I have never seen as many Ethiopians in one place at one time except ofcourse when I was last in Ethiopia. But this is Trafalgar Square, the heart of London.
It’s exillerating, breath taking. It’s the celebration of The Ethiopian Millenium which happens at midnight.
It’s dusk and the more thenight darkens the stronger and more visible the stage becomes. Beside each side of the stage which is magnificently lit in the Ethiopian colours of red gold and green, the gigantic black Lions of Trafalgar
Many in the audience are dressed in the traditional white cloth with the national colours. I meet my friend and artist Whitney Mcveigh and we immerse ourselves in the crowds, the sounds, the atmosphere. I am both elated and deeply sad.
I watch the dancers and singers upon the stage and listen to the speeches in the beautiful language of Amharic. And as I do the dancers become slow motion and the music echoes away far and distant from my mind. I turn and it is as if gravity has gone and we are all moving like we are weighted on the moon. Children dance and bounce with their parents in slow motion circles laughing. A strange echo of a childs laughter moves in and then out of my head. I see a brother meet his brother with joy, surprise and they hold out their arms laugh and hug each other. All of this was taken away from me. This is a family event. This oneness, this love; this recognition.
A beautiful woman taps me on the shoulder and looks into my eyes. She is Ethiopian and looks like my sister, she really does look like my sister. The sister I have in Ethiopia, her name is Wuleta. My eyes are glassy as this strange change in the atmosphere has affected me. I hear her speaking to me clearly now, and she says, this woman says, “me and my friends over there, we read your website and we are so proud of you.”. Proud of me. Somebody who looks like me, is proud of me.