Ethiopians must Rise: Which way Ethiopia? By Teodros kiros

February 13th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The churches of Lalibela cry at me, and ask me to restore Ethiopian greatness; the churches of Aksum beg me to put Ethiopia on the path of justice; the Greek thinkers remind me that a great nation, the giver of the Alphabets and the originator of gold coins, must have a people who could speak for themselves; the priests of Adwa advise me to sculpt a nation of free people.

All around me the forces of history send me letters in my dream, and the dreams say Ethiopia must rise now. A great people must not be dissuaded from acting because of the fear of death.

Day and night, the Transcendent tells me that I must tell my people to act. That they must act now. Now is the time. Now is the time to provoke tyranny to let the Ethiopian people go. Now is the time is to invite the Ethiopian people to march on Meskel Square in millions and camp there with tea, coffee and bread and challenge the regime to step down peacefully without bloodshed.

Death is a blessing. Revolutionary death is an obligation. Freedom cannot be given. We must fight for it. The sovereignty that our ancestsors preserved must be defended.

Sovereignty is as an essential quality of citizenship. It is not an accidental quality that we can do without. Sovereignty is to citizenship as thought is to the mind. We cannot think of a mind, which does not think, or a heart, which does not pump blood, and feel, so we cannot think of a citizen who is not sovereign.When we loose sovereignty, it ought to feel as if we have lost our minds and hearts.

Sovereignty is an existential right. It makes citizenship a precious practice of the self. When the citizen is denuded of this quality, she looses an essential component of the soul or the mind. Regimes do not merely kill citizens physically. They also kill us by denying us of our sovereignty. When we are kept in abject poverty, through years of neglect; when we are intimidated by guns and bayonets if we dare to question power; when we floods streets with peaceful marches in defense of sovereignty
and we are hunted by dogs; when we are spied on; when we are passed over promotions at work because we think-during these moments, we are being deprived of sovereignty.

Actional beings resort to uprisings to preserve their sovereignties. The sovereign citizen then is not a mindless terrorist. She is a mindful citizen fighting for her rights. This mindfulness is the practice of enlightened citizens who activate their souls to preserve their humanity and existential right and they refuse to be denied of the sovereignty, which makes them morally civilized actional beings.

Ethiopian citizens will soon protest against tyranny and oligarchy because both political forms are violations of sovereignty.
The Egyptian revolution which is unraveling in front of our eyes is a living practice of sovereignty. Twenty years of docility, poverty, corruption, decadence, must push us moral subjects to fight for our rights through a disciplined, sustained and courageous practice of sovereignty.

What are we waiting for? It is not enough to simply say, we have done this before. That was before. Now is now.

The time is now. Ethiopia must rise. If asked, I will be the spark for the people’s revolution. I will give myself to my people.

Teodros Kiros
Professor of Philosophy and English (Liberal Arts)
Berklee College of Music

  1. ZAK
    | #1

    Teodros Kiros,
    I don’t blame you that you want take us back to that painful period of your king Haile’s reign. You focused on northern Ethiopian religion just as you are indoctrinated by the feudals of the past.
    Ethiopia established in the 19th century. Those feudal rulers oppressed the majority Ethiopians who do not believe in coptic christian religion like you and your king.
    Why don’t separate your religion from politics. You can boast about your religion while the rest of Ethiopians work hard to ean their livings. We need food and not cultural religion of yours.

  2. Ferdawek
    | #2

    Dr. Teodros,
    What is the point of your writing that has been engulfed up by distorted piece of philosophy and history? If you are realy meant what you are talking about, I would encourage you to go and live among the people you are talking about that you may be able to feel their sorrow and happiness. When do you think you will stop calling the people, who helped you to be what you are today, to the death raw? When do you think you will start talking about the people of Ethiopia who live in the other part of the country?

  3. Werner2010
    | #3

    If you feel you are called to do something, let it be something constructive, and try to contribute to the country’s development in a positive way. What have you done so far for your country, what are your credentials to become a leader of a nation of 82 million?
    Please don’t waste your knowledge and energy to incite violence in Ethiopia per remote control, the ordinary person in our beloved nation may be poor, but is definitely much smarter than you may assume.

  4. al habesh
    | #4

    i agree with you zak! am not saying we should not challenge the current regime to adopt a series of reforms, but it is sad that the writer focuses on one religion as if Ethiopia is defined only by that. If there is any thing that could prevent us from being united and fight a dictator that we have in Eth, it is ppl like who think like this writer-who think that Ethiopia is a ‘christian island’ , where in reality there are at least 40% Muslims who live through out the country. Perhaps the writer himself is an EPRDF conspiracist! we need change, but if the change gets us back to the time of the Emperors, as this writer aspires, we prefer the status quo!!! Shame on you , writer!!!

  5. to be true
    | #5

    Teodros Kiros,
    “If asked, I will be the spark for the people’s revolution. I will give myself to my people.” I ask you on behalf of the people to sacrifice your life in Meskel Square for the sack of freedom. toking is cheep
    every one can speak, but we need action.

  6. yager lij
    | #6

    I beilive the author is living in the West not in side the country. it is easy for you siting here and Talk. but my poor people pay their life so your stupid dream comes true. just do tell people to do it start it your self the they meght follow.

  7. Kes bekes enkilal Be’egru yihedal
    | #7

    Ayte Teodros, What a hopeless brother you are! How uninformed man you can be, but trying to put the youth to the dark era form U.S is the work of non-sense individual. you can uprise or downrise there in your host country but this cannot work in Ethiopia. It is not from “Berklee College of Music” U.S, that you scarify your self. My brother, it is not good idea to vomit your English here; it is first to know what is in the ground. Instead of being “ምስ ልዓጠቀ ይልሀ!!” research what is the real problem of the country and try to come out with alternatives. I am 29 years old you are targeting to me and my likes. What I can say to you is “it is not good to uprise now because we are better of today than yesterday”. Therefore today we want to work what ever we find; no one can give us job, injera and Education from Berklee College, because the country cannot afford more than this time. I do not mean change is not good; we need change, democracy more freedom, work, education, development… but is it ayte Kiros going to give us this? hahah Do not try it if u do, u will remained ashamed of it.


  8. Kebedom
    | #8

    Dr.Teodros!come to Addis and be the first to sit at Meskel square.

  9. Ethiopis
    | #9


    Zak- I think Zekarias! you are right in saying that our feudal rulers oppressed majority of Ethiopians including the Northern people but please don’t deny the true Ethiopians which have kept this nation free from both mental and physical slavery for more than 7500 years. I think you are ignorant to your History of true patriotism of Ethiopians which are great examples of true civilization and sovereign people. What you are disgracing by calling cultural religion is I think ‘Ethiopia: Kingdom of God’ which Egyptians try to make coptic(-Judgement is in session now for their doing) as u pointed out is the one who started civilization and write scriptures that you can’t even read because of your washed brain with biased European doctrines about Ethiopia(Utopia). But know this Ethiopian God is great and there will come time when ‘Ethiopia:Kingdom of God’ reveal her self to the world and judge up on the world! By the way we don’t need no socialism or democracy or other riots which are all man made for the benifits of the so called upper classes in the society…We have our own riots which has kept our freedom for 7503 years which is called ‘Ethiopia:Kingdom of God’… more to know yourself that is the true Ethiopian within you!

  10. Guddi
    | #10

    The article is no more than an indication of your shallow agendas. All Ethiopians are christians. Which Ethiopia do want to rise? That of 19th century or the Ethiopia of 21rst century? Think twice before you try to stir violence.

  11. Sam
    | #11

    Teodros writes ” death is a blessing. Revolutionary death is an obligation.” Well, somebody please could enlighten me about “revolutionary death?” I have never heard such thing until I read about it from the article Teodros wrote. Perhaps Teodros meant to say dying for a revolution is an obligation. Better yet still unconvincing slogan. Noone is obligated to die for a cause of revolution. People join a revolution on their free will, not because they are obligated to. Revolution is created by like-minded people at the given time because they share a common goal.
    Having said revolution is an obligation, Teodros writes about what he was told by the Almighty: ” Day and night the Transcendent tells me that I must tell my people to act.” Wondering aside why Jeohava chose to communicate with 80 million Ethiopians through Teodros, I wonder why Teodros drag the Almighty in to the problem Ethiopians should solve by ourselves. When writing having a purpose for it is essential. Writing to vent emotion which sprang from current events in the Arab world, without giving thought, might compell one to vacillitate from telling people about their supposed obligation to grandstanding as another Pope in Ethiopian context. It is confusing to say the least. Ethiopians will rise for a change because their future is bleak under the current government. Ethiopians will rise because they raised their kids to throw them to the cruel world of unemployment. Ethiopians will rise because they see a few with the right connection came to be millionaires overnight while they had a hard time having one meal a day. Ethiopians will rise because not rising up is sumbitting to perpetual hopelessness. Their very lives compell them to act. I do know about the time frame, but I do know they will. They do not need permission from the earthly power or not-earthly power for their desire to end their misery.

  12. Anonymous
    | #12

    This guy another old timer. forget him. what do u wanna do? to make ethiopia a christian country? No. Ethiopia is a country where many religions and ethnic groups co-exist together.done.
    be matured. Go to school.

  13. Freedom
    | #13

    Professor, I am so glad to read a breathtaking rhetoric like zis …this is one of z smartest Article I ever read…I say wow..tnx prof.

  14. Guest
    | #14

    Professor Teodros, you could do much better to put your Philosophy and English on the religion you have dreamt about in stead of poletics. Or you could use it on poletics and leave the religion alone. Perhaps, it might be too difficult to choose which one is better when you are too old.

  15. Anonymous
    | #15

    Ethiopians must learn from what most of the comments of Woyane cadres are writing here. It is clear that there much disturbed by the atmosphere of freedom blowing over Ethiopia..

  16. Wegonoche
    | #16

    Dear commentators
    Churches of Lalibela and the alphabets are Ethiopian heritages if not Africans. I do not think it makes writer southerner or northerner just because he is proud of history of black Africans.

    If he wants to bring change by peaceful means -drinking coffee or tea at Meskel Sq. with Ethiopians I do not see there is a problem.

    He just expressed his wishes. Are you condemning him for that?

    Let us not forget that he is Professor of Philosophy and English (Liberal Arts.

  17. Northpal
    | #17

    “Sovereignty is an existential right. It makes citizenship a precious practice of the self.” Even the Ethiopians get it. Forget that “peoples revolution” Marxist crap, its called Sovereignty and god given rights.

  18. wedi samre
    | #18

    Dear Editor,
    Your website, our website should be a platform where only patriotic Ethiopians can exchange ideas about their country’s problems. No possibility should be given to TPLF mercenaries to exprerss their anti-Ethiopia propaganda in this Website. We should fight against the enemies of Ethiopia by all means and not give them the possibility to attack those who come up with good ideas for the country. We should not forget that our country is at war with the TPLF and its mercenaries.
    Long live Ethiopia! Down with TPLF mercenaries!

    Wedi Samre

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