Sunday, June 12, 2005

Day 5, 6, & 7: A farewell to SMS/ Finfine Rocking Fun Zone

Pardon for the lack of daily updates I had gotten you use to. I was out of town on one of the days and the rest I was drinking my self silly to come in to terms with reality. my trip to Debre Zeit town on Friday can be summarized in the words of Radiohead “every thing is in its right place”. D/Zeit ain’t feeling the heat from Addis yet!

Text messaging (SMS) was introduced to the ethio-mobile community back in January. It didn’t take very long for users to adapt to the new technology and start utilizing it for means other than dirty jokes and pranks. One of the most efficient ways the CUD campaigned (see Texting for Votes) was using text messages that required the receiver to send it to at least five other people for the love of your country. After the elections, the amount of txt-msgs had dropped, until this past Monday when university students started being rounded up. Considering the mobile network was at full throttle that day, plus heaven knows what mischief being pulled at ETC, my communication was limited to txt’ing. As the week went on, the network problem worsened to blanking out at certain times of the day. In the meantime the txt-msging turned from informative to uplifting; most texts had a message to pass around on how we can have a subtle resistance to the EPRDF regime. Some notable texts include:

“IYARICO IYARICO, show your anger to the weyane regime by whistling at 3:00pm eth time. pass this message to 2 ppl if you love your ethiopia”, which actually took place on Thursday evening, the screams were heard from piazza, mercato, lideta to 22-mazoria.

“wear black on Friday and Saturday to pay your respects to the 26ppl massacred by the weyanes. pass this msg to 5ppl if you.....” I saw the usual amount of people dressed in black on the street but not enuf to say the msg had actually gotten through. As for myself, I wore a black rock-t (and you will know us by the trail of the dead), this time in reference to the federal police and the army. I even attempted to have a picture taken with members of the federal police, with me wearing my rock-t and them holding their toys, but they refused. Sure would have been “cool”.

Addis readers can add more of the txt-msgs in the comment section; these are the two I recall. anyhu, on Thursday I got a message to delete all the political txt-msgs from my cell phone because the police were doing random checks on the street, which actually sounded like BS but I still did because I was running out of space anyway. After that day I haven’t received nor been able to send a txt-msg. Looks like our generous leaders found out about the role txt’ing was playing in keeping the people connected. It was fun while it lasted.

In other munificent news, the federal government has agreed to put Addis Ababa under the administration of the Oromia region. OK! I have no problem with the city being in any killil (Region) as long as it’s peaceful but the fact this move came in the middle of this turmoil makes me wonder if these people (the EPRDF) aren’t clinically crazy. Oromia region, which refers to Addis as Finfine, has raised the custody question before but were told that Addis is neither a killil capital nor a country capital - it’s a capital for Africans and hence have managed to keep her status as so. Because of this, plus other historical reasons, the home for the African Union (AU) headquarters has been kept in Addis despite Libya’s lobby to have it moved.

This could be interpreted in two ways. One is the EPRDF’s obvious attempt to buy the Oromo people’s votes in the re-elections. The second explanation is another check-mate move in their attempt to drive the country into ethnic cleansing, which they have been forecasting for a while. Either way, (pardon me if I sound like a ‘Neftenya’) this is the most absurd idea. Addis belongs to no one; Addis is a melting pot for all ethnicities and nationalities - that’s why I love Addis, that’s why we all love Addis and we always will! Addis Ababa Rocking Fun Zone will have to change his name to ‘Finfine rocking fun zone’ and that just doesn’t sound fun!

Remember the pardon our generous mayor, Arkebe Equbay, passed out to taxi drivers with fines on the eve of the election. Well, looks like the EPRDF have been holding a grudge since their generosity didn’t buy them the votes they were anticipating. On Friday, the city reneged and revoked the licenses of hundreds of taxi drivers. Since we are on the subject of taxis, the city is seeing more and more blue-devils everyday. I will wait for Monday morning to say for sure if the strike appears to be over.

The happening of the past three days give a new meaning to the outdated term ‘Indian giver’, one who gives and takes as he/she pleases. Shouldn’t it be more like a ‘weyane giver’?

p.s. for the person who asked how the show went on Thursday, let just say it went good for now, more bloggin to come on that.

p.p.s. I sure would like to believe the emperor came in second. thanks for ruining the fun ;)


Blogger melatobia said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6:10 AM  
Blogger melatobia said...

Do you think EPRDF's move to allow Oromia to have Addis Ababa as its capital has anything to do with the fact that CUD won all seats in Addis Ababa? I'm not very clear on what responsibilites CUD's win entails, but do you think this will undermine it?

6:11 AM  
Blogger melatobia said...

Come to think of it, one thing that will definitely be achieved is that CUD and Oromian administration will be fighing for the next five years :-) ... in the process EPRDF will be happy.

6:12 AM  

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