Diaspora

Book Review: FIXEENSA – New Oromo Novel

fixeensaBoruu Barraaqaa, author of the bestselling Oromo novel, MUDAAMUDDII, is introducing his third well-structured and timely book FIXEENSA to the public. FIXEENSA is a brilliant novel that is based on a true story about Oromo politics in recent times. It widely reflects on the socio-political life of the Oromo society in the last couple of years, both at home and abroad.


Book Review: FIXEENSA, by Boruu Barraaqaa

Afaan Oromo Novel Based On True Story
382 pages
Price: $20


Review by Siiban Abbichuu

Boruu Barraaqaa, author of the bestselling Oromo novel, MUDAAMUDDII, is introducing his third well-structured and timely book FIXEENSA to the public. FIXEENSA is a brilliant novel that is based on a true story about Oromo politics in recent times. It widely reflects on the socio-political life of the Oromo society in the last couple of years, both at home and abroad.

fixeensa coverFIXEENSA can be called the most potential, investigative, entertaining and timely Oromo literary work that has ever been published, because:

  1. It focuses on the OLF split of the July 2008. The author, through his characters, explains in great detail that the split occurred for various reasons. The book thoroughly examines these reasons at different stages.
  2. The author widely echoed his belief in the need for a real change in the Oromo struggle and for that to happen very soon. According to his will, the change that should take place in Oromo struggle must be all-rounded. It should be convincing, troubleshooter, and farther away from causing any kind of hostility among the Oromo.
  3. The novel does not only deal with the problems that have happened. But it has marvelous proposals and solutions to prevent more socio-political dangers facing the vanguard organization. Further it warns that, unless some important and timely actions are taken by Oromo nationalists, the continuity of the current trend of disunity and splits will be endless, and sadly the Oromo political society might face new splits and isolations every coming year. In the long run, such trend even might lead the Oromo nation to an endless Somalia-like disaster.   
  4. The author rigorously proposes the need for inter-tribal marriages among the numerous Oromo geographical regions. In this book, Barraaqaa narrates the way he sees the Oromo world from political, historical and social points of view. He doesn’t hide the fact that the Oromo people remained unknown to each other for over a century due to an antagonist divide and rule policy of the Habesha oppressors and lack of modern means of communication. He makes his case to see a united and strong Oromo nation in the future. The author wishes to see the re-assimilation of Oromo people from far South to North, from West to East as well as to Central through inter-clan marriages. To make this dream come true, he advocates for more inter-regional marriages across the vast Oromia, so that the future generation of leaders can emerge from fathers and mothers of different regions.


Quoting the most influential African-American rapper of all time, Tupac Amaru Shakur (2PAC), in his introduction, “I’m not saying I’m going to change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world”, Barraaqaa proposes his ideas to readers that he would like to see changes to the Oromo political process.

The writer’s vivid descriptions clearly emphasizes that not only the Oromo struggle, but also the nation’s current social relations need some changes. He observes the many weaknesses that have become barrier to the unity of Oromo politicians and Diaspora communities, and calls for the strengthening of socio-political interrelations.

The imaginary social environments of his characters; Kitilaa Jootee, Saartuu Muummee, Furii Saaddoo, Kumalee Itichaa, Biyyaa Abbaa Garoo, Ziinet Addisuu Mohammed, Liiban Guyyoo, Birqee Gebeyehu Dhiinsaa, Tukkoo Haajii and Liidiyaa Gaanfuree, convinces us that a warm love among mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, sons and daughter-in-laws from different regions of Oromia shall emerge, no matter how long the time might be.   

FIXEENSA is full of facts and artistic structures that can categorize the book as one of the best and few Oromo literatures. All the 382 pages of the book are full of suspense. As he had done in his previously much appreciated work, MUDAAMUDDII, he has produced yet another best and recommendable work which took him more than two years. His literary works thus far confirm that Barraaqaa is without a doubt a rising star Oromo novelist.

Boruu Barraaqaa began his literature career in the middle of 1990s, when he was very young, by contributing short stories to Ethiopian radio programs. At that time, due to their serious political content, most of his stories were not broadcast on the state-run radio. Around the end of 1990s, he won a nationwide literature contest in Ethiopia and was invited to German by an NGO called IIZ/DVV. With seven years of teaching and eight years of journalism experiences, he is a talented and successful Oromo novelist of our time.

FIXEENSA is also a significant contribution to the development of Oromo literature. It is a must read book for all those who can read Qubee Afaan Oromoo. It is also a recommendable learning material for Diaspora Oromo youth who aspire to learn their mother tongue.

Finally, FIXEENSA is a must read book for those who wish to see a strong-united Oromo nation, and want to review the life of Diaspora Oromo and that of the home country side by side. It is also a must-own book for Oromo scholars who are interested in researching socio-political issues that affect Oromo people.

The book will be available at the North American Oromo Summer Festival taking place this year in Seattle and also other Oromo gatherings. You can also order the book by simply contacting the writer at fixeensa@gmail.com.

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