Dawite Mekonnen : Oromiawinate/ my Oromummaa

Legendary Oromo Artist, Dawite Mekonnen, has unveiled his much anticipated single Amharic song – Oromiawinate. According to sources familiar with the making of the video, his new single record “Oromiawinate/Oromummaa” – my Oromoness, is inspired by an exchange the singer had with local community newspaper Ze Habesha.

Ze Habesha is a legally registered newspaper serving the Ethiopian community in the state of Minnesota. It is to be remembered that an interview Dawite gave to the newspaper editor last year had sparked an uproar of sort among non-Oromo Ethiopians. The single release, I love my Oromoness, is allegedly Dawite’s lyrical response to the feud.

OPride.com has obtained Dawite’s full interview with Ze Habesha’s Editor in chief, Henok. A. Degfu. In the interview, the two talked about wide ranging issues including circumstances that led Dawite to exile, whether or not Dawite supports the Oromo Liberation Front and the future of Ethiopia.

Ze Habesha readers took issue with Dawite’s support for OLF, the organization some see as harboring secessionist agenda that will ultimately split the country. The OLF has been waging a low-key guerilla warfare against successive Ethiopian regimes starting in 1974.

OLF’s stated objectives read :

The fundamental objective of the Oromo liberation movement is to exercise the Oromo peoples’ inalienable right to national self-determination to terminate a century of oppression and exploitation, and to form, where possible, a political union with other nations on the basis of equality, respect for mutual interests and the principle of voluntary associations.

In subsequent issues of Ze Habesha newspaper, readers exchanged jabs over the issue of Dawite’s support for the OLF. Per our reader’s request, here we have compiled the interview, and the letters to Ze Habesha editor.

The Interview in PDF : Dawite Mekonnen with Henok A. Degfu, & readers comments.

Dawite is best known for his song, Ani Dhufeen Jiraa, but over the years he has produced many powerful albums. Dawite now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he continues to develop and better his musical talents. Here is a selection of Dawite’s greatest hits – old and new, Enjoy!



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Collaborative stories written or reported by OPride staff and contributors.

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