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UNPO: Oromo: Alterations of Afan Alphabet Raise Concerns About Community’s Cultural Rights June 10, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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#ABCDeebisaa

Oromo: Alterations of Afan Alphabet Raise Concerns About Community’s Cultural Rights

UNPO, 9 June 2017

Photo courtesy of USAID Ethiopia@flickr

Authorities in Oromia changed the order of the Roman alphabet used for the Afan Oromo language on the grounds that the old alphabet order is allegedly an obstacle to the reading skills of Oromo school children. According to Oromo intellectuals, however, this change is aiming at diminishing the cultural rights of the Oromo people who have been subject to a marginalisation process for years. This issue is occupying the center of Ethiopia’s political news cycle, even though this regulation had been silently carried out in 2016. Therefore, there are doubts as to whether the regime uses this debate to divert public attention from large-scale Oromo protests. In the past months, the Ethiopian government has been in the world’s spotlight due to massive human rights violations in the country.

 


 

This article has been published by Global Voices

 

Authorities in Oromia, Ethiopia’s largest state, have infuriated language experts and Oromo nationalists with their decision to re-arrange the order of the alphabet of the region’s language, Afan Oromo.

In multilingual and multiethnic Ethiopia, orthographic choices are complex linguistic and political decisions that have great socio-political consequences.

Among Ethiopia’s written languages, most write their language in either the Ge’ez or Ethiopic alphabet, known as “Fidel,” or the Roman alphabet. Afan Oromo officially adopted the Roman alphabet — in its usual order of ABCD and so on — after the current government come to power in 1991.

However, more than a quarter century later, the regional educational authorities of Oromia announced they were reshuffling the “Qubee Afan Oromo” (as the alphabet is called). The first seven letters are:

L A G I M Aa S

 

Justifying the change, authorities blamed the old alphabet order as the reason why reading skills among primary school children in Oromia remain poor. They even cited a research to back up their claim.

There is, however, a problem with their argument. It was based on a misrepresentation of the findings of the research. In fact, the research, which was funded by US Agency for International Development (USAID) in 2010, revealed a broader problem of reading skills not only among Afan Oromo-speaking primary school students, but also students whose mother tongue was Amharic, Hararigna, Sidaamu Afoo, Somali and Tigrinya.

In the study, pedagogic and logistical difficulties were identified as factors for poor reading skills in Ethiopia’s six major regions. However, the order of alphabet was not cited as a factor for the dismal reality. In a post on the citizen journalism site OPride.com, one blogger agreed with the findings of the research but questioned the connection it had to the alphabet order, writing:

There is little disagreement on the core problem here: The education quality crisis in Ethiopia needs fixing. The disagreement here though is on the proposed solutions. This is underscored by a key question that everyone is asking: JUST HOW DOES REORDERING THE AFAAN OROMO ALPHABET IMPROVE READING AND LEARNING OUTCOMES?

‘Yet another fraud perpetrated on the Oromo people’

The change actually took effect in 2016 and school textbooks already reflect the reshuffling, but it was done so quietly. So much so that the news of the letter order change only made it into Ethiopia’s political news cycle after government affiliate Oromia Broadcasting Service reported about it. Over last two years, a series of political events with far-reaching repercussions such as protests and internet outages has dominated the country’s news cycle.

As soon as the change was reported, concerned Oromo intellectuals started raising questions.

For them, this is the latest attempt in a series of steps intended to diminish the cultural rights of the Oromo people, who have historically been marginalized in Ethiopia. On Facebook Awol Kassim Allo, wrote:

“The casual change/disfiguring of the Alphabet of a language spoken by more than 40 million people without any debate and discussion is appalling. The excuse given to justify it – improving the ability of children to read at early stages of instruction – is lame and cannot stuck up to scrutiny. …This is yet another fraud perpetrated on the Oromo people and it must be rejected.”

The circumstance of the change also stoked another fear: that the decision to alter the order of the letters might be a plot by people who were disgruntled when the Oromos opted to adopt the Roman alphabet over the Ge’ez alphabet in 1991.

Prior to 1991, Afan Oromo was written in different alphabets. The first Oromo Bible was printed in Ge’ez letters in the 19th century. During the reign of emperor Haile Selassie (1930-1974), Afan Oromo was not a written language.

When Ethiopia’s military regime came to power in 1974, it decreed that all Ethiopian languages must be written exclusively in Ge’ez alphabet— a draconian policy intended to promote unity among Ethiopia’s diverse ethnic groups.

Parallel to the Ge’ez letters, however, Oromo language experts and Oromo nationalists were also using the Roman alphabet. Paul Baxter, a social anthropologist, wrote that the Roman alphabet was used to transcribe the Afan Oromo language among Kenyan Oromos in the 1940s.

Proponents of the Ge’ez alphabet believe that Ge’ez signifies the rich liturgic and literary tradition of Ethiopia. For them, preserving Ge’ez in the age of the Roman alphabet’s domination is a sign of resistance to cultural globalization and a symbol of identity. Responding to Awol Kassim Allo’s post on Facebook, Abeba Teshale wrote:

“Simple, structured, logical, Ethiopian, African, Amharic/Tigregna alphabet is there for any one interested to adopt. 26 vs 338 syllables! There is an alphabet for each sound and for the ones that don’t have one, we could crate a symbole. Just a thought”

For many Oromos, though, adopting the Roman alphabet is a matter of selecting an alphabet that best fits the Afan Oromo sound system.

According to academic Teferi Degeneh Bijiga, who wrote his doctoral dissertation on the topic of Afan Oromo writing system, complex historical, cultural and linguistic forces were at play when Oromo intellectuals decided to adopt the Roman alphabet in 1991.

Over the next few weeks, this issue will be front and center in Ethiopian politics, where the Ethiopian government is operating under a state of emergency because of the protests that began over land use as well as political and economic marginalization in Oromia in November 2015.

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Oromia: BBC’n Afaan Oromootiinis akka tamsaasu waamichi dhihaate: BBC: Consider Afan Oromo for your new radio-broadcasts to Ethiopia/Eritrea, as a matter of priority September 10, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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???????????kemetic alphabet (Qubee)The six widely spoken languages in Africa

Awash Post: BBC’n Afaan Oromootiinis akka tamsaasu waamichi dhihaate

BBC’n Afaan Oromootiin akka tamsaasuu waamicha kan dhiheessan Dr. Birhaanamasqal Abbabaa Sanyii fi Girmabbaacabsaati

BBC’n tamsaasa Itoophiyaafi Eertiraa irratti fuulleffate akka eegaluuf deemu Fulbaana 7, 2015 labsee jira. Sababni BBC’n barbaachisummaa tamsaasa kanaaf dhiheesse ukkaamamiinsa miidiyaalee wolabaan wolqabatee hir’inni ykn hanqinni dimokraasii biyyoota lamaanuu keessatti bal’inaan mul’ataa jiraachuu isaati. Egaa kallattiin xiyyeeffannaa BBC qaawwala uumame kana cufuufi rakkoo argame kanaaf furmaata barbaaduudha. Ummataa beela odeeffannoo qabu kana odeeffannoo haqaafi madaalawaa ta’e sooruudha, kaayyoon BBC.

BBC’n tamsaasa eegaluuf karoorfachuun alatti afaan tamsaasni isaa ittiin darbu afaan kam kam akka ta’uuf deemu ammatti wanti ibse hinjiru. Kan fuulleffate Itoophiyaafi Eertiraa irratti waan ta’eef Amaariffaafi Tigriffi nihafa jedhee kan yaadu hinjiru. Jidduu kanatti kan dagatamuuf jiru, akkuma ummata isa dubbatuu, Afaan Oromooti.

Rakkoon BBC’n nifura jedhee yaadu kanniin irra jireessatti kan dhadhamaa jiru Oromoodha. Oromoon kan dubbatuufi kan qajeelatti hubatu afaan isaati. Kanaaf BBC’n rakkoo furuu ykn qaawwala cufuuf deemu san qajeelatti cufuu fedha yoo ta’e, bifa kamiinuu Afaan Oromoo dagatuun irra hinjiraatu. Afaan Oromoo afaan BBC’n ittiin tamsaasu ta’uun kan fayyadu Oromoofi kanniin Afaan Oromoo dubbatan qofaa miti. Kaayyoon BBC’s akka salphatti galma gayuu ykn milkaayuu kan danda’au tamsaasnin yaadame kuni Afaan ummanni miliyoona 40 olitti tilmaamamu dubbatutti yoo dhimma baye. Afaan Oromoo dhiisanii afaan lamaan qofaan tamsaasuu jechuun garaacha gara alaa miicanii isa gara keessaa dhiisuu wolfakkaata. Miicuun yoo hinoolle luf godhaniiti.

BBC’n Afaan Oromootiin akka tamsaasuu waamicha kan dhiheessan Dr. Birhaanamasqal Abbabaa Sanyii fi Girmabbaacabsaati. Sodaa ykn shakkii BBC’n Afaan Oromoo nidagata jedhu ta’uu hinoolle kan Dr. Birhaanamasqal faa gara murtii dursanii waamicha dhiheessuutti isaan geesse. Hirmaannaan hunda keenyaa Afaan Oromoo gara BBC’tti fiduu akka danda’u hinshakkinaa. Tamsaasa Afan Oromoo BBC irraa darbu kan dhagayuu hawwu hundi waamicha godhameef kana awwaachuu qofa kan isarraa eeggamu. Waamicha BBC’f godhame irratti hirmaachuu kan feetan as bira cuqaasa.

BBC’n afaan Hawusaa, Kiswaahilii, Somaalee, Kirundiifi Kinyaruwaandaan tamsaasa isaa ummata Afrikaa kallattii adda addaatti argamu biraan akka gayu nibeekama. Afaan Hawusaafi Kiswaahiliin alatti hundi dubbattoota Afaan Oromoo qabuu gadi hedduu xiqqaa ta’e qaban.

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Related:-

Ethiopian Oromo campaign for BBC language service

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Oromos have started a petition asking the BBC to consider the Afan Oromo language for proposed news services for Ethiopia.

“This language is spoken as a first language by more than 30 million Oromo and neighbouring peoples in Ethiopia and parts of northern Kenya,” it says.

On Monday, the BBC announced it was proposing to introduce a news service for Eritrea and Ethiopia on medium- and short-wave radio – but gave no further details.

It would be ideal if the BBC decided to broadcast in three languages spoken in Ethiopia – Amharic, Tigrigna and Afan Oromo – the campaigners said.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-africa-34104064?ns_mchannel=social&ns_source=twitter&ns_campaign=bbc_live&ns_linkname=34209041%26Ethiopian%20Oromo%20campaign%20for%20BBC%20language%20service%2611:30&ns_fee=0#post_34209041

The Inspirational Nelson Mandela: The Long Walk To Freedom (1918 – 2013) July 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Colonizing Structure, Human Rights, Humanity and Social Civilization, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure. Africa Heritage. The Genocide Against Oromo Nation, Nelson Mandela, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Self determination, Uncategorized.
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International Nelson Mandela Day

After spending almost three decades as a political prisoner in his own country, Nelson Mandela emerged from his cell and quickly became one of the most revered world leaders.  18th July, Mandel’s Birthday, has been named International Nelson Mandela Day in his honor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taddasaand Mandella

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23325/2013/12/08/oromo-studies-associations-press-release-on-the-death-of-nelson-mandela/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gadaa%2FBiJG+%28Gadaa.com+Oduu+-+News%29

 

 

Nelson Mandela was not only a great leader; he was a student of great leadership. As a boy, he was dazzled by stories of African leaders from the 17th and 18th centuries, and he saw himself as part of that grand tradition. He was raised by the Regent of the Tembu tribe, who allowed him to sit in on tribal councils. Mandela once told me that the Regent would never speak until the end, and then he would summarize what had been said and try to form a consensus. When I was working with Mandela on his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, I sat in on many meetings with his own senior team. He would almost always wait until the end to speak and then see if he could forge a consensus. To him that was the African way.

Mandela was not only a student of great leadership; he was intent on creating great African leaders. He believed that there was a dearth of great leaders in Africa, and he was keen on motivating a new generation of leadership for the continent.

I was with Mandela during many meetings with South African and international leaders. Afterwards, he would comment on a leader’s particular style or tactics, or even on what he wore. He would note if a leader was polite or deferential. He did not like leaders who were overly emotional or histrionic. If he described you as “measured,” that was a great compliment. He prized directness. He had no tolerance for leaders who were not honest. And he would sometimes smile ruefully if someone was in over his head.

Mandela believed that African leaders needed to be different than Western leaders. As the head of the African National Congress, and as the president of South Africa, he always sought consensus. He once told me that as a boy he had spent many days herding cattle, and that the way you lead cattle is from behind. By that he meant, you must marshal your forces and make sure that your people are ready to go in the direction where you want to lead them. Mandela led from the front and behind, and it is his spirit that is behind the Young African Leadership Initiative. And on Mandela’s 96th birthday, we get ready to welcome to Washington the 500 YALI Fellows who are the brightest of a new generation of great African leaders.

Mandela understood that leaders are made as well as born, and that circumstances bring forth great leaders. He liked the old English expression about leadership: “Cometh the moment, cometh the man – or the woman.” This is the moment for these young African leaders.

– See more at: http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/07/17/nelson-mandela-s-legacy-and-next-generation-great-african-leaders#sthash.oVogppHa.YJ5JRlPJ.dpuf

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23515879

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“Living isn’t just about doing for yourself, but what you do for others as well.
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.”

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

“There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.”

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

Photo: "I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear." ~ Nelson Mandela. Rest in peace, Madiba.

Photo: "Great anger and violence can never build a nation. We are striving to proceed in a manner and towards a result, which will ensure that all our people, both black and white, emerge as victors.” (Speech to European Parliament, 1990)</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>"For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." (From Long Walk to Freedom, 1995)

 

Anti-apartheid leader and African National Congress member Nelson Mandela and his wife, Winnie, raise fists upon Mandela’s release from Victor Verster prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Paarl, South Africa.(ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Mandela at a funeral for 12 people who died during township unrest in Soweto, South Africa, Sept. 20, 1990.(ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

 

Mandela greets supporters behind the fence in the mining town of Randfontein, west of Johannesburg, Nov. 25, 1993. He toured the area as part of his campaign for the 1994 presidential election.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

South African President Nelson Mandela takes the oath of office on May 10, 1994, at the Union Building in Pretoria.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

South African President Nelson Mandela takes the oath of office on May 10, 1994, at the Union Building in Pretoria.(WALTER DHLADHLA/AFP/Getty Images)

 

President Mandela goes on a walkabout round Trafalgar Square in London on his way to South Africa House, where he made a speech from the balcony.(POOL/AFP/Getty Images),

See more at@http://www.nationaljournal.com/pictures-video/nelson-mandela-day-20140718

 

‘Over the years, Mandela’s initial military training and brief stay in Ethiopia received only a scant media coverage. It has been said that Mandela had come face-to-face with death at many junctures in his long life. But had the alleged 1962 assassination attempt in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, succeeded, the world would have been worse off.

gutadinkaA man who single-handedly saved Mandela has recently come forward with his story. Captain Guta Dinka, 78, was one of the two guards assigned to protect the future icon of peace during his training’  in Finfinnee. Read more at  http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3723-captain-guta-dinka-the-man-who-saved-mandela

Photo: Col Fekadu Wakene said Mr Mandela was a good student

Col Fekadu Wakene,  Oromo man

In ‘July 1962, Col Fekadu Wakene taught South African political activist Nelson Mandela the tricks of guerrilla warfare – including how to plant explosives before slipping quietly away into the night.’ BBC

WASHINGTON, DC (VOA, Afaan Oromo) — Prezidaantiin Afrikaa kibbaa duraanii Nelson Maandeellaa umrii isaanii 95tti kamiisa kaleessaa du’an boqotanii jiran.Uummanni addunyaa irra jiru prezidaantii gurraacha Afrikaa kibbaaf isa jalqabaa ta’an kanaaf gadda itti dhaga’ame ibsaa jira.

Namoota hedduu biratti maandelaan Goota.Nama kaka’uumsa qabu nama jabaa fi mul’ata qabu. Yeroo baayyee nama gad of qabu, nama gaarii, amanamaa, nama warra biraafis yaadu.

Ta’uun beekamu. Nelson Mandelaan Adooleessa 18 bara 1918 dhalatanii naannoo dur gurraachonni Afrikaa kibbaa keessa jiraatan Transkei jedhamtu keessatti guddatan.

Nelesen MaandeellaaNelesen Maandeellaa

Bara dargaggummaa isaanii sochii farra Apaartaayiid keessa seenuun paartii Afrikaan Nashinaal Kongrees ykn ANC jedhamutti dabalaman.Bara 1940 ANC keessatti damee dargaggotaaf hogganaa ta’an.

Maandeellaan kooleejii fi mana barnootaa kan seeraa yeroo seenan nama ANC keessaa Oliver Thamboo wajjin turan.

Yeroo jalqabaafiis waajiira gurraachaa kan waa’ee seeraa irratti hojjatu Afrikaa kibbaa keessatti banan.Gurraachootaaf gorsa seeraa baasii tokko malee tola ykn gatii xiqqoo gaafachuun gargaaraa turan.

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1804939.html

WASHINGTON,DC — Perzdaantiin Afrikaa Kibbaa ka durii,Nelson Maandellaa nama addunyaan waan hedduun faarsitu.

Akka xiinxalyaan siyaasaa Jawaar Mohaammad yuniversitii New York  jedhetti ammoo wannii Maandellaa jaalataniif “nama kana nama bilisummaa sabaatii fi ummata isaatiif falmeen jaalatama…jaarmiyaa paartii Afrikaa Kibbaa ,ANC jijjiiree paartii ummataa godhee.Ummatii cunqurfamoon addunyaa ammoo isa akka fkn laalan.”
Akka Jawaaritti wanti Maandellaa biyya alaatti akkana jaalataniif bara Maandeellaa hidhaa bahe sunitti:

“Oggaa innii qabsoo san injifannoon irra aanee mana hidhaatii bahu san sodaan guddaan… ummata isaa sun qabatee ummata adii biyya san jiru biyya sanii hari’uu, biiluu bahuu dandahaa  sodaa jettutti jira..sun ammoo hin taane.”

Dubbii tana araaraan fixuutti akka Maandellaan jaalatamu tolche.Gama kaaniin ammoo Maandellaan gaafa leenjii waraanaatiif Finfinnee dhufe jeneraalii waraanaa bara sunii Taaddasaa Birruu jalatti leenjifame.

Itti gaafatamtootii waraana Oromoo ta bara 1960s keessaa tun Jeneraal Taaddasaa  Birruu, Koloneel Fiqaaduu Waakkanneetii,Kumaalaa Fiqaaduu Dibaabaatii fi Kumaalaa Guutaa Dinqaa faan  Perz.Maandellaa leenjisanii nagaa isaallee eegaa bahe.haga Maandellaan Finfinnee jiru sunitti leenjisaa waan hedduun gargaaraa bahan.

Kumaalaa Guutaa Dinqaa  akka Maandellaa ijjeesu sobamulee “sobamuu didee lubbu Maandeellaa oolche.”

Gaafa Maandeellaan leenjii fixatee Afrikaa Kibbaatti deebihullee  kumaalaa Guutaan shugguxii tokkoo fi rasaasa 200 Maandellaa kenne.Jennaan  Maandellaan poolisiin itti dhufnaan shugguxii sun gatee ammallee horii guddaan barbaaduutti jiran.

Gama kaaniin ammoo dhaabi fiilmii Amerikaa baasu Holly Woodii fi ka Afrikaa Kibbaalleen seenaa Maandellaafaa shugguxi Maandellaa ta baddee fi seenaa Oromoota isa waliin turanii irralleetti wa hojjachuutti jira.

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1806836.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2013/12/what-mandela-meanttoafricanactivists.html

His Excellency Jacob G Zuma
President
Republic of South Africa
Dear Mr. President:
It is with feelings of great sorrow that we in the Oromo Liberation Front and the Oromo people at large learned the passing of Mr. Nelson Mandela, the first elected President of South Africa and a true freedom -fighting icon. On behalf of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and the Oromo people, I wish to convey my deepest condolences and sympathies to you and the people of South Africa during this time of national mourning. The passing of Former President Mandela is a tremendous loss not only to South Africa and Africa alone but to the whole world.
The world and Africa in particular has lost an extraordinary statesman; a true freedom fighter whose moral strength, dedication and determination liberated his people from the evil of apartheid and set a genuine example for the rest of world. This gallant son and leader of Africa, through his unconditional sacrifices and heroism transformed his beloved country, South Africa, into peaceful multiracial nation that continues to serve as an example of a true and genuine national reconciliation in the world.
We, Oromo, have very fond memories of Mr. Mandela’s secret visit to our country in 1962, where he was hosted by General Taddasa Biru, an Oromo hero, founder of the OLF and leader who was murdered by the Ethiopian regime in 1975, while in struggle for the liberation of his own people. General Taddasa Biru trained and prepared Mr. Mandela for armed struggle. Because of this connection in particular, Mr. Nelson Mandela has become a source of inspiration for those of us struggling for freedom, equality, peace and reconciliation. We will greatly miss this freedom icon and giant son of Africa.
History will remember President Nelson Mandela as a great man and hero. Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela’s legacy will live on and inspire generations to come.
At this moment, our prayers are with the people of South Africa and President Mandela’s family in particular and we hope that they will find strength and solace to overcome their sorrow during this period of deep grief.

May his soul rest in eternal peace!
Yours Sincerely,

Dawud Ibsa
Chairman
Oromo Libertion Front– National Council

http://ethiofreespeech.blogspot.no/2013/12/olf-sends-condolence-letter-on-mandela.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-23515879

The Oromo Studies Association (OSA) is profoundly saddened by the death of Nelson Mandela. Mandela was a father, a husband, a statesman, a global hero, an anti-apartheid symbol, an advocate of human rights, and a fearless fighter of discrimination. He fought for the equal right of the black people in Apartheid South Africa, and paid a heavy price for the freedom of his people. He was condemned to a 27-year imprisonment. Despite the prison ordeals, he defended his dignity, civility, discipline, principle, and emerged a better human being. Eventually, he led a pariah state to a new chapter of peace with itself and the world. A passionate and forgiving man, he built a common home for blacks and white races – making animosity between the once sworn enemies a matter of history. Today, the rainbow nation is a model for a racial equality and tolerance. Added to his popularity and grace was his decision to limit his presidency to one term in the continent often incumbents die in the office or removed by coup.

Gadaa.com
Mr Mandela with His Oromo Trainer, General Tadesse Biru. (Photo: Public Domain)

Mandela was a prisoner of conscience, but he was a free man at last. Today, there are tens of thousands of Oromo prisoners of conscience in Ethiopian prisons. Mandela was once considered a terrorist. Today, the Ethiopian government often labels one who advocates for the rights of the Oromo people as a terrorist. It is against this background that Mandela’s universal message of justice has a strong resonance in the Oromo nation, a nation trying to overcome a century of discrimination, oppression, marginalization, exploitation, and occupation.

The Oromo nation had a historical connection to a man who changed the world through his words and actions. He inspired General Taddasa  Birru, a man who ignited the struggle of the Oromo people for freedom and equality. The Oromo nation takes pride in teaching a military science and training Mandela needed to spark the struggle of the people of South Africa. Mandela cut his teeth under General Taddasa Birru and Capt. Fekadu Wakane. The Oromo nation also foiled an assassination attempt against the life of Nelson Mandela. Captain Dinka Guta is still a living witness for that. We are also happy that Dr. Neville Alexander, a son of an Oromo slave, fought for the independence of the people of South Africa, and imprisoned with Mandela at the same prison.

Mandela has left the world for good; yet he has changed the world for good.  Today, the world is a better place for humanity because of a meaningful life he lived and a remarkable legacy he left behind.  We are grieving his death, but humanity is better off because of his universal message of love, peace, harmony, understanding, human rights, and democracy. Mandela’s struggle against discrimination and oppression will inspire the struggle of the Oromo people and other oppressed peoples around the world.  Our prayers and thoughts are with his family and the people of South Africa during this difficult time.

—————————
Gadaa.com
Dr. Ibrahim Elemo, the President of OSA, signing a condolence book at the Consulate General of South Africa, in Chicago, December 6, 2013.

Gadaa.com
Dr. Ibrahim Elemo, the President of OSA, briefed the staff of the Consulate General of South Africa about the link between the Oromo struggle and the South Africans’ struggle against the Apartheid
—————————

Ibrahim Elemo, M.D, M.P.H

President, the Oromo Studies Association/Waldaa Qorannoo Oromoo
E-mail: ielemo@weisshospital.com

December 7, 2013

http://gadaa.com/oduu/23325/2013/12/08/oromo-studies-associations-press-release-on-the-death-of-nelson-mandela/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+gadaa%2FBiJG+%28Gadaa.com+Oduu+-+News%29

‘May God bless the memory of Nelson Mandela!’ Obama

The Oromo nationals with the Oromo flag at the memorial services for Nelson Mandela in Soweto FNB Stadium, South Africa, 10th December 2013.

Qunu, South Africa—Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first democratically-elected president and its most beloved leader, was laid to rest Sunday at a state funeral in the lush green hills he roamed barefoot as a child.

About 4,500 mourners gathered in a giant white tent on the Mandela family compound, where 95 candles—one for each year of Mandela’s life—burned behind his South African flag-draped casket. Family, friends and world leaders recalled Nelson Mandela as disciplined but mischievous, courageous yet humble.

The service concluded a 10-day period of national mourning that included a memorial gathering in Soweto, various concerts and Mandela’s body lying in state for three days in Pretoria. Organizers wanted Sunday’s service to wrap up in two-and-half hours, because a man of Mandela’s stature should be buried at noon, “when the sun is at its highest and the shadow at its shortest,” said African National Congress Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who served as master of ceremonies.

“Madala, your abundant reserves of love, simplicity, honesty, service, humility, care, courage, foresight, patience, tolerance, equality and justice continually served as a source of enormous strength to many millions of people in South Africa and the world,” said Ahmed Kathrada, who gave the first eulogy, addressing Mandela with the Xhosa word for elder. “You symbolize today, and always will, qualities of collective leadership, reconciliation, unity and forgiveness.”

Kathrada, who spent 26 years in prison with Mandela, choked up several times during his address. “When Walter [former African National Congress Secretary General Sisulu] died, I lost a father,” he said. “When you died, I lost a brother. Now I don’t know who to turn to.”

Guests included luminaries like Price Charles, Oprah Winfrey and Jesse Jackson and African leaders such as Malawi’s President Joyce Banda, Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete and Zambia’s former President Kenneth Kaunda.

Mandela’s granddaughter, Nandi Mandela, gave a moving tribute that recalled her grandfather’s humble roots. “He grew up from these rolling hills,” she said. “He went to school barefoot yet he rose to the highest office in the land.”

She depicted Mandela as a stern, but fun-loving and mischievous grandfather who loved telling stories.

“People always talk about his achievements, but he was a lot of fun to be around and he was a great storyteller.” She said he particularly liked to poke fun at himself, recounting a tale he told about trying to pick up a piece of chicken with his fork while at dinner with a girl he was trying to impress and her family. “Every time I stabbed the chicken, it jumped,” Nandi Mandela recalled her grandfather saying with a hearty laughter. “We shall miss your voice, we shall miss your laughter.”

Residents of Qunu and surrounding villages and ordinary South Africans who traveled from all over the country were not permitted inside the tent. Instead, hundreds watched Nandi Mandela and the other speakers on a giant screen set up in a distant field overlooking the Mandela compound, and at other public viewing sites around the country.

Draped in yellow and green Mandela t-shirts and scarves, with small South African flags attached to their hats or behind their ears, they sat quietly and intently, but jumped to their feet ululating and cheering when Mandela’s former praise poet, Zolani Mkiva, offered a rousing introduction to President Jacob Zuma.

The boos that greeted Zuma during a memorial service last week in Soweto were absent Sunday. In his speech, Zuma said Mandela offered, “hope in the place of hopelessness” and promised that South Africans would not abandon the principles that defined Mandela’s life.

“We have to continue building the type of society you worked tirelessly to construct,” Zuma said. “We have to take your legacy forward.”

As they watched the service in the field, mourners recalled how Mandela threw Christmas parties for the children of Qunu and surrounding villages, plying them with shoes, uniforms, and bags for school.

“For a big man like this, he was always there for us,” said Masibulele Magqirha, 42, of Qunu. Magqirha said he grew up playing soccer on the fields where Mandela’s house now stands. And he recalled when his entire soccer team decided they’d go ask Mandela to buy them uniforms.

“He said, ‘What are you doing here?’ But nobody wanted to talk,” Magqirha recalled. “’Gentlemen I’m talking to you, what are you coming here for?’” Mandela said, according to Magqirha. Magqirha finally spoke up: “Tata, please we are here to ask you to buy for us a kit. We are out playing soccer but we don’t have a kit.” Mandela told two team leaders to return the next day, Magqirha said. “When we came back, he said, ‘Tell me, what is your story?’ Are you studying? Please, you must go to school.’”

The next day, Magqirha returned, and was told to hop into a military truck, where he was presented with cleats, socks, shorts and shirts for the entire team.

“Where will we get a person like this again?” he asked.

Following Zuma’s speech, mourners walked behind the giant screen and paused in a vast open field. A young woman sat gazing towards the gravesite, crying. Others stood peering through binoculars towards the Mandela compound. Two police officers took a selfie, the funeral tent in the background. A man raised one fist in the air, holding a poster of Mandela in his other hand, gazing into the distance.

Then two busloads of men from neighboring KwaZulu Natal province, wielding spears and shields, offered a tribute in music and dance to Mandela, gyrating through the field.

Ultimately, Ramaphosa, the master of ceremonies, had to plead with the ancestors for extra time, as the ceremony went about an hour longer than expected. A small, private burial service followed at the family gravesite nearby.

Three helicopters carrying South African flags whizzed by, and military jets passed overhead in tribute as mourners sprinted towards them in a futile dash. A 21-canon salute boomed and smoke filled the village air.

At the Mandela family’s request, the national broadcaster cut the live feed to allow for a private burial. As coverage on the big screen ended, a woman seated in the front row wearing an elegant purple dress raised her hand and waved goodbye.

http://www.channel4.com/news/nelson-mandela-funeral-madiba-live-south-africa-qunu-video

http://www.newsweek.com/mandela-laid-rest-mourners-bid-final-farewell-224567

‘Much of Mandela’s belief system came from his youth in the Xhosa tribe and being raised by a local Thembu King after his own father died. As a boy, he lived in a rondavel — a grass hut — with a dirt floor. He learned to be a shepherd. He fetched water from the spring. He excelled at stick fighting with the other boys. He sat at the feet of old men who told him stories of the brave African princes who ruled South Africa before the coming of the white man. The first time he shook the hand of a white man was when he went off to boarding school. Eventually, little Rolihlahla Mandela would become Nelson Mandela and get a proper Methodist education, but for all his worldliness and his legal training, much of his wisdom and common sense — and joy — came from what he had learned as a young boy in the Transkei. Mandela might have been a more sentimental man if so much had not been taken away from him. His freedom. His ability to choose the path of his life. His eldest son. Two great-grandchildren. Nothing in his life was permanent except the oppression he and his people were under. And everything he might have had he sacrificed to achieve the freedom of his people. But all the crude jailers, tiny cells and bumptious white apartheid leaders could not take away his pride, his dignity and his sense of justice. Even when he had to strip and be hosed down when he first entered Robben Island, he stood straight and did not complain. He refused to be intimidated in any circumstance. I remember interviewing Eddie Daniels, a 5-ft. 3-in. mixed-race freedom fighter who was in cell block B with Mandela on the island; Eddie recalled how anytime he felt demoralized, he would just have to see the 6-ft. 2-in. Mandela walking tall through the courtyard and he would feel revived. Eddie wept as he told me how when he fell ill, Mandela — “Nelson Mandela, my leader!” — came into his cell and crouched down to wash out his pail of vomit and blood and excrement. I always thought that in a free and nonracial South Africa, Mandela would have been a small-town lawyer, content to be a local grandee. This great, historic revolutionary was in many ways a natural conservative. He did not believe in change for change’s sake. But one thing turned him into a revolutionary, and that was the pernicious system of racial oppression he experienced as a young man in Johannesburg. When people spat on him in buses, when shopkeepers turned him away, when whites treated him as if he could not read or write, that changed him irrevocably. For deep in his bones was a basic sense of fairness: he simply could not abide injustice. If he, Nelson Mandela, the son of a chief, tall, handsome and educated, could be treated as subhuman, then what about the millions who had nothing like his advantages? “That is not right,” he would sometimes say to me about something as mundane as a plane flight’s being canceled or as large as a world leader’s policies, but that simple phrase — that is not right — underlay everything he did, everything he sacrificed for and everything he accomplished.’

Read more: Nelson Mandela Dead at 95 | TIME.com http://world.time.com/2013/12/05/nelson-mandela-1918-2013-remembering-an-icon-of-freedom/#ixzz2nfn3oxN0

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Language and National Development: A tribute in Honour of Haile Fida’s Contribution to the Development of Oromo Orthography August 1, 2013

Posted by OromianEconomist in Language and Development.
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Haile FidaHirmatadubbii afaanoromo

Dr Haile Fida Kuma has made an outstanding contribution to the development of Oromo national orthography. He was one of the pioneers who attempted to shade fresh on the history of the Oromo, the right of the Oromo people to speak, read and write in Afaan Oromo. He initiated Oromo studies in Europe and has made a major contribution both to our knowledge of Afaan Oromo grammar and to the discussion on how the language should be written 1968-1974. His first research paper was published in 1972, on Tatek, theoretical Journal of Ethiopian Studies in Europe entitled ‘Languages in Ethiopia: Latin or Geez for writing Afaan Oromo.’ He further published in 1973 Oromo Grammar book entitled ‘ Hirmaata Dubbi Afaan Oromo’: Haile Fida, et al. (1973). Hirmaata Dubbi Afaan Oromo, Paris and a literature book :‘Barra Birran Barie, paris,’ using his adopted 35 Latin Qubee alphabet. The books were as a result of his long-time study of the Oromo language and problems of Oromo orthography. In this groundbreaking Afaan Oromo grammar book, he adopted the Latin alphabet to the phonology of the Oromo language by modifying some of the shapes of the letters and adding subscript diacritics. He made distinctions between short and long vowels letters by using single vowels letters (i, e, a, o,u) for the former and double (ii, aa, oo, uu) ones for the latter. He presented the finding of his research to the conference of Ethiopian Student Union in Europe in 1972 and this brought a debate on language issues within the Ethiopian and Oromo students movement abroad (see, Dr. Fayisa Demie. 1996. Historical Challenges in the Development of the Oromo language and Some Agendas for Future Research, Journal of Oromo Studies, Vol.3, no.1 &2, pp. 18-27. Oromia Quarterly. Fayisa Demie. 1999. The Father of Qubee Afaan Oromo: A tribute in Honour of Haile Fida’s Contributions to the development of Oromo Orthography, Oromia Quarterly, Vol.. II, no.3. Pp. 1-5.) His knowledge on Oromo language was so encyclopaedic and his contribution to the Oromo studies in Europe was so well known at the time and his contribution was greatly acknowledge by the Oromians who know him very closely. Oromo national Organisations have started to use Qubee Afaan Oromo from 1970s. Oromo national Convention in 1991 endorsed the use of Qubee all over Oromia. Dr. Haile was assassinated by the Dergue Ethiopian regime before seeing this remarkable achievement in the use of Qubee in Oromia which is the greatest milestone in the history of the Oromo people. Dr. Haile Fida completed his initial primary education at Arjo primary school and junior garde 7-8 at then Haile Selassie I Secondary school in Naqamtee followed with secondary education at General Wingate school in Finfinnee and undergraduate at Finfinnee University (Science Faculty, Geology Department). Haile was an outstanding student while he was in General Wingate secondary school and the university. He completed his secondary education with 10A’s and 2B’s and his Undergraduate University with distinction with GPA 4. After graduation from the Department of Geology he was employed as a graduate assistant and became a lecturer in the same department. He left to France to pursue a postgraduate studies. Haile studied MA in sociology and social anthropology and PhD in philosophy at the Le Palais De L’ Academie Paris. While he was in Europe he was an active member of the Ethiopia students Union in Europe and an Honorary secretary of the French Socialist Party. Dr. Haile was married to Mme Marie and survived with two children.

Haile belonged to a group of generation of Oromo nationalist who embarked on arduous struggle to liberate the Oromo nation from Ethiopian oppression in two different strategies . The first Oromo group were convinced the Oromo question is a colonial question and argued the solution to the Oromo question is the liberation of Oromia from Ethiopian Colonialism. Indeed to show the Oromo identity as a colonial people deprived their right to govern themselves democratically and oppressed by Amhara/ Tigrai colonial settlers, they have put forward historical evidence which support the Oromo case. The second group, in which Haile belonged, argued the Oromo question is a national and it is possible to solve the problem through the democratisation of the Ethiopian state. As part of their struggle against national oppression this group of Oromos have attempted to take forward the national question high in the agenda of the Ethiopian student movement and other Ethiopian organisations that were mushroomed since the Ethiopian revolution in 1974. The first members of this generation were born in the early 1940’s and the youngest in the early and mid 1950’s. It was a generation of Oromo activists who came together to struggle against national oppression. Most of them killed while struggling for the Oromo cause or while attempting to change Ethiopia. Indeed Haile was one of the victims who died while attempting to change the environment of national oppression in Ethiopia. He was killed by Ethiopians while struggling against national oppression and for the right of the Oromo people to speak and write in their language. His early death robs Oromia an enthusiastic, hardworking and committed Oromo professional. The inspiration he provided throughout his life continues to influence Oromo scholars and new generations in the field of Oromo studies.

http://gadaa.com/oduu/20278/2013/06/17/seenaa-barreefama-afaan-oromootiifi-shoora-dr-sheek-mahammad-rashaad/

http://oromodictionary.com/afaanOromoLK.php

http://www.oromian.net/OromoRogaland/Afaan/qube.htm

http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Hornet/Afaan_Oromo_19777.html

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/oromo.htm

http://www.ethiomedia.com/14store/2025.html

Confession documents under the notorious Derg Military Dictatorial regime interrogation of Haile Fida Kuma confessional-document-of-dr-haile-fida-kuma

http://www.ethiomedia.com/14store/haile_fida.pdf

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