Last night I had an enjoyable Italian dinner in Rosebank by The Hyatt with a finance executive from the city of Johannesburg who recently returned from Brazil. She introduced me to BRIC a term used for countries whose economy is on the rise. They are Brazil, Russia, India and China. It is about to become BRICS. The S is for South Africa which is charged with entrepreneurial spirit.
Morning. Today, Monday, is my free day – The theatre is closed. I meet Abebe Zegeye The Director of The Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research – WISER – at Wits University. He has previously been a professor of sociology and Primedia Chair of Holocaust and Genocide studies at UNISA and cisiting fellow at Yale.
He is widely published , and has written extensively in international academic journals on African identity, formation, nationalist struggles, ethnicity, African genocide and Ethiopian socio-political trends in the horn of Africa. Presently he’s profesor of sociology in the school for graduate studies, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa.
He’s a cool guy. These academics are Time Birds. They have great wing span. Whereas we trudge the earth they hop off cliffs and fly above on the thermals on the heat of their own enthusiasm and they see the long view of time, what came before, what is now and what could become. Their work in recording and surmising is strenuous and meticulous as they record what they see for all to see. We discuss what is now in context with what was before and we prepare for what could be: ideas unfold for international collaborations. This is why travel is incredible – because of people.
Here is an Ethiopian academic who can see my direction and who can see what I see in terms of the development of the Ethiopian writers across the world. What happened with West African writers in the diaspora some years ago will happen with East African writers of the diaspora. It is happening now.