Adwa 125 & Empress Taytu’s Justice in the Land of Stars

1. Adwa 125

125th Anniversary of Adwa Triumph

Adwa Victory Day was on 3 March 2021. This year, it was the 125th anniversary of Ethiopia’s triumph over would-be colonialism. Soramba Cultural Restaurant in Addis Ababa hosted a wedding party and celebration. Live musicians, singers and dancers were virtuoso. Well-wishers hoisted bride and groom along with the silk Ethiopian flag. To see the traditional Ethiopian restaurant click here.

Empress Taytu & the Battle of Adwa 1896

In 1896, Ethiopians won the Battle of Adwa in one afternoon. For many, this was on no food or water. They had begun fasting for Fasika or, Ethiopian Easter.

Women fought with warriors and Emperor Menelik II. Empress ‘Itege’ Taytu was among them. With 10,000 women she provided logistics and strategy. After the battle, she fed prisoners. When 7 committed a terrible crime against a woman, Itege dealt with them. An account of Itege Taytu’s justice is below. To jump to the story click here. Because of the topic, it is meant for readers over 16.

2. Sheger Circus

Peace for Ethiopia Performance

Three days after Adwa 125, on 6 March 2021, Sheger Circus staged a show called Peace for Ethiopia. To reach the Sheger Circus page click here. Solos, duets, trios, quartets and octets danced, whirled, contorted, swung, sprang, balanced and stacked. Baton jugglers duelled. 2 girls balanced on a chair, one above the other, discs spinning – up to 7 at once. What looked like discs were in fact squares of velvet cloth. Each performer was a star.

Sunset over Addis Ababa mountains
The performance was in one act with swift changes of setup.
By sunset it was over.

Voluntary Thanks to Yerada Lij Miki

The Sheger Circus show had many participants – youthful acrobats and live musicians. Their coach and director is Behailu Yosef. All performed voluntarily to thank Miki from the US. That 5-star yerada lij raised 1.2 million ETB or, 29,000 US dollars for children’s heart surgery in Addis Ababa.

This Ethiopian television video showcases more by Sheger Circus. To view it click here. For more Sheger Circus video preview links, go to the bottom of this post. On 6 March, the circus performed at the Ethiopian National Theatre, which Atse Haile Selassie built. To view the exquisite and spacious theatre click here.

3. The Land of Stars

Smart & Self Sufficient Supporters

Smart and self-sufficient supporters of the helpless abound in Ethiopia. One who cares about children is Dr Abiy. Two years ago, he and his wife adopted an abandoned baby. To read about it click here.

Sharing Love Charity Association helps prison and gives their children a fair go. Generation Pillar Organization fights poverty. Visit our new Charities page.

Since January 2021, Ethiopia has hosted yet more refugees. 27,000 came from Syria and 103,000 from Yemen. An ETV News reported on 5/04/20221 described how Abel, a Canadian born Ethiopian musician, donated 1 million Canadian dollars to Ethiopian refugees.

Airborne Survival Move

If the Ethiopian statistics on her support for refugees make you feel dizzy, sit down. This does not mean look for a chair. Squat down on your haunches straightaway. This could prevent a dangerous fall forward.

Mesfin learned this during parachute jumps. High altitude can reduce blood pressure & make parachutists feel dizzy. When they land, they need to sit if they feel dizzy.

In the international arena, Ethiopia plays fairly. Click here to view the Amharic report. It also describes the bashing almost to death of another young man in Addis Ababa. He is the author of 13 books. Robbery was not the motive for his valuables were not stolen. Who was behind that?

In sport, Ethiopia, Russia and China excel at acrobatics and gymnastics. Ethiopians invented boxing, hockey and polo; also, soccer. Fair play and virtuosity complement one another in the land of stars.

Ethiopian tidh pine with star-formation new growth
Tree star

4. Fair Play

Ethiopia Helps Refugees

Ethiopia continues to care for 5 million refugees. The US cannot help sixteen thousand child refugees at its southern border. Has the UN Security Council helped the innocents suffering in Yemen, Syria and Burma (Myanmar)? Why has it let Yemen, Iraq and Syria become broken nations?

Let Down

Can Ethiopia teach others fair play? Somebody needs to do so. The United Nations Security Council recently tried to ‘access’ northern Ethiopia – it wanted an excuse to invade. To read a news report click here.

NGOs inside Ethiopia do more than eat three lunches per day. According to Amharic news reports, not all their activities are benign. To read a report click here. According to Habesha News 3/04/2021, the US behaves towards east African countries as though it wants to dismantle them.

In March in Yemen, 400 Christian Ethiopians were burned alive. Into their part of a migrant detention centre, somebody threw a bomb. To read an English-language news report about the atrocity click here. Who has condemned that? Read the ambassador’s statement on the international community letting down Ethiopia [English] – click here.

I

In March 2021 on ETV News, Dr Abiy said that Tigray’s Amhara farmers have shovels and spades. They do not have smart phones. When TPLF murders them, they do not record the atrocities. Others, using photoshop software, bring fake news to the world about human rights in Tigray.

In Western news reporting, foul play abounds. Agents reported that a girl with a broken leg was raped by soldiers. She denied this. Painting a picture of human rights abuse in Tigray by soldiers was the goal. Still no mention of seventy thousand Amhara murdered by TPLF. Now, G7 wants to declare upon Ethiopia as though it is no longer about the dams. But it is. View this Amharic news report.

FOR OLDER READERS

Read this story only if you are 16 years old or over.

5. Itege Taytu’s Justice by Mama Teliqwa —retold by Mesfin Tadesse, 2021

Dignity

Following their defeat of Italian invaders, Ethiopians had prisoners to care for. Itege Taytu took on 3,000 soldiers, hundreds of colonels and 27 generals. Being a genius of herbal medicine, she treated them for wounds. She catered for them. Women wove hygienic pampas grass plates for them to eat off and made them clothes. Negus Menelik refused to let patriots strip generals of their uniforms.

Gourmet Prison Fare

The Italians’ favourite food was eggs and roasted chicken. Villagers gave them to Itege to feed the prisoners. Many Ethiopians fasted on Wednesdays and Fridays, eating no dairy and meat. Some tried to force this practice on the Italians. They reasoned that, on other days, the prisoners ate better than at home in Italy.

Revenge

In revenge, a general and 6 others gang raped a very young serving woman. Those like them had committed atrocities during the invasion. Soldiers chopped up civilians with shovels and axes. They burned alive patriots and messenger boys. Nevertheless, Chief Ras Mekonnen was shocked at the viciousness of the crime by prisoners of war, whom Ethiopians had treated with dignity. How many would the well-fed captives rape tomorrow?

Defence Minister Fetaware Habte Giyorgis asked Itege Taytu to handle it. She said, ‘This is a woman’s case.’

Itege Taytu’s Justice

Itege collected the prisoners and asked the girl to show who had attacked her. She said, ‘I do not know. They all look like twins.’

To the Italians she said, ‘Do not hide who did it. Bring the criminals to me. Otherwise, we will humiliate you.’ The prisoners remained silent.

Itege warned them, ‘My generals are angry. They do not rape. Some want your heads. You have one day in which to confess.

‘Now, eat what you like. I apologize for the change in menu. See you here in 24 hours.’

Patience

The next morning, Taytu said, ‘You are surrounded by soldiers. If I let them, the patriots will do to you what you did to shepherd boys and captives.’

One soldier, a teenager, stood and confessed. On the general’s orders, he had held down the girl. He too had raped her. The youth told Taytu that the general had a tattoo on his chest. Straightaway, Taytu separated him and took him to a monastery for counselling: ‘A soldier’s job is not raping.’

Itege gave the prisoners another 24 hours.

In the morning, she ordered all to remove their clothes or be shot. Five beautiful women sat in front of them, hands hennaed, and hair coiffured and scented with addis.

The prisoners walked past Itege’s group 3 times. She directed them to an exit – left or right according to whether or not they could control themselves.

By His Tattoo

Itege Taytu found the general by his tattoo. ‘Confess and collect your gang.’ That consisted of 3 colonels and 2 soldiers.

112 other soldiers had erections. Taytu said, ‘You are rapists. Hundreds of soldiers are around you. Yet you cannot control your penises, like animals that jump their mothers or sisters.’

To prevent further crimes, she arranged to transfer them to Messawa Port – from there they would go to Italy. Before they left, she asked herbal healers, ‘What can we do? At home in Italy, they will rape.’

To save women and children, they gave them breakfast with a medicine. This would permanently destroy the sex drive without damaging their health. Not even the Defence Minister knew about it.

To the gang rapists Taytu said, ‘You raped the one who fed you. We will kill your penises.’ In front of the patriots, she fed the 7 the medicine. She had RAPIST tattooed on their arms and necks. For having confessed, the teenager was allowed to remain in Ethiopia. The other 6 went back to Italy.

Taytu Viva

In Rome and Turina, people chanted, ‘Viva Menelik. Viva Taytu’. Ferrari called one model TAYTU VIVA. Italy minted a Taytu and Menelik coin. Farmers, rich Italians, the US, Portugal, France and England opposed this. ‘We are not giving a best car a negro woman’s name, regardless of her genius and generosity.’

Fifty years later, during World War II, rape was prevalent even on trains and buses. A Swedish doctor said, ‘Let us use Taytu’s method to find the guilty ones.’

THE END

i. Featured image photo: Taytu Betul: Itege [source]

ii. Photos: Ethiopian National Theatre Foyer © Mesfin Tadesse, 2021; Soramba Cultural Restaurant Stage © Mesfin Tadesse, 2021; Addis Ababa Sunset © Ianet Bastyan, 2021; Ethiopian Tidh Pine © Ianet Bastyan, 2021

iii. Sheger Circus video links:

Contact Us

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.