Eight glorious days in Addis Ababa

Ethiopian Airlines welcomed me to Addis with a red yellow and green bouquet of flowers in my hotel room at The Hilton.

Ethiopian Airlines Flowers

I’m here i to launch “Let There be Peace”. It is the first landmark poem in Ethiopia. It is erected at The British Council in Addis Ababa. I am extremely proud of this moment in my life. All my landmark poems are  here. The picture below was taken the night before the launch.

IMG_0542The invites were resting in the homes of the people of Addis. One more sunrise to go.

IMG_0324The next sunrise came and just before before sunset “Let There Be Peace” was launched. The event was filmed by EBS and broadcast, in part,  on TV the following night.

the launch

The spice girls of Ethiopia  YEGNA performed their national hit. Here they are shortly after. Someone must invite  these world class singers to England.


I love  to be with my  Ethiopian audience after a performance and take as many selfies as possible – Photographed by Matt Andrea.

12250163_166789600340434_6759533515688249574_nIt was all made possible through the vision of  Tom Miscioscia director of The British Council in Ethiopia.

IMG_0499 I visited Perfan to deliver some laptops with my friend Meseret Fikru from The Economic Commission. It’s one of my favourite places in Addis.  “This is a Children’s Home?” I said to one of the young people.  “No this is our home” she replied.

fish's childrens home

I visited the A & E kindergarden run by Azeb Alfred the sister of my magical Godmother Ethiopia Alfred.

IMG_0383_2I gave a  TEDx talk at Addis Ababa University to a wonderful audience.

tedx addis

And I made new friends  like the extraordinary philanthropist designer and model   Anna Getaneh.

anna getenah

And I got to be with old friends too.  Here’s photographer Aida Muluneh.  I value our friendship more each time we meet. Aida  is the most productive and also the most socially conscious  photographer coming out of  Ethiopia and exhibits her work around the world.

aida muluneh

My sister Wuleta is a brilliant woman and I love her.

WuletaI spent 8  days in Addis (15th to 23rd November) and these are just some of the happenings. I also gave a talk with The Peace Group at University of Addis with  Whitehouse Champion  Semhar Araia.

On the day I left I visited Professor Richard Pankhurst OBE thanks to Alula and Konjit. He is the son of Sylvia Pankhurst whowas the  sister of Suffragette Christabel Pankhurst. Christabel studied at The University of Manchester. Attaining a degree in law she knew she’d be unable to practise law due to discrimination.

Professor Pankhurst and I spoke of Prince Alemayhu and stolen manuscripts. I am a stolen manuscript returning my story to Ethiopia.  And there are others that should also return or be returned.


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