similarities between some old Egyptian words and Afaan Oromo words; for instance, the similarities of the ancient Egyptian words “Anii and Matii” with the Oromo words of “Ana (Ani) and Maatii.” Anii of Egyptians, which means I (I am who I am), that is equivalent to God is similar to the Oromo word Ani, which also means I and refers to the first person singular (the actor = the main character of GOD). Matii being the designation of God’s congregation and the Oromo word Maatii for the family which is the “congregation” of ani (first person = God) are surprisingly the same. This is only one of many similarities between Oromo and Egypt registered by experts till now. It is not my intention to talk about this historical relationship here, but just to show the relation between Oromo’s traditional religion and the three Abraham religions, even though Judaism is not part of the current religions practiced by the Oromo. It means the new acceptance of both Christianity and Islam by Africans is the coming back of the same belief in Waaqa tokkicha to Africa in different forms.

 

This historical relation between Amantii Oromoo and the two big religions of the world suggests that Waaqeffannaa is the older version of monotheism and humanism. Waaqeffannaa as a faith system and Irreechaa as a major national celebration were part and parcel of Oromo public life. Now, some Oromo nationals prefer the name Amantii Oromo/Amantii Africa to Waaqeffannaa. It is important if we all can agree to call the Oromo traditional religion as Amantii Oromo/Amantii Africa, just like we agreed on calling our language Afaan Oromo and our country Biyya Oromo. So in short, we can say: Our land is Biyya Oromo, our language is Afaan Oromo and our religion is Amantii Oromo. It is known that some people may argue by saying “how can we call it Amantii Oromo, when we do see that more than half of the Oromo nowadays have Christianity and Islam as their religion?” Are Oromo with other first language rather than Afaan Oromo not Oromo, despite their lost Afaan Oromo? Should we say just because of these Oromo, who nowadays speak only English, German, Amharic, etc., that Oromo language is not Afaan Oromo? The same way, it is not logical not to call Oromo religion as Amantii Oromo because of the Oromo who overtook other religions. Actually, the designation Waaqqeffannaa (believing in and living with Waaqa) can also be applied to Christian Oromo and Islam Oromo even though most of the Islam Oromo prefer the name Rabbii to the name Waaqa. They all are believers in Waaqa = God = Allah = Rabbii. Amantii Oromo differs only because of its specificity for it is the older Oromo faith embedded in only Oromo/African culture without any influence from alien culture.

 

The fact to be accepted here is that God is universal even though we call HIM Waaqa, Rabbii or Allah. But, Amantii Oromo is the way how our forefathers believed in this universal Waaqa of humankind. We don’t have God or Waaqa, who is specific only to Oromo/Africa and doesn’t care for other nations. Waaqa is the God of nations. But, we Oromo do have a specific way and culture regarding how we do practice our belief in Waaqa. This way of practicing our faith is what we call Amantii Oromo. Amantii Oromo is simply the Oromo way of practicing the faith in the universal Waaqa. It is part of the Oromo way of dealing with the problems of life (it is part of Aadaa Oromo). Accordingly, aadaa (culture) can also be defined as the way, in which a certain collective or group of people deals with its own life problem.

 

The difference between this Amantii Oromo and the other two big religions practiced by Oromo is that the other two got not only the faith in one God, but also the elements of cultures from the people in which they first emerged. We can see here the Arabs accepted the concept of Waaqa tokkicha while still keeping pre-Mohammad Arab culture in Islam, which is far different from Oromo/from African culture, but Islam practiced by Oromo in Oromia is colored by Arab culture for it is adopted from there. Interestingly, this is the difference between Islam Arab and Islam Oromo; Islam Arabs adopted only the concept of Waaqa tokkicha from Cush of Africa/Egypt/Israel, but don’t seem to exercise alien culture from these areas, whereas Islam Oromo tend to adopt both the faith and the culture from Arabs. Egyptians and Israelis, who accepted the concept of the same Waaqa tokkicha, also do practice their faith being colored by their own previous culture; they don’t seem to practice Cush culture; but again Christianity practiced in Oromia is mostly colored by the culture of the Israelis, the Habeshas as well as by that of the Western world for Christian Oromo tend to adopt not only the faith, but also the alien culture.

 

That is why it is not actually bad that some Oromo nationals accept and believe in the two monotheist religions (Christianity and Islam) per se, but not good is giving more value to the culture of the nations from which the religions come to us, at the cost of the very valuable Aadaa Oromo. Of course, good elements of foreign cultures can be accommodated without damaging the good elements of our own. For instance, the similarity between dibbee Qaallu (Qaallu’s drum) and the beat of Tigrinya music shows how Tegarus have inherited and kept some elements of Oromo’s culture. This can verify that the suggestion of Donald Levine, who in his book called Greater Ethiopia wrote that “Tegarus are part of the Cushites of the Old Testament who denied their identity”, may be true. After all, why do they call their mother Aadde? Where does the name Barentu in Eritrea come from? Are they only inheritance of names or were they part of the lost Oromo/Cush? Anyways, it is good to follow the advice given once by Luba Shamsadin. He said (paraphrased here), when we try to accept religions from other nations, we have to identify and separate “the bone of the fish from the meat”; i.e. we need to identify and leave the unnecessary cultural elements of other nations, which are usually mixed with their religions we Oromo do tend to accept and adopt.

 

So as it is put here in short,

Waaqeffannaa (believe in one Waaqa of the universe) is practiced not only among the Cush nations, but also among almost all African nations. This faith system of Africans including Waaqeffannaa has been devalued as something “paganism, barbarism, religionlessness, uncivilization, Godlessness, animism, primitivism, etc”. The black color, which is the symbol of holiness in Waaqeffannaa was/is demonized as a symbol for Satan. All the blessing ceremonies of Waaqeffannaa and the utensil used for the blessings are condemned as a service, an instrument and worshiping of demons/Satan. Despite this denigration, the current revival of Waaqeffannaa and the celebration of Irreechaa in Oromia can be a good example-setting for the other African nations to revive their hitherto devalued and almost lost culture and religion.

 

To serve this purpose of revival, the right way of Waaqeffannaa (believing in, celebrating of and living with Waaqa) must be cleaned from alien non-constructive elements as well as from non-productive practices and rituals like that of “qaalichaa” (infiltrating idolatry), which are not serving the purpose of Waaqa in our personal or national life. That means, we have to differentiate Waaqeffachuu (realizing God’s purpose in our life) from waaqessuu (serving alien gods). Waaqeffachuu is applying Waaqa’s goodwill in our practical life, whereas waaqessuu is making someone or something be our Waaqa, i.e. practicing idolatry. The Oromo people in general have never had an idol to worship, but always had only one Waaqa to believe in and to celebrate. Of course, there are very few Oromo individuals nowadays tending to practice waaqessuu. Such purification of the African faith system from unimportant and useless elements must be done in all versions of the practices and rituals among all African nations.

 

Concept of God in Waaqeffannaa

To make Waaqeffannaa a little bit clear, here is a short narration about this faith system in practice. Oromo nationals practicing this faith do talk about Waaqa tokkicha, which is one of the evidences for the faith to be monotheism, just as the Christianity and Islam are. The concept of God among these believers is summarized by their usual saying: “Waaq humna malee bifa hin qabu.” These believers do not misinterpret Waaqa tokkicha as an expression of physical form for even the whole nature as a physical form is also an expression of his power. The believers and the Qaalluu or Qaallitti (local spiritual leader) are usually very lovely; specially the leaders are simply like a love in person. All their followers are selfless people full of good deeds and love; they do talk about Waaqa, calling him as abbaa koo (my father), and they usually do pray for children saying: “akka ijoollee keenyaa eebbisuuf abba keenya gaafanna (let’s ask our father to bless our children),” they usually don’t say “abba keenya kadhanna (let’s beg our father).”

 

Whenever they are challenged by life problems, they do assert by saying: “Waaq abbaan keenya eessa dhaqeetu (our God is not far away)”, denoting that Waaqa is always ready to help his children. They some times also talk as prophets in a way: “Abbaan keenya akkas jedha, ani sin wajjin jira, ani nan sin gargaara (our father says, I am with you and I will help you)”. According to them, the spiritual father is Waaqa garaa gurraachaa, i.e. Waaqa with holy heart, symbolized with black color, most of whose holiness is unknown to humans. Knowledgeable believers do tell that the concept “Waaqa gurracha garaa garba (black God with heart like ocean)” actually refers to the unknown future. What Waaqa may bring in the future is unknown, and that is signified by black color. Here, garaa garba is also about the unknown. One couldn’t know what is inside the body of water from afar. This point of view seems to be the reason for the color black in the Oromo tricolor to signify the unknown future.

 

In some regions of Oromia, there are a lot of congregations visited by Oromo at some big houses called gimbi (galma) which have got different names: gimbii diloo, maram, abbaa jama, hiike, etc; the spiritual practices done there include the following: dalaguu (dancing), irreenssa kennu (green leaf as a gift), wareeguu (offerings), hammachiisaa (blessing babies), gashaa (delicious food brought to gimbi), etc. Actually, people go to such gimbi regularly carrying green leaves of Irreensaa. In this culture, green grass or green leaf is a powerful symbol for life and prosperity, and it is an element present in all public rituals of Waaqeffataa Oromo, including funerals and prayers of remembrance, during which grass is spread on the ground or grave. The above listed different names of gimbi are Oromo spiritual holy places and palaces, which are equivalent to temple, church and mosque. In all the places mentioned, everyone prays to Waaqa. The practices mentioned above are just variations of spiritual practice to Waaqa.

 

It is also to be observed among the practicing Waaqeffattaa how balanced is their way of discussion and relationship. During sorts of discussions, they often discuss very wisely. For example, when they give comments, here is a sample of how they do: “Ilaa, kanaa fi sana waan gaarii jette. Haa ta’u malee, kunimmoo otoo akkana ta’e wayya (here and there you said good, but it is better if this one be so and so)”. They do not denigrate the opinion of the other side, but tell the better alternative to the opinion they do disagree with. They do tolerate the mistake of others and just tell the consequence of the mistake. As far as they are concerned, there is always cubbuu (sin) in their consciousness, but no concept for hell or condemnation after death. This simply implies that we all do experience the consequence of our trespasses regarding the safuu (virtues) and laguu (vices) expected from us during our life time.

 

Not to suffer such consequences of cubbuu, Waaqeffattaa Oromo have got a lot of very well said prayers in their practical life activities. The following are very few of the impressive prayers in the day to day life of the Oromo, which need to be presented here as examples. They are usually heard from the believers of Amantii Oromo, and they are almost similar to what the believers in Christianity and Islam do pray, let alone the similarity of the greatly formulated prayers we do hear during Irreechaa celebration with what the Christian Qesis and the Islam Sheiks usually do pray:

 

– Yaa Waaq kan dubbatee nu dubbachiisu fi kan hamaa nutti yaadu nurraa qabbi (God keep us from those who speak evil and make us speak the same).

 

– Yaa Waaq mirga nu oolch (help us to walk on the right way); hamaa nurraa qabi (protect us from evil).

 

– Yaa Rabbii, ilmi ga’e haa fuudhu (Oh God, let the young man be married), dubarri geesse haa heerumtu (let the young woman be married), this prayer shows howimportant family building for human blessing is.

 

– Yaa Waaq, ani galee, kan galee hin rafne narraa qabi; ani rafee kan rafee hin bulle narra qabi (I am now at home to sleep, save me from the evil ones who didn’t yet be at their home and didn’t sleep).

 

– Yaa Waaq galgala koo hin balleessiin (let my old age not be cursed), this is related with the conse -quence of cubbuu. The believers are asking Waaqa to help them stay away from cubbuu so that their “galgala (late age)” will not be bad/painful. Here we see something similar with the native American’s culture. They say: “when you came to this world, you cried and everybody else laughed; live your life so that when you leave this world, you laugh and everyone else cries”; i.e. to say live your life free from cubbuu and its conse -quence (suffering), the life style which leads you to the blessing in your old age.

 

This prayers indicate the fact on the ground how Oromo look at Waaqa and at the human-being. Waaqa is conceived as a holy father with whom we can correspond during our day to day life problems or when ever we face calamities or difficulties for his will is always good, whereas human-beings can be with either bad or good intention in relation to each other. Both Gadaa and Qaalluu institutions look at all individuals as human with equal rights in front of Waaqa; that is why there is no a “respect form” of addressing human-being or God in Afaan Oromo, just as there is non in English language. After losing our sovereignty, the Oromo people had to learn how to “respect” authority figures. For there is no such option in Afaan Oromo, we had to use plural verbs to address the authority figures. Even Abbaa Gadaa (chief of the government) and Abbaa Mudaa (the spiritual leader) were addressed as “ati = you in a singular form,” not as “isin = you in a plural form.” Today, we have to address our fellow human being with certain authority as “isin” to show “respect.” It is not bad if such addressing would have been mutual/symmetrical as for instance it is in German language. But such “respect,” which we are now applying is asymmetrical (only the authority figure is addressed with the “respect” form, whereas the authority figure can address the other person without using the “respect” form. Where it is the reality that we don’t use the “respect” form during addressing our Waaqa, as seen in the above prayers, why should we bother to use it in addressing our fellow human being? It would be better if we leave this culture, which we adopted from others with authoritarian culture in contrast to our own egalitarian one. Our concept of Waaqa doesn’t allow us to behave so submissively to any human being, who is equal to us.

 

Virtues and Vices of Waaqeffannaa

Here in short, safuu (virtue) can be defined as the “to do list” in order to serve Waaqa and to achieve his kaayyoo/goal in our personal and national earthly life; whereas laguu (vice) is the “not to do list” or the taboo, so that we can refrain from doing such activities diverting us from the kaayyoo Waaqa for our life. Cubbuu (sin) then in short includes both not doing the safuu and doing the laguu. Just as an example, if we take bilisummaa (national freedom) as Waaqa’s kaayyoo for the Oromo nation, what are the safuu and the laguu to be respected? If the kaayyoo of Waaqeffannaa is individual healing from any sort of illness, what are the safuu and the laguu, which both the healer and the sick person should respect?

 

In order to look at the virtues and vices of the traditional Oromo/African belief system for our earthly life, let us now try to describe Waaqeffannaa as we experienced it and knew it. Note that all the descriptions and notions we try to put here on paper are based on our own argaa-dhageetti (based on our own perception), which may differ from that of the other Oromo nationals. For instance, we could observe that Oromo is a nation filled with celebrations of eebba (blessing), who do have different celebrations for almost everything and everybody related to our life. For instance, taaboree as a blessing ceremony for young boys; ingiccaa for blessing young girls; ayyaana abbaa for blessing the ancestors for the good inheritance we got from them; ateetee for blessing our women; borantichaa for blessing adult men; jaarii looni for blessing our useful animals; jaarii qe’e or jaarii kosii for blessing our residence area; jaarii midhaani to bless our farms; garanfasa mucucoo as a celebration of the rainy season and, of course, gubaa and irreechaa for celebration of the coming birraa (the coming spring season) etc. We hope that Oromo students of anthropology, sociology and theology will make a scientific research on these blessing ceremonies and tell us the constructive and non-constructive elements of the activities in them.

 

But, let us mention few of the virtues (positive aspects) of Waaqeffannaa in our earthly life time. Here the reference point to judge certain elements as negative or positive is the position of the purpose, which Waaqa do have for our personal and national life, i.e. based on the kaayyoo (goal) our Waaqayyoo do have for us. To elaborate this relationship between kaayyoo and Waaqayyoo, we can ask: is Waaq-aayyoo our ka-ayyoo / is our ka-ayyoo the Waaq-ayyoo? It is about knowing what purpose we do serve in our daily life both cognitively and behaviorally, as individuals or as a nation. Be it that we do think and walk at political, religious or private level, we do try to serve certain purpose in life. In order to identify that purpose, we only need to be conscious about it, reflect on it and ask our selves: whom do we privately or collectively serve in our endeavors? Do we serve Waaqa’s purpose for us or that of the others’? Simply put, which purpose should we serve? Fortunately the hitherto cumulative knowledge and wisdom of different societies in general and that of the Oromo society in particular tell us what we ought to serve: i.e. to serve Waaqa’s purpose which is good for us as an individual and as a collective. This good purpose is given a sacred name and it seems to be what people call the will of Waaqa.

 

As a support for this assertion, we can look at an example written in the Bible of Christians, that states : “God is my objective”. Is this to be understood also as: “my objective is God”? Can we say that our good personal or political purpose is the will of Waaqa, whom we ought to serve? To comprehend this, it is no where clearly written other than in Afaan Oromo. Surprisingly the words kaayyoo and Waaqayyoo in our language do indicate to have the same source. As we know, the short word KA is the name given by our Cushitic ancestors to God and the word aayyoo is, of course, the name given to a mother, who does wish all good things for her children and does plan and try to fulfill it. So KA can be defined as the Supreme Being, which has good purpose for ayyoo’s children. This purpose is the “Goodness” for her children. So KA-ayyoo is God’s will (his good objective to her beloved children). The term Waaqayyo is the short form of waan-KA-ayyoo (what is planned from KA for aayyoo and for her children). So we can see that the good end, we have to serve, can be called kaayyoo from Waaqa. So the will of Waaqa is simply to be defined as the good end we should choose to serve as part of the balanced universe created by HIM.

 

To fulfill this service to the good end, fortunately the best thing we do observe among Waaqeffataa Oromo is the work-ethics they do have to achieve the purpose of Waaqa in their earthly life, specially in the life areas of career and family. They do love to be the best in both life areas; they love their family and most of them are very enthusiastic to be successful in their profession. They usually say “Waaq taa’i taa’i namaan hin jedhin (let HE not make us idle);” simply put, diligence is part of safuu and to be idle and lazy is part of laguu. We know that there are certain contamination from other cultures to be practiced as rituals contradicting this virtue and which are not serving the purpose of Waaqa for us. That is why we do recommend not only the revival of this marvelous belief system, which was the creation of our forefathers, but also we do suggest a necessary reformation to make the faith system to be fit, so that it can help us to cope with the 21st century challenge and situation. Waaqa’s creation and his keeping the balance of the universe is still going on, so that HE demands also a dynamic creative work from his creature, from the human being. Another impressive virtue of Waaqeffannaa necessary to be mentioned is its relation with nature and its persuasion to help us keep the environment healthy; it is the faith system which is simply through and through green.

 

Waaqeffannaa’s position on the life after death

According to this belief system, we all will live further after death as ekeraa (in a form of soul/spirit) with our father, with Waaqa, without any possibility of punishment in hell. We recently read Martial De Salviac’s translated book, in which he wrote “Oromo invariably believe that they will go to heaven.” So, the consequence of our cubbuu is not losing eternal life, but suffering in our earthly life. To Waaqeffataa Oromo, Waaqa is the one who wants us not to do a collective cubbuu, but expects us to protect the balanced nature, in which HIS power is manifested. The wisdom that guides Waaqeffataa Oromo in fulfilling this mission seems to be our arga-dhagetti (believe and act on a principle of reality, i.e. based on what we see and hear).

 

According to argaa-dhageetti, the concepts like “cubbuun ni qabdi (sin has got consequence), cubbuun ni sirriqxi (the consequence of sin can be inherited), cubbu abbaatu eeggata or cubbuu irra abbaatu uf eega (everyone should keep him-/herself from committing sin and everybody is responsible for the consequences of the sin he/she commit)” are nice and practical. What we liked most from the principles of Waaqeffannaa is this concept of cubbuu. The consequences of cubbuu are only to be seen here on this earth, not in the coming life after death. There is no hell that Waaqayyoo has prepared to punish the people with cuubbu. This is hilarious and very healing for those who always have to live with the fear of hell or punishment after death.

 

Another interesting aspect of Waaqeffannaa is that we never heard from the practicing believers that they are believing in the presence of an evil spiritual power in the form of Satan, which acts and lives against the almighty power of Waaqa. Accordingly, there is only one sovereign power doing and undoing all things in a universe, that is Waaqa. Unfortunately, the concept Satan is now already spread among the whole Oromo population as a contamination taken from other religions. Waaqeffataa Oromo do believe that the evil things we do experience in life are due to the imbalance of nature as a result of the unwise or wicked deeds of humans as collective, i.e. it is a human cubbuu with its consequences on the earth. That is why they usually ask their Waaqa for wisdom to keep the balance of nature and that HE lead them to only those with good intention and protect them from those with bad intention, for example, in a prayer like: “yaa Waaq tolaa nutti qabi, hamaa irraa nu eegi (God lead who is good to us and keep away who is evil from us). Here it seems that good is someone, who works to keep the balance of nature; and evil is the contrary.

 

According to the faith system of Waaqeffannaa, there is nothing we have to do now to earn eternal life after death; life after death is simply a free gift we got from our father, Waaqayyoo, whom we just need to celebrate and thank as we do daily and during the yearly celebrations like Irreechaa. We also don’t need a savior, who has to suffer and die for us, so that we can get life after death. The only area where we have to work on is trying to live the quality life (the character of the eternal life) according to the will of Waaqa here on earth. To live this quality life, we need to activate our potentials given to us from Waaqa and then walk on the karaa nagaa towards the kaayyoo Waaqa for our life, being free from cubbuu by keeping both safuu and laguu.

 

Further recommendation

The very important aspect of Waaqeffannaa as part of Oromo/African culture is its principle of argaa-dhaggeetti (it is relatively an evidence based faith system, possibly trying to be free from superstition). This principle is about reading the real situations at hand and finding the appropriate solutions for the situations. Waaqeffannaa teaches that only Waaqa is not prone to change for HE is perfect, but all his creature and all the situations are changing with time; that is why his creative action is still going on and that we also need to be in a position to find new solutions for the changed situations. In short, we need to be situation oriented, time oriented and live accordingly. That means, it is good to know the past version of aadaa and Amantii Oromo/Africa; but better is to live and practice the present version of aadaa and Amantii Oromo; of course the best is to create the most beneficial version of aadaa and Amantii Oromo as well as to inherit it to our coming generation. So let’s learn from the past version, live the present version and love to create the future verion of aadaa Oromo in general, and Amantii Oromo in particular.

 

This article is of course coloured by subjective perceptions, so that Oromo nationals are welcome to complement or contradict it. All the sub-titles given in this article need a further meticulous research and study. Through scientific studies, it can be possible to cleanse Waaqeffa -nnaa from certain meaningless rituals adopted from the other sub-cultures, e.g rituals like that of “qaalichaa” (idolatry), xinqolaa (sorcery), etc, where the practitioners are actually making business in the name of the religion. Waaqeffannaa needs not only revival, but also reformation as part and parcel of the ongoing liberation from such sensless practices. Elements, which are against the will of Waaqa for all human-being in general and for African nations in particular must be removed, so that we can say Waaqa bless Oromia/Africa and then live accordingly. Adopting good elements, which serve the will of Waaqa for us, from other cultures and faiths is not bad as it is usually said: “waan gaariin bade hundi kan Oromo ti” (every good thing lost belongs to Oromo). Again, good and bad is defined from the position of the will of Waaqa for our life, i.e. from the position of his kaayyoo in our life, which is always a good purpose.

 

So, only celebrating the holidays and reviving the religion are not enough, if we want to be fit for the present 21st century situation and for the situation in which our future generation will live. Our forefathers created a faith system as part of the solution to their situation; we also need to do the same. So let’s not try to use the same key used by our forefathers in the past to open doors with totally different keyholes at the present and the future or we don’t need to ride a donkey at this age of driving a limousine; in short we need a right solution for the present and the future situations. Our next generation need to inherit from us the latest and modern model/edition/version of our faith system, Waaqeffannaa, which they also can reform, edit and secure for their children and grand children, so that we human-being continue to be as creative as our father, Waaqa.

 

Let’s give a simple suggestion as an example in the required reforming: why can’t we use bundle of flowers for Irreechaa, instead of only grass used by our forefathers? Why don’t we use water or oil, instead of butter to anoint others during the blessing ceremonies just for the sake of hygiene? Why don’t we use candle light or the modern beautifully colored electric light decorations instead of bonfire during wa-maraa (demera)? etc. Now it is a time to have Waaqeffannaa free from non-productive and untimely elements, so that it will be a faith system, which will be accepted and believed by the enlightened and informed Oromo in particular as well as by Africans in general (so that it will be a faith system serving the will of Waaqa for Oromia in particular, and for Africa in general).

 

Last but not least, Waaqeffataa Oromo need to be creative in realizing the will of Waaqa in our life, which is the only way to “evangelize” and convert others to the “karaa nagaa (to the right way) HE wants us to walk. We need to learn from the past (the known part of life, which is symbolized by white color), live the present (the challenging part of life symblized by red color) and love to know the future (the unknown part of life symbolized by black color). The karaa nagaa at this particular era/time includes the virtue of a passinate struggle in life both individually and collectively, not an attitude of the pacifistic stoicism. Waaqeffannaa doesn’t persuade us to do things to secure life after death, but it tells us that our effort and enthusiasm are part of the safuu we have to keep and implement in order to make our life here on earth the excellent success story.

Read the full article from original source @http://gihonpostsite.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/waaqeffannaa-the-african-traditional-faith-system/

 

 

The Quest for Oromo’s Indigenous Knowledge and Institutions April 3, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Abbush Zallaqaa, Afaan Publication, Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Finfinnee, Free development vs authoritarian model, Gadaa System, Haile Fida, Humanity and Social Civilization, Irreecha, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Oral Historian, Oromia, Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromummaa, Self determination, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Toltu Tufa, Uncategorized, Wisdom.
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By Iddoosaa Ejjetaa, Ph.D.*

 

The classical definition of knowledge was given by Plato as “justified true belief.” There are many philosophical theories to explain knowledge. The online Oxford dictionaries define knowledge as a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject [online]. The same source explain knowledge that can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic. According to Stanley Cavell, “Knowing and Acknowledging” the “knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, association and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.” I am not here to write the theory of knowledge, but trying to bring the human society acknowledgement and recognition for the Oromoo nation’s indigenous knowledge.

The Oromoo Gadaa System (OGS) is an indigenous knowledge reserve institution of the Oromoo nation. It is an organic system, which is self-refining every eight years (in two four-year terms) to meet the needs of the society. The OGS is a well-structured and organized indigenous knowledge reserve that encompasses social, political, economic and military institutions that operate mainly based on self-reliance principles while Oromummaa is an act of embracing these institutions and applying the indigenous knowledge to manifest an authentic Oromoo’s cultural and national identity.

The essence of scientific education is to understand Mother Nature, daachee haadha marggoo, and human experience in relation to Mother Nature. Through scientific education we can ask questions and try to investigate or do research to find out the facts and report the new knowledge about the subject. For example, who is responsible for the creation of human being, other living and non-living things as a part of the whole nature? What if I told you that the answer to the question is Mother Nature? I guess, you would not be satisfied with the answer because it leads to another subsequent philosophical questions such as who is responsible for the creation of the Mother Nature. Again, what if I told you the answer is a God? This time, probably you would be settled and agree with me. But how do you know for sure that it is a God who is responsible for the creation of nature?

I have thought deeply about these questions and tried to find the best possible answers. I would like to share the final answer with you later on if you continue the journey with me through reading and thinking about the perplexities of human life experience.

The purpose of this paper is to share my points of view with you and highlight that the Oromoo Gadaa System is the prima source of Oromo indigenous knowledge reserve that every Oromoo person should safeguard it and reclaim it as a shared-value that can be manifested through applied Oromoo knowledge and life experience, which is often called Oromummaa. Hence, the Oromoo Qubee generation are highly encouraged to embark their scientific studies and discoveries on our forefathers’ indigenous knowledge and bring it to light to show the world that our forefathers had made significant contribution to human society and civilization by creating and developing a comprehensive and complex democratic system: the Oromoo Gadaa System and its Institutions. For the qubee Oromoo generation, I would say they have a gold mining opportunity on their own backyards and they have to go for it.

Oromoo’s Indigenous Knowledge

Indigenous knowledge is local by nature. It is primarily based on social skills and production techniques. Both social skills and production techniques employ indigenous knowledge that in turn involves the process of life-long learning and teaching. The Oromoo Gadaa System provides such indigenous knowledge reserve so as to enable the new generation to learn from and teach the generations to come. For example, Oromummaa is a social skill. The Oromoo children learn social skills: respect, love, sympathy, empathy, ethics (Safuu), sharing, helping others, communications, etc from their parents and through well-organized Gadaa institutions such as the Age group (Hiriyyaa) and Qalluu.

Like every society, the Oromoo Gadaa Society had engaged in production of goods and services for long time or millenniums. They have millennium years of farming and animal husbandry experience and knowledge. The Oromoo farmers were the first people who domesticated barley as cereal crop in the region and a coffee plant and used the coffee beans in the world. This means the Oromoo farmers had possessed a primary indigenous knowledge about these crops. This indigenous knowledge reserve, however, needs a substantial effort in the field of scientific research and documentation for learning and teaching purposes by present and future Oromoo generations.

The lack of self-ruling political right in Ethiopian Empire and the decline of the Oromoo Gadaa System of Self-governance lead to the deterioration of the Indigenous knowledge and Institutions. In addition, the absence of curiosities from the Oromoo educated class for long time and self-inflicted prejudices against Oromoo indigenous knowledge had played a significant role on its underdevelopment. The educated class is the first social group who run away from their villages and turn their back to their culture and traditional ways of life. Consequently they find themselves in the garrison cities where almost everything is imitation of modernity that has no root in the local culture or traditions. Moreover, the educated elites had been played an agent role to introduce exogenous values including foreign religion, culture of conspicuous consumption and other copy-cut life styles from the West, and Middle-East world.

As I mentioned above, because of the lack of basic human right the Oromoo as a nation has no formal indigenous institutions yet. Instead, the institutions are maintained by the Oromoo Gadaa fathers and mothers who have been serving as Oromo indigenous knowledge reserve as institution. . This means the Qubee generation scientific research and discoveries are highly dependent on the existence of Gadaa Oromoo fathers and mothers (abbootii Gadaa Oromoo) and time because if they die the institutions and knowledge will die with them. For many of them, a biological time is about running out now. One day they will leave us for good. So it is responsibilities and sacred duties of this generation to secure and backup these precious indigenous “documents” that had been inherited form the previous generations.

As JF Kennedy said, the purpose of education is to advance human knowledge and dissemination of truth. However, contrary he said, the education system in Ethiopia has been harboring ignorance, distortion and denial of the truth that effectively disabled the process of learning, thinking and bringing positive changes to our society. So I suggest to the new generation regardless of their ethnic and cultural background to use the best three doses of pills/prescription for ignorance, distortion and denial of history. They are: genuine education, genuine education, and genuine education (3-GE). Through genuine education one can learn the true essence of love (jaalala), which is unselfishness, the creator, and creatures, uumaa fi uumammaa.

Generally, indigenous knowledge (IK) are the outcome of true and genuine collective human experience. It could be knowledge about culture, tradition, history, philosophy, belief system, art, farming, biodiversity, medicine, family, economic distribution, etc. The Oromoo Gadaa System is one of such collective human experience that need to be learned as universal value to human society and pass down to the next generations.

The Predicaments of Indigenous Knowledge in Ethiopia Politically speaking, Ethiopia as a nation had never been colonized and maintained its independence while all African countries had been colonized by European states. To some extent, this is true. Practically, however, the Ethiopian Empire State had been constructed and maintained by European states and continued to operate under indirect-colonialism of Anglo-American and European States. Like all African Republics or States, the Ethiopia’s government structure, military structure, religious institutions, political and social, educational, and legal systems are highly influenced mainly by Anglo-American and European institutions including British, France, Italian, Germany, American, Japan, China, etc. Consequently, indigenous knowledge had been systematically marginalized and ignored, unfairly criticized as primitive, static and simple idea by semi-literate domestic elites or agents of exogenous institutions.

These exogenous institutions such as the Orthodox Coptic Church officials (clergy/priests) and collusion of feudal neftenyaa and self-serving local balabats in Ethiopia, for instance, had played a key role in dismantling indigenous institutions, discrediting and condemning indigenous knowledge and even blessing Menelik’s genocidal and unjust war against our people and indigenous people of the south. Here one must note that the local Oromoo balabats had played a primary role in sponsoring, defending and assigning a commanding site Oromoland to the Orthodox Churches in Oromiyaa today. In addition to the neftenyaa system, these social class is accountable historically for the decline of the Oromoo Gadaa System and underdevelopment of its Institutions. Beside this, at present the decedent of these social class still maintained their loyalty to the Orthodox Church and Ethiopia’s empire state. Some individuals even have been involving in the Oromoo liberation struggle by dressing a sheep skin to saboteur the genuine aspiration of Oromians for freedom and independence. This author suspect that this very social class had contributed to the weakness of Oromia liberation camp.

The Impacts of Church Education on Indigenous knowledge

The Orthodox Coptic church jealously dominated the education system in Ethiopia. The Orthodox Coptic Church in Ethiopia had provided training in reading and writing in Ge’ez and Amarigna (Amharic) at primary school level to limited areas and people of the country. To summarize the church education in Ethiopia: elementary pupils had to learn to read, write, and recite the Dawit Medgem (Psalms of David). There are 15 sections, called negus (kings), which normally took two years to master. Next they learned to sing kum zema (church hymns), which took four years, and msaewait zema (advanced singing), which took an additional year to learn. Liturgical dancing and systrum holding required three years. Qine (poetry) and law required five years to learn. The interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Apostles’ Creed, took four years on average, while the interpretation of the works of learned monks and priests took three years. When a student knew the psalms by heart, he had mastered the “house of reading” and was now considered an elementary school graduate. As one can see there is no a single grain of indigenous knowledge or belief system had been taught by the Orthodox Church.

The Orthodox Coptic Tewahido Church is considered by government as indigenous institution, when it is imported and imposed on native culture. Both religions Christian and Islam were imported and imposed on native population, such as the early Christianized ethnic Tigray and Amhara and then ethnic Oromoo, Sidama, and other people of the south, by few clergies and foreign religious crusaders. These institutions had replaced the indigenous belief system, institutions and knowledge over time. As a result, the majority, if not the entire population, ethnic Tigray and Amhara believe that Bible is the source of their history and culture. As one can easily understand, the people of Tigray and Amhara have lived far more years than the bible does, which is two thousand years. As people who residing in East Africa, the Tigray and Amhara people must have had indigenous culture and knowledge. What are they?

Despite the claim of three thousand years history of civilization, Ethiopians exposed to non-church education or modern education in 1920s. The ministry of education established in 1930s. Secondary schools established in 1940s, and higher education, Addis Ababa University, established in 1960s. In similar way, the modern education system had also failed in teaching and conducting research on indigenous knowledge so as to integrate it into the modern education. As a result, creativity, inventions and innovations have seen as odd culture to our society. On the contrary, receiving aid, economic migration, conspicuous consumption of imported goods including education and dependency on Western advanced societies or institutions have become a culture.

Therefore, it is up to the Habesha (Tigre and Amhara), the Oromoo and other ethnic groups of the new generation to dig deep down to find out their respective indigenous knowledge that deep rooted in their culture and traditions and pass down from one generation to other generations by their native ancestors if any and re-evaluate the existing very controversial written history, which is biased and by large based on fiction history. The cycle of self-discrimination must end by the new generation. By doing this they can find shared human values that would allow them to live in peace without disrespecting one another as good neighbors and citizens of their respective nation. So one must understand that no one would agree on imported history that was written by the followers and supporters of Christianity crusaders, war lords, kings, dictators and agents of the Western discriminatory and racist institutions of the time as shared human value and history of our respective people in our time. The time and world have changed forever.

The present suspicion, political conflicts and all forms of problems in our region will not be solved without recognizing and applying indigenous knowledge. The lasting resolutions for the problems can be achieved if every member of our society or nation adults learn and teach their younger generation good social skills, which are critical to successfully functioning society. Basic social skills enable adults and children to know what to say, how to make good choices, and how to behave in adverse situations. The extent to which young people possess good social skills can influence their adult behavior in decision making, conflict management and problem solving. Social skills are also linked to the quality of the school environment. The Church and modern education in Ethiopia, unfortunately, had been denying members of our society these good basic skills such as respect, appreciation, empathy, apology, truthfulness, positive attitude about others, etc. Instead, the system allowed social ignorance such disrespect, occupational despise, ethnic chauvinism, fear, the divine right of the kings and honor for ruling class. As a result, the Ethiopian empire has produced highly educated class like Dr. Getachew Haile without basic and good social skills; it seems that he passed through poor socialization as one can understand the meaning of his name, ‘lord of …power’, which is false-self has given to him by his parents
and trying his best to make them proud by being discourteous and rude to the Oromoo people. Dr. Getachew Haile, be nice!

The black people or African descents are subject to institutional discrimination and racism more than any other races in the world including the holy land- Israel and Saud Arabia. Do you know why? The reasons can be many, but one of the reasons is imitation of ideas. The black people are the most imitating of other societies’ idea. They did not protect and develop their own indigenous institutions (political, religious, cultural and socio-economic institutions) to shape their lifestyle and influence others. No other nations are imitating Africans’ culture, religion, lifestyles but the Africans tend to imitate others about everything that life needs. Some African or extremists trying to be more imitator and more knowledgeable about the culture, religion and ideology than the original inventor or creator of the idea. It is understandable that human being has ability to imitate and all cultures imitate ideas from original culture. The question I would like ask the readers is why the changes are in one direction only. Why African descents imitate ideas of the other culture when the other culture do not imitate the African idea or world view?

For example, black Africans including Ethiopians has been pretending as if they have better known about the Jesus of Nazareth more than the Israelis and Prophet Muhammad more than the Arabs; Marxism and Leninism or communism more than Russians; democracy more than Americans and Western societies. These blind optimists about other’s idea are cynical at the same time about their own indigenous knowledge; they are willing to abuse, jail, torture and murder their own innocent people for the authenticity of imported ideas, religious and political ideology. In the case of Ethiopia, the king Menelik II and Yohanness II – holy war and wildish conquests were a case in point. They had imitated from the history of European middle-age idea of religious crusaders and empire builders. The Abyssinian kings had been acted as proxy war lords of European colonial powers and committed incalculable atrocity against the Oromo people and other black people in East Africa. In addition, these Abyssinian kingdom were one of the worst Africa’s kingdoms who sold Africans, their own race, to British, Arabs and other European white race for the exchange of European firearms to conquer the land of other nations and subjugate the people and build the empirical institutions based on European ideas and political model. What most disgracing is when people like Dr. Getachew Haile and his like trying to keep the truth elusive and misrepresent the history of the black people and glorifying the history of the White colonial proxy war lords like Menelik II as great black king, who was cowardly cut women’s breast, mutilate men’s hand and embarrassingly sold his own black race to the European white race.

In conclusion, the quest for truth shall continue by present and future Oromo generations. The root cause for conflicts in Africa is an imported knowledge and imitation of ideas. In many cases, imitation represent a false-self or an act to hiding a true-self. Discriminatory and racist attitude against black people had been partly brought up by European’s colonial power proxy war lords in Africa such as Menelik II of Abyssinia/Ethiopia kingdom. Although most black people tend to cherish and assimilate their cultural identity into the Middle-Eastern and Western cultural identity and ways of life, the very culture of the societies they imitating have been reciprocating or holding discrimination against them based on race, stereotypes and historical disadvantages. Institutional racism still exist and there are also significant number of individuals who think that Africans have not yet acquired culture and civilization. The imitation of others’ ideas, belief system and political institutions by Africans including my fellow Oromoo has kept the racist believes alive. It is suffice to mention the 2013 incidents against African immigrants in Saud Arabia and recently in Israel. The majority of Africans believed that embracing Christianity and Islam would lead to heaven via holy land. Unfortunately, it turned out differently; they end up in hell in the holy land. So, the lasting solution would be revitalizing indigenous knowledge and institutions that demands for real efforts, courage and sacrifices. As to the Oromo’s quest for indigenous knowledge and institutions, revitalization of the Gadaa Republic of Oromia and its institutions would be the lasting solution for century old colonial extraction, subjugation and embarrassment.
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* About the author: Iddoosaa Ejjetaa, Ph.D., native to Oromiyaa, Ethiopia. Independent and Naturalist Thinker; An activist and advocator for the revitalization of Authentic Oromummaa, Oromoo Indigenous knowledge and institutions, and for the formation of Biyyaa Abbaa Gadaa,Oromiyaa-The Gadaa Republic of Oromia.

Read more @
http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/the-quest-for-oromos-indigenous-knowledge-and-institutions/

Africa: Legacy of Pre-colonial Empires and Colonialism March 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Afaan Publication, Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dhaqaba Ebba, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, Hadiya, Hadiya and the Omo Valley, Haile Fida, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Language and Development, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, South Sudan, Specialization, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Youth Unemployment.
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‘Our knowledge of the nature of identity relations in pre-colonial Africa is less than complete. However, there is little doubt that many parts of the continent were torn apart by various wars, during that era. Many of the pre-colonial wars revolved around state formation, empire building, slave raids, and control over resources and trade routs. The slave raiding and looting empires and kingdoms, including those of the 19th century, left behind complex scars in inter-identity relations. It is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss in detail the nature of pre-colonial empires in Africa. The examples of the Abyssinian Empire and the Mahdiyya state in Sudan provide a glimpse of the impacts of pre-colonial empires on the prevailing problems in inter-identity relations. The Abyssinian Empire, for example, is credited for creating the modern Ethiopian state during the second half of the 19th century and defending it from European colonialism. However, it also left behind a deeply divided country where the populations in the newly incorporated southern parts of the country were ravaged by slave raids and lootings and, in many cases, reduced into landless tenants, who tilled the land for northern landlords (Pankhurst, 1968). The Empire also established a hierarchy of cultures where the non-Abyssinian cultures in the newly incorporated territories were placed in a subordinate position. There are claims, for instance, that it was not permissible to publish, preach, teach or broadcast in Oromiya [Afaan Oromo] (language of the Oromo people) in Ethiopia until the end of the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie (Baxter, 1978, 228). It requires a great deal of sensitivity to teach Ethiopian history in the country’s schools, since the empire-builders of the 19th century are heroes to some identities while they are viewed as villains who brought destruction and oppression by others. Similarly, Sudan’s Mahdiyya state, which professed Arab identity and was supported by slave raiding communities, left behind complex scars in inter-identity relations, which still plague the country (Francis Deng, 2010).’ pp 10-12

Diversity Management in Africa: Findings from the African Peer Review Mechanism
and a Framework for Analysis and Policy-Making , 2011.

http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/publications/3-diversity-management.pdf

http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/publications/3-diversity-management.pdf

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No Oromo has constitutional or legal protection from the killing machinery of the TPLF securities. The recent murdering of Tesfahun Chemeda in kallitti prison is a case book of the current Circumstance.
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Without the support of the USA and EU, major pillars of the regime would have collapsed. Because one reason why TPLF is sustaining in power is through the budgetary support and development funding of the EU, the United States and offered diplomatic validation by the corrupted African Union. Foremost, the US and EU as the largest partners are responsible for funding the regime’s sustainability and its senseless brutality against ordinary citizens. They would have the capacity to disrupt the economic might of this regime without negatively impacting ordinary citizens, and their failure to do so is directly responsible for the loss of many innocent lives, the torture of many and other grievous human rights abuses. Helping dictators while they butcher our people is what I cannot understand. What I want to notify here is, on the way of struggling for freedom it is very essential to call on the western powers to stop the support they are rendering to dictators in the name of fighting the so called terrorism in Horn Africa, otherwise it will remain an obstacle for the struggle.
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As my understanding and as we have observed for more than two decades, it is unthinkable to remove TPLF regime without a military struggle or without popular Uprisings. They are staying, staying, and staying in power – 10, 20, 22 and may be 30 or 40 years. They have developed the mentality of staying on power as their own family and ethnic property. So that they are grooming their clans, their wives, sons, cats, dogs and even goats to succeed them. They are simply the worst mafia regime and the most politically intolerant in the Africa. It is impossible to remove them electorally because we have been witnessing that the electoral system is fundamentally flawed and indomitably skewed in favor them. Every gesture and every words coming from TPLF gangs in the last several years have confirmed that to remove them by election is nothing but like to dream in daylight.
The late dictator “Meles Zenawi” had once said that TPLF “shall rule for a thousand years”, asserting that elections SHALL NOT remove his government. He also said: “the group who want the power must go the forest and fight to achieve power”. Therefore, taking part in Pseudo election will have no impact on reducing the pain of the oppressed people. Evidently, the opposition and civil societies have been rendered severely impotent, as any form of dissent attracts the ultimate penalty in Ethiopia. Furthermore, we are watching that this regime is intensifying its repression of democracy each day, and ruling strictly through the instrument of paralyzing fear and the practice of brutality against ordinary citizens.
As we are learning from history, Dictators are not in a business of allowing election that could remove them from their thrones. The only way to remove this TPLF dictatorship is through a military force, popular uprising, or a rebel insurgency: Egypt (2011), Ivory Coast (2011), Tunisia (2011), Libya (2011), Rwanda (1994), Somalia (1991), Liberia (1999), etc. A high time to fire up resistance to the TPLF killings and resource plundering in Oromia, is now. To overthrow this brutal TPLF dictatorship and to end the 22 years of our pain, it is a must to begin the resistance with a nationwide show of defiance including distributing postures of resistance against their brutality across Oromia and the country. Once a national campaign of defiance begins, it will be easy to see how the TPLF regime will crumble like a sand castle. Besides, we the Oromo Diaspora need to work on strengthening the struggle by any means we can. It is the responsibility of the Diaspora to advance the Oromo cause, and at the same time to determine how our efforts can be aided by the international community. As well, it is a time for every freedom thirsty Oromo to take part in supporting our organization Oromo liberation Front by any means we can.
These days, TPLF regime is standing on one foot and removing it is easier than it appears. Let all oppressed nations organize for the final push to liberty. The biggest fear of Woyane regime is people being organized and armed with weapons of unity, knowledge, courage, vigilance, and justice. What is needed is a unified, dedicated struggle for justice and sincerity. Oromo’s are tired of the dying, the arrests, the detentions, the torture, the brutality and the forced disappearances. This should come to an end! DEATH FOR TPLF LEADERES ,.long live FOR OROMIYA
_____________________________________
The author, ROBA PAWELOS, can be reached by bora1273@yahoo.com
http://oromiatimes.org/2014/03/13/no-oromo-has-constitutional-or-legal-protection-from-the-cruelty-of-the-tplfeprdf-regime-roba-pawelos/
‘Briefcase bandits’
Africa’s spin doctors (mostly American and European) deliberately choose to represent what the Free Africa Foundation’s George Ayittey so refreshingly describes as “Swiss-bank socialists”, “crocodile liberators”, “quack revolutionaries”, and “briefcase bandits”. Mr Ayittey – a former political prisoner from Ghana – pulls us a lot closer to the truth.
If the mainstream media adopts Mr Ayittey’s language, the free governments of the world would be forced to face the truth and take necessary steps to tie their aid and trade deals to democratic reform for the benefit of Africa’s population. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we must combat the work of firms that provide “reputation management” to oppressive states by exposing their role in abetting injustice.
Those firms may want to consider atoning by volunteering for the civil society groups, human rights’ defenders and economic opportunity organisations working to make Africa free and prosperous.’…………………………………………………

A number of African governments accused of human rights abuses have turned to public relations companies to salvage the image of their countries.

The BBC’s Focus on Africa magazine asked two experts whether “reputation management” is mostly a cover-up for bad governance.

NO: Thor Halvorssen is president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation and founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum.

Thor Halvorssen has published extensively on the subject of lobbying
For Public Relations (PR) companies and their government clients, “reputation management” can be a euphemism of the worst sort. In many cases across Africa, it often means whitewashing the human rights violations of despotic regimes with fluff journalism and, just as easily, serving as personal PR agents for rulers and their corrupt family members.

But they also help governments drown out criticism, often branding dissidents, democratic opponents and critics as criminals, terrorists or extremists.

Today, with the preponderance of social media, anyone with an opinion, a smart phone and a Facebook account can present their views to an audience potentially as large as any major political campaign can attract.

This has raised citizen journalism to a level of influence unknown previously. Yet, this communication revolution has also resulted in despotic governments smearing not just human rights advocates, but individuals with blogs as well as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook accounts. This undermines the power and integrity of social media.

And as PR firms help regimes “astroturf” with fake social media accounts, they do more damage than just muddling legitimate criticism with false comments and tweets linking back to positive content – they also make the general public sceptical about social media.

It is no surprise that ruthless governments that deny their citizens basic freedoms would wish to whitewash their reputations. But PR professionals who spin for them should be exposed as amoral.

It is no surprise that ruthless governments that deny their citizens basic freedoms would wish to whitewash their reputations”

For instance, Qorvis Communications, a PR and lobbying firm in the United States, represents Equatorial Guinea – among other allegedly repressive governments – for a reported $55,000 a month. The firm is said to have amassed more than $100 million by helping their clients with “reputation management”.

By burying opposing public opinions or spinning false, positive stories of stability and economic growth on behalf of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s brutal regime, the firm is seriously hampering the progress of human rights in the country.

In response, Qorvis says that customers with troublesome human rights records are a very small part of its client base, and that these governments are using Qorvis as a means to be heard in the “court of public opinion”.

Washington Media Group, another American PR firm, was hired in 2010 by the Tunisian government. The autocracy was subsequently described in various media outlets as a “stable democracy” and a “peaceful, Islamic country with a terrific story to share with the world”. Only after the regime’s snipers began picking off protesters did Washington Media Group end its $420,000 contract.

‘Limited engagement’
When a PR firm spins a dictator’s story, it does not just present a different viewpoint, as the firm might want you to believe; rather, it undermines the resources from which people can draw opinions. If a website or magazine commends the government, how is an average citizen to know for certain if the information is accurate or true?

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Teodoro Obiang Nguema is accused of leading a brutal regime in Equatorial Guinea
Many firms that operate, or have done, on behalf of kleptocracies in Africa are based not only in the US but also in the United Kingdom. They include Bell Pottinger (Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt), Brown Lloyd James (Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya) and Hill & Knowlton (Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda).

There are likely many more that continue to do this work under the cover of corporate secrecy. When firms get caught or criticised for their activities many say it is “limited engagement” for only a few months or that the task only involved “tourism” or “economic progress”.

If, for instance, a firm served the questionable government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo they would probably insist they are “consultants” helping to create “economic opportunity” and, no doubt, providing a “guiding hand” to the current president as he improves the lot of the Congolese poor.

Yet the spin doctors most probably ignore the fact that President Joseph Kabila’s security forces killed Floribert Chebeya, arguably the DR Congo’s leading human rights defender, and likely “disappeared” his driver (he is still missing). Only after an international uproar were the policemen directly responsible for the killing brought to justice.

Meanwhile, political opponents routinely disappear, journalists are arrested for criticising the government and any comprehensive human rights report contains appalling anecdotes and painful analysis about a country with little judicial independence and respect for the rule of law.

PR agents do not create “economic opportunities” – they alter reality so that certain deals and foreign aid can flow faster and in larger quantities – all the while being rewarded handsomely.

‘Briefcase bandits’
Africa’s spin doctors (mostly American and European) deliberately choose to represent what the Free Africa Foundation’s George Ayittey so refreshingly describes as “Swiss-bank socialists”, “crocodile liberators”, “quack revolutionaries”, and “briefcase bandits”.

Mr Ayittey – a former political prisoner from Ghana – pulls us a lot closer to the truth.

If the mainstream media adopts Mr Ayittey’s language, the free governments of the world would be forced to face the truth and take necessary steps to tie their aid and trade deals to democratic reform for the benefit of Africa’s population.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we must combat the work of firms that provide “reputation management” to oppressive states by exposing their role in abetting injustice.

Those firms may want to consider atoning by volunteering for the civil society groups, human rights’ defenders and economic opportunity organisations working to make Africa free and prosperous.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15109351

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The Oromo are the second largest indigenous population in Africa March 11, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Afaan Publication, Africa, African Beat, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Development, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Fatuma Roba, Finfinnee, Gadaa System, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, Irreecha, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Nubia, OMN, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Saudi Arabia, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Uncategorized.
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Hard roads to freedom: The Oromo fight for recognition in their new home
refugeeweek

 

‘We have to tell people we are the second largest indigenous population in Africa
because nobody knows about us.’O

refugeeweekhttp://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/hard-roads-to-freedom-the-oromo-fight-for-recognition-in-their-new-home/

 

http://advocacy4oromia.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/oromo-fight-for-recognition-in-their-new-home.pdf

 

Oromia of Dhaqabo Ebba: The Cradle of Mankind Is Also A Home of The Oldest Living person Known to Humanity September 10, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Dhaqaba Ebba, Gadaa System, Humanity and Social Civilization, Oral Historian, Oromia, Oromo, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Library, Uncategorized, Wisdom.
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Dhaqabo Ebba – Courtesy of OPride.com

Dahqabo Ebba, Oromo elder,   who is over 160 years is the oldest living person known  to humanity.

He is a resident of  Dodola town, Oromia.

http://www.unpo.org/article/16351

OTV (Oromiyaa TV)

In  interviews conducted  in his native language Afaan Oromo  Obbo Dhaqabo Ebba counts his age based on Oromo Gadaa system calendar. According to  traditional Oromo Gadaa system every member of the society goes through the Gadaa time grade. Obbo Dhaqabo Ebba has lived 4 Gadaa cycles. one Gadaa cycle has 5 stages. One stage is for 8 years. One Gadaa cycle is 40 years, (8*5).  Obbo Dhaqabo has already completed 4 Gadaa cycles (4*40) which are 160 years. He involved  in the Gadaa system in its full functioning time in all its structures and  development stages from Dabballe to Jaarsa. He still living after the 4 cycles means he is actually over 160 years. The Journalist of Oromiyaa TV did not yet ask him how many years since his last 4 Gadaa cycles was completed. Gadaa ways of timing is exact to know own birth years and historical events. In his fascinating life that has touched 3 centuries (from middle 19th century to the present 2nd decades of 21st century which  has been over 160 years he remembers all major  political, social, economic and environmental events and changes.  He remembers from a time when the Ethiopian empire still expanded south to Oromia such as 1880’s the time the Abyssinian Menelik start to occupy  the Oromo capital Finfinnee (Abyssinians named it Addis Ababa). At this event and the time  of  first Italian  invasion he used to travel to Finfinnee (Addis Ababa)  for his livestock  trading.  He mentioned that  he engaged in farming (crops and livestock) but also in commerce. it took eight days on horseback to cover the 150 miles between his village and  Finfinnee (Addis Ababa). In 1895 ( at the time of Italian invasion) he was already a married  person of two wives and his first son ( over 100 years old with him  at interview) was a young boy and able person to look after his livestock. “When Italy invaded the country, I had two wives and my son was old enough to herd cattle,” he said, referring to Italy’s 1895 invasion of his country.  “Not even one of my peers is alive today.” He knows and remembers by naming  all Abyssinian rulers, Menelik to present who have been in Oromia (Oromo land) since the occupation of Finfinnee in 1880’s.

Mohammed Ademo of Opride  said. “Given that the Oromo like many African cultures are an oral society, ‘each time an elder dies, a library is lost.’ Ebba’s is one such library from which much can still be preserved.”

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1756208.html

As elaborated in the works of  “Oromia: an Introduction,”  by Gadaa Melbaa ( book published in Khartoum,  1988),  the following is a brief description of how the Gadaa system works and the gadaa Grades:  “There are two well-defined ways of classifying male members of the society, that is the hiriyya (members of an age-set all born within the period of one Gadaarule of eight years) and Gadaa grade. The Gadaa grades (stages of development through which a Gadaa class passes) differ in number (7-11) and name in different parts of Oromia although the functions are the same.”

The  Gadaa grades:-

1. Dabballee (0-8 years of age)

2. Folle or Gamme Titiqaa (8-16 years of age)

3. Qondaala or Gamme Gurgudaa (16-24 years of age)

4. Kuusa (24-32 years of age)

5. Raaba Doorii (32-40 years of age)

6. Gadaa (40-48 years of age)

7. Yuba I (48-56 years of age)

8. Yuba II (56-64 years of age)

9. Yuba III (64-72 years of age)

10. Gadamojjii (72-80 years of age)

11. Jaarsa (80 and above years of age)

 

http://gadaa.com/culture.html

Photo

 

 

 

   http://www.unpo.org/article/16351

http://now.msn.com/dhaqabo-ebba-ethiopian-farmer-is-160-years-old-reporter-claims