"...A column for Ethiopian culture, geography, History, literature, music, k'ne, humor, current affairs and the like...."

NUMBER 6 --< < < < < For the EEDN community > > > > > > --- December 13, 1992

Selam wd wegenoC! Indemn alaCu?

Welcome to this week's edition of Variety Column. In this edition, we will continue the question/answer format of re-discovering our people, land and culture. Fesseha Atlaw has contributed 2 very interesting questions to this edition. Your inputs interms of questions, factoids, humor, criticism etc. are highly welcome.

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The question are:

1) Now in her 60's, Muluemebet Emeru was the first African woman (and of course the first Ethiopian woman) of her profession. She now lives with her husband, a retired coffee farmer, in a mellow 70-year-old house in hilly suburb of Addis Ababa. Even today, even in the most advanced western societies this profession is highly demanding and has been dominated by white men. What was Weizero Muluemebet's profession ? (contributed by Fesseha)

2) An Ethiopian Princess at the center of one of the greatest operas written by Guiseppe Verdi, the most celebrated Italian Opera composer of his generation. The opera was written to celebrate a major engineering project in 1869...Who was the princess ? What was the engineering project ? (contributed by Fesseha)

3) One of the characters in his most recent play "HA-HU We'ys PE-PU, in response to questions about his ethnic origins ("zer") by today's cadres, replies:

"You want to know about my 'zer'?, well there you got it. Get a doctor and drain out my blood. Then you can separate the 'Gurage', 'Tigre', 'Oromo', 'Amhara' and 'Sidama' blood and then label it any way you like."

Himself born and raised in an Oromo and Amhara family, he is paying a price for these words. Government T.V, radio and news-papers lash at him and threaten him almost continuously for speaking out loud.

His hit play of 1974, "HA-HU Be' Sidist Wer" had unforgettable characters like "Enat Alem Tenu" and "Tikile". Who is he? And what are some of his other works?

4) A very populated awraja in the Sidamo province, north of the ABAYA lake with a long history as strong kingdom with medieval links with the rest of Ethiopia, offered what was the most fierce resistance to Menelik's army the previous century. Their last king was later re-instated by Emperor Menelik after the conclusion of the war.

What is the name of these people? Who was their last king?

5) Lake Tana, a home of atleast 10 major churches and monastries in its islands is about 80 kms long from north to south and a maximum of 70 kms in width. Though it is the largest lake in the nation in surface area, the Shala lake in the south has more volume of water. This lake is unlike all the lakes in the south. What is the most important feature that sets it apart from the southern lakes?

6) A relatively unknown newcomer to the Ethiopian music scene of the late 70's the following song propelled her to stardom:

"Sew ke'tesemara ende'ye simetu

Be'walebet meda ay'kerim mafratu"

What is her name and which band was she singing for?

7) Tall and fiercely good fighters, their town is surrounded by mountains and is an awraja capital in western Eritrea. It was the only town in western Eritrea that was still under government troops control back in 1977-79 enduring a two-year siege. What is the name of their town?

And who are these people?

8) Though his life was short-circuited by excessive drinking and frustration, he is the author of such best-sellers as "Al'weledim" and "A'nd Le'Enatu". He often started his prologues "me'kdim" and "me'gbiya" by accusations and warnings against people he labelled as 'm'kegnoch','adir-bayoch','tenkole-gnoch' etc.. Who was he?

9) An Oromigna (Oromiffa) word, it could mean GOD or SKY or both. It is also a common name. What is the word?

10) Ammanuel Hospital might be the place where they would lock mental cases and Kidus Paulos Hospital might be subsidized for low-income families; but what kind of patients would find themselves quarantined at Kidus Petros Hospital?

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Belu melkam Idl Ina melkam samnt!


Samuel Kinde