By Berhanu Lemma
Something that is almost a complete stranger in recent memory is taking, at the present moment, a hold of many Ethiopians. It is currently one of the most important factors that are driving day-to-day life, and applies to most people in all walks of life. It has become the main point of discourse among people anywhere in the country and anytime. It is the first thing people share among each other next to exchanging greetings. Even women and girls who are usually the less likely to be attracted by anything that has been, until recently, the sole realm of men have joined hands to advance its cause.
In fact, nothing really compares with what this new phenomenon is unfolding before us by way of a historic question that has been, unfortunately, long overdue. Amid the overflowing of euphoria of winning a football match, this question is blowing like a hurricane, gathering momentum at every step of its way, reaching across all kinds of barriers, and catching everyone like a deadly contagion but with surprisingly positive consequences. Like other circumstances involving some patriotic cause, it enjoys the unqualified backing of especially the young who are carrying its messages high and wide as a banner, leading the way, cheering at those who follow them and taunting the minority others who choose to be bystanders, enjoying the show, and not actively taking part in it. To a stranger who has just arrived, the whole affair may appear to be one of those annual carnivals whose significance to society rests in the fact that, through it, people inaugurate and solemnize a common purpose transcending ethnic, religious, racial, or any other divide. Indeed, the stranger would not be far from the truth in this particular case, because it is a solemn occasion no matter what it brings on in the end. Read more