You don’t have to read this. I’m just writing it for my own mind, to document my time here so in years to come I can look back. I do this in lieu of family. I hope you can understand. Here goes.
People are waiting for me to deliver a workshop which I am about to give but I am whisked away into the bowels of The National Archives of Ethiopia which is in a different part of the same building. Here the great writings of Ethiopian history are stored, cared for and translated.
This is my history. It’s shameful that great works of Ethiopia have been pillaged and imprisoned in the British Museum as these Ethiopian men painstakingly translate the works of Ethiopia in Ethiopia for Ethiopia and the world.
The Head Archivist (name) takes me into a store of books. They include tomes on ancient medicinal recipes, poetry in Ge’ez and much more. This is Ethiopia’s heart. He points to a large book. Each page is made from sheep’s skin and the ink is organic. It is The Old Testament commissioned by Emperor Haile Selassie.
After this profound and personal glimpse of my history I am taken onwards to the public area of the national archives to lead a workshop only it can’t be a workshop because there are too many people. A workshop is generally for twenty or so people and it lasts a couple of hours .
There are hundreds of people here. There’s a film crew. A speaking area. This is not a workshop. I had a feeling this might happen so I brought books. Like K’naan I come prepared.
So I read from my books and speak of Prince Alemayhu. The event ends to appreciation from the audience and appreciation from me. It’s been nothing short of wonderful!!
But it doesn’t end there. Afterwards I am given a birthday cake. This time it is traditional Ethiopian bread. I can tell how good it is by how the knife falls through it. It’s been a long journey for me, from the villages of Lancashire to here in Addis. Like everything else in my life I follow where the spirit leads. And whenever I don’t, there is only darkness.
Here there is only light. After the event I make a point of meeting and greeting of saying hello and saying thankyou because all of this is part of my story. All of this is part of the unassailable truth.
“The stone that the builder refused shall be the head corner stone”
I return to The Jupiter Hotel find this (below) on my bed. Today is the 50th Anniversary of The Organisation of African Unity, the African Union. It’s an historic day and it is for me too which is why I write my blog. For memory. Thanks for reading me. Happy 50th AU Anniversary.