Zenawi’s legacy: Hope, pain, and despair


It is now official; Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is no more, dead.

As Ethiopia’s ruler of two decades is put to rest, his legacy is a subject of debate, one sure to engage Ethiopians and interested others alike for years to come.

An equally difficult task is how to tell the story. The real story of Mr. Zenawi’s legacy is best told in the lives of the youth whose destinies are shaped by his reign, for better or for worse.

By secluding himself in the Tigrean desert hideout called Deddebit, the young Meles helped bring down Mengistu’s repressive regime and promised a new era. But did he succeed in ensuring that the next generation of youth would not have to make the same difficult choice between picking up arms or enduring indignities?

Amid heightened efforts by his powerful friends and his party to lionize Zenawi, OPride’s Hassen Hussein, in this in-depth report, weaves the experiences of three new American youth, Dawano, Ziyad, and Nadhi, who shared with Meles the instinct to serve, a desire that would shape their lives. But one born, unfortunately, not out of their free will, but out of a history of oppression, of being marginalized, denied a voice and remaining subjects to a state unresponsive to their needs.

A joint OPride and Hegere Media production, a documentary by Hassen Hussen.

Coming soon. Stay tuned.



About the author

Mohammed A

Mohammed Ademo is a freelance journalist based in Washington, DC. He's the founder and editor of, an independent news website about Ethiopia.

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