BY ABDUREZAK MOHAMMED
People were marching in droves to Menelik II Square in Addis Ababa putting on patriotic Ethiopian flag T-shirts and the T-shirts decorated with images of Emperor Menelik II, Empress Tayitu, and other Adwa’s heroes and heroines to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the Victory of Adwa, which is celebrated every year on the 23rd Yekatit (March 02) across the country.
Among the awe-inspiring scenes was the woman on a horseback raising high the flag of African Union (AU), perhaps symbolizing as the victory of Adwa is an inspiration to all Africans and to all the black community across the globe.
Waving Ethiopia’s flag high and chanting various popular slogans and war cries, many of the participants dressed in Ethiopian patriotic attires. Some of them as well held Ethiopian shields and swords to represent the traditional weaponry used to drive away the well-drilled colonial force.
Some of the iconic T-shirts that were worn by the youths have the images of Emperor Menelik II, Empress Taytu, Ras Alula Engida (Abanega), Dejazmach Balcha Safo (Aba Nefso), and Fitawrari Habtegiorgis Dinegdie (Aba Mela), and Fitawrari Gebeyehu, Kawo Tona, among others.
At the anniversary on March 2, 2021, President Sahlework Zewde, Minister of Culture and Tourism Hirut Kassaw (Ph.D), Addis Ababa City Deputy Mayor Adanech Abebie were in attendance. In their separate speeches, all stressed the fact that Ethiopia and Ethiopians never bend their knees to aggression and imposition.
Addressing the celebration, President Sahlework Zewde stated that the Victory of Adwa is a testament to the wisdom of our forefathers/foremothers. “We need to imitate the spirit of our ancestors to overcome the problems we are facing now.”
According to her, the victory of Adwa is a milestone of ancestors that they achieved putting aside differences.
“We, as our heroes and heroines must stand together for the development and peace of our country, recognizing that our differences are not beyond our country,” she indicated.
The youths seem to have fully endorsed the president’s messages of the day as they had been granting standing ovations.
Even after the procession was concluded, most youths were on the streets of Addis singing various patriotic songs of Ethiopian prominent singers like “Ethiopia” and “Tikur Sew” (Menelik: the black man) of Tedddy Afro, “Adwa” of Ejigayehu Shibabaw, “Ethiopia” of Tilahun Gessesse, Enat Ethiopia (mother Ethiopia) of Mahmud Ahmed, and others.
Women dressed up in various handmade Ethiopian traditional clothes; some girls wore in black gowns and royal crowns; roleplaying the Ethiopian patriotic women Etege Taytu (Empress Taitu), Shewareged Gedlie, and others.
The members of the Ethiopian Patriotic Association wore patriotic attires decorated with various medals, giving the celebration a fresh flavor.
Marsh Bands of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) and Federal Police also warmly accompanied the celebration and played various patriotic songs by walking around Menelik Square.
Capt. Tedla Setargachew, the son of patriot Lieutenant Setargachew Walelign, was one of the participants of the celebration.
He stated, over the past thirty years, the nation was not commemorating the anniversary of the Victory of Adwa as it should have been.
As to him, the anniversary of the victory of Adwa should be celebrated in a way that educates the next generation. He also noted that the recent government’s attention to the celebration is commendable and it must be strengthened in the future.
“As an Ethiopian, we need to foil the plots of internal and external enemies by emulating lessons from what our ancestors did to defend their motherland.”
The Ethiopian Herald March 3/2021