My dear people of Kaffa Kingdom. It had been over a century since we parted unwillingly. What I knew, my beloved brothers and sisters, my peoples under my kingdom:- I pay due respect for those who sacrificed their lives and stood by my side those days to retaliate and fought the brutal invaders, our enemies.
As history had documented, for many centuries, we were living peacefully as a sovereign kingdom until we were forcefully invaded and annexed to present day Ethiopia a century ago.
Our fertile land, comprised of the cloudy dense forests (which is unique to the world but found in Kaffa) recently documented by UNESCO. Though most of it had been replaced by man planted trees and lost its originality, it is still our sign of identity. The various medicinal plants, spices and trees including our coffee plantation were being preserved. The rivers and waterfalls are our beauty. Some of our rivers are serving others and have betrayed us. They are used to produce hydroelectric power and serve some African countries while most of Kaffa people using traditional backward methods to get light in the country side. The vast majority are not given the opportunity to benefit from our resources. Coffee originated from Kaffa had migrated all over the world and had visited the majority of the world population rich and poor and is loved by most. Half of the world is addicted to it. If we had power to call back coffee come home, imagine the chaos the world would have faced. The yearly revenue enjoyed by our country Ethiopia, the highest income comes from coffee. On the other hand Kaffa people have never benefitted till this moment. Coffee is making those producers and the middlemen rich except Kaffa people.
What is the sin these people had committed to be deprive from the benefit. The people are still living in darkness and poverty. Most of the children are deprived the opportunity of going to school. There are no hospitals and health centers. Why is that? The farmers plough the land, till today with old backward technics and even could not support their families. In some parts children go necked and bare footed. To see Kaffa people with rugged clothes and bare foot is normal. They don’t have clean drinking water. Most of them eat once a day if they are lucky. Most of them are cut from the rest of the country. There is no media to let them know what is happening in their neighborhood leave alone the world. Their land is being grabbed and being deforested by the self motivated investors. No roads have been constructed to help them transport the small products they produce. They are forced to sell at near by markets at cheap prices. While the people are suffering to make ends meet, they are asked to buy fertilizers that are abandoned by the civilized world as harmful chemicals. A fertile land like Kaffa does not need fertilizers unless one wants to destroy the natural fertility of the land. Not only that heavy land taxes are imposed on the poor farmer while investors enjoy grace period not to pay tax for the land they are given free. The income from coffee and various spices including honey being snatched from them. Why is that?
When I was chained by the brutal Shoa nobles and deprived my freedom and the freedom of my people, I resisted and fought for months while my counterparts surrendered their land and people’s freedom without any resistance. I paid a heavy due as a consequence. Menilik is a king. So do I. I refused to be chained with metal chain and used my gold chain instead to show my pride and keep the respect and dignity of my people, you. I hear today all had been documented by foreign historians and my own people. History will remember those heroes who stood at my side and even paid their lives for the freedom of the people.
The world has changed a lot and still changing. Urban dwellers have mercilessly destroying the eucalyptus trees, using it as firewood and construction material /without replacing. The world is preaching go green to protect the planet while nature and the people of Kaffa were knowledgeable thousands years ago. Our forefathers preserved those forested and passed to today’s generation. The question is why is that the people of Kaffa silently watching while selfish motived outsiders in the name of development grabbing the land and destroying the forests? The forefathers did not hand over the land and the freedom easily. Had it been for themselves, they would have surrendered peacefully and were given back their ruling power, but that was not their desire. Instead they retaliated and fought back to write heroic history, written with their blood. None of other regions did that. Only Kaffa King and his followers and the people. We have to be proud of ourselves. We are not just minority as the brutal nobles call us but we are people who had sovereign state and kingdom with dignity.
Now, all the above stated truth documented in history were the heroic deeds of our forefathers, grand fathers and fathers. There are still fathers and mothers who have witnessed those incidents. Some of us had heard from our grand parents and parent, the Shoa nobles brutality and how they destroyed us. Some of us are even today don’t care to find out about our identity leaving in the 21st century where information is at the tip of our fingers. We admire others and try to copy their way of life and culture and even if we are aware, we don’t give value to what is ours.
This is a wake up call. Wake up, wake up!!! ወንድሜ ያዕቆብ ተነሳ፣ ደወል ተደወለ ንቃ፣ መኝታ በቃ!!! I read on Kaffamedia.com about the Rabit and the Turtle which is interesting.
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