The Past Four Days: From England to Ethiopia and back.

It could be said, family is a group of people constantly proving that each other exists. It could be said, family is a collection of memories disputed between one group of people over a lifetime. I blog in lieu of these (questionable)  priviliges. Here are the past four days.

Tuesday 19th December.  The plane arrives at Addis Aaba Airport. By early evening I’m at a party in (the aptly named) Sapphire Hotel to celebrate the return (from Sweden) of  Yetnerbesh Nigussie.

Yetnerbesh is a blind Ethiopian lawyer and champion of disabled people around the world. She has just won the Light for The World award known as The Alternative Nobel Prize.  The speech by The Swedish Ambassador (in photo) was deeply moving and inspiring.

On leaving this historic event the greatest living pianist of Ethiopia  girma yifrashewa 

played an  impromptu set  in the hotel lobby for Yetnerbesh.

Wednesday morning 19th December: by 6am I am on top of a mountain with Joanne Jacobs and David Gennard of University of Manchester. It is called  Entoto and from here  see Addis Ababa. David is filming me for The Equity and Merit Scholarship.

The Addis Standard newspaper features an interview from my previous visit.                     And then to the British Council for a meeting. This is Mahlet and me.

At 5.30pm I’m at The official launch The Equity and Merit Scholarship at  The British Ambassadors residence. Thanks to the British Ambassador and to The British Council.

I am proud of my university and say as much on National Television (EBS) .

My friend Mulatu Astatke came. He’s the most  famous living musician in Ethiopia.

We hatch plans to work together And my dear friends Alula and Helen Pankhurst came too.  The Pankhurst family live in Ethiopia.  2018 will be the year of The Pankhursts!

Late Wednesday night I catch the plane back to London on Ethiopian Airlines

I arrive on in London on  Thursday 20th December . On Friday 19th December The Christmas Dinners feature on The BBC News Homepage. Click photo for article.

Also today  the volunteers of The Christmas Dinner feature in The Guardian.                   Also today  I’m interviewed on BBC Radio Five Live about the Christmas Dinner.                And on ITV news. The Christmas Dinners are catching the imagination of the public.  

It’s now Friday night.  If you would like to put on a Christams Dinner for care leavers next year download  The How To Guide by clicking below

Tomorrow I travel to Manchester for Christmas thanks to an electric steering group who have been meeting since September to put on a Christmas Dinner in Manchester. Things that might surprise you?  I guess it might surprise you how many race-hate tweets I received today.  You’ll never know the daily online attacks on MP Diane Abbott.   We face darkness with light.   On 19th December i wrote this.

14 thoughts on “The Past Four Days: From England to Ethiopia and back.

  1. Lemn, you are doing an amazing work with Christmas dinners, as chancellor, with your poetry. Your positivity and enthusiasm are contagious. Just ignore the haters, keep doing the good things. They are invading the social media everywhere, but love wins, always. Take care of you! You really deserve a holiday now.
    I sincerely wish you and all the volunteers a peaceful and happy Christmas.

  2. Dear Lemn,
    Such a wonderful blog, so inspiring. The haters have exposed themselves……so far the lights are still on on the lovers side

    Merry Christmas !
    We have no convoluted family stories….I lie

  3. Wow … met with a friend in Liverpool yesterday and I described having a mad busy week … but after reading your blog, I take those words back … I’ve clearly become a lightweight! You’re amazing Lemn! Looking forward to helping out tomorrow in preparing for the Manchester Christmas Dinner … have sellotape and scissors at the ready!

  4. So sorry that you have attracted the attention of the haters. Diane Abbott has been cruelly vilified in the Mail/Sun Hate/Scum as well. The whole Internet is infested with ignorance and bigotry – but it’s because it’s the only place they can thrive. 99% of people in the real world are not like that, whatever their prejudices may be. Stay strong, block the b@stards, and take some time offline! Some celebs (you’re a celeb now) have someone to read through and filter out the trash before it reaches the target. People love you. Let someone share the burden?

    • Jim. Thanks man. They leapfrogged from Diane when she retweeted the BBC article (which made my day) but it makes you realise the shit she has to go through. Thanks.

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