This article was presented by Lami Fadis at Oromia Youth Association Cultural Night on July 10th, 2009. I republish her unedited article to stress the yearning need for Oromo national unity. And the deep sense of agony that our endless division is creating even among the youngest generation. Not the young generation but the youngest. Lami is going into 10th grade at South High School. I would like strongly commend her opinion and wish her good luck in her studies.
What do we really want as Oromos?
By Lami Fadis
As much as I love my people and proud of who I am, I am disappointed by what I see happening around me. This comes from the heart and is based on what I see, what I hear and how it makes me feel. It might be a little harsh for some people but brace yourselves. And I beg your pardon.
Here it goes;
You say you are proud. When others talk down about Oromo, you die to defend. Are you serious? You also say all Oromos are one and claim Ethiopia did this and Ethiopia did that. I don’t wish to deny the fact, but tell me why, what I hear is different from what I see?
When you meet someone you ask them what they are, they would say, I am Oromo. Then you ask what their tribe is? If they happen to be different from yours, you use that as standard measure to judge them not the conduct of their character or deeds.
We always say and sing, Oromiyaan ni Billisoomitti. But from what I see around me, trust me it’s going to take some time before we get there. You say, you want change but you won’t work to make it happen. Do we not know that freedom is free only on papers?
Instead of throwing parties and having useless conferences, we should set up a system where all Oromos can send money to our soldiers. These brave young Oromos do not have enough to eat, clothes to shine like us, and resources to support their family. But I can tell you with absolute certainty that they too can take refuge and come to America. They too can go to school just like you and I. Our soldiers are able just like anyone of us. We chose to seek resettlement to a third country, they chose to stay behind and fight for what is right. The God given right to national self-determination for Oromo people as a whole and the right to live freely as a human being.
If we can pull our acts together and setup a fund that would benefit those who are still kept in darkness of illiteracy and vicious poverty, the pennies that we throw around our kitchen tables can save lives. It can feed millions of orphans whose parents were jailed, killed or disappeared without no crime. Our closet full of clothes, that we do not even have enough space to keep it in, can help thousands who walk around naked because they can’t afford to buy a shirt. The shoes that we throw away as season changes, can be sent to our soldiers who are living in the forest to free Oromia, and yet they are barefoot.
I am not afraid to admit like most of you who can only talk about these things in private. Oromos are separated by tribes; Arsi, Macca (Wallaga, Jimma, Iluu), Tulama (Shawa), Borana, those who are from Hararghe (Afran Qalo, Itu etc) and many others I do not know. This is a natural phenomenon not unique to Oromo and especially common in Africa. However, I have a problem when each says one is better than the other. And you want me to buy into your fake pretenses of unity?
Forty million people enslaved and subjugated by small minority – the Tigreans. Let me tell you, you are blinded by small differences and you can’t even see the bigger picture. I challenge each and every one of you to just stop for a second and think; if we Oromos become one for the sake of Oromummaa and the liberation of Oromo country, treated and respected each other as equals, judge people not based on their geographic upbringing but on the merits of their deeds, hear each other’s cries for help, don’t you think we will be free overnight?
I say it again, just think about it. Until such time, Oromia won’t be free. And I leave you with another question, what is that we really want as Oromos?
About the author
Collaborative stories written or reported by OPride staff and contributors.