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
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.
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.