Inside a Shack By Teodros Kiros (PhD)

March 25th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

A man in his thirties, with wrinkled cheek and graying hair, is sitting by a fireplace gazing at the stars cutting through the lonely sky.

The man looks as if he is building a house in his dreams, with his hands drawing the outlines of his future home and his eyes already admiring the finished house. His lips are moving as he is writing a letter to a friend and describing his newly built home.

“He is inside his head,” said a man, who was sitting nearby.

Another added, “ What a wonderful way to be. Here in Ethiopia, we can only build in dreams…”

He stopped. He too took a solace by gazing at the stars.

The tin shack was rapidly filling with guests, who sat on the floor in pairs. There were four of them. Two women and four men, who just graduated from Haile Selassie University, and are now idling with degrees in the humanities. Only one of them is employed in a computer company. The rest have no prospects of securing employment, and they are already contemplating to leave for America.

As the host of the party, he was busy serving them with the local drink Tej. He had a few bottles in the corner.

He was quiet through the night. His guests did the talking.

One of the men said, “ So are you keeping up with the politics of the so called 2010 election…”

“ Of course. How can I prevent my ears from hearing”?


One of the two women said, “Hash. No politics please. We just came to chill out”

Silence again.

The evening is now deeply dark. The nocturnal beasts are out. A Hyena is chasing a goat. The goat is running for its life. A shepherd chases the hyena. The hyena is also running for his life.

“ You see”, the young woman, said, “ Every being is chasing another”

The older boy exploited the statement and said,

“ That is what I am talking about. The politicians are also chasing each other”

“ Stop it”, said, the younger woman, “ No politics. I am talking about animals”

He laughed and said, “ I am talking about animals too.”

“Stop it again. This time I am serious, ” she screamed.

The man continued and said.

“ I am worried about my country. God knows what will come next. I mean the opposition.”

The older boy replied, “ If Birtukan is released, I hope she runs for an election, with the whole country watching and the international observers there”

The quiet woman said, “ If the opposition gets its act right and genuinely unites all the parties and elects Birtukan, then we might see, signs of a new future”

“ That is a big if. First of all, I doubt that the tyrant will release her in time, so that she will compete against him. If she is released, however, then Ethiopia has a future, and the existing party could be legally defeated.”

The night is turning into dawn, and the upset woman has fallen asleep and the other four are showing signs of exhaustion, exactly when the discussion was warming up.

They step outside, and walk to work and agreed to meet again and seriously talk about the future of the country. They meet again, and this time much has happened, and they have been closely following the news from the Arab world. They meet in the same tin shack, and one of them says.

“Perhaps, we should stage an Uprising, with millions of us, and change everything,”

Says the young man, as they are nervously walking towards home, uneasy about who might be watching them, in this police state. The young man adds,

“Lately they have been imprisoning anybody, who is not a member of the party, as a potential enemy who must be detained. They are clearly nervous about the revolutions in North Africa”

Before they entered home, government soldiers came and began rounding up hundreds of Ethiopians. They too were part of that group who are now rotting in jail.

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

  1. wedi samre
    | #1

    The transformation of Teodros Kiros from a thoroughgoing EPLF/TPLF propagandist and intellectual prostitute to a respected philosopher in defense of the truth(therefore in defense of Ethiopian cause) is really incredible and commendable. I think Teodros has felt a great need to make amends. What is the cause of that transformation from being at the service of the sworn enemies of Ethiopia to one in the service of truth? I wish Teodros told us the reason. Because it can be a good example to all other traitors. It is never too late to say sorry and to make amends. Traitors must understand that the TPLF rule in Ethiopia will come to an end sooner or later. So the sooner they stop their collaboration with Shabia (TPLF) is the better for our country and for themselves. They should join the struggle of the Ethiopian people in general and that of the Tigray people in particular to liberate their country from the barbarian Shabia bandit rule. That is to say, they should follow in the foot steps of Teodros Kiros. Of course, it remains to be seen if Teodros continues to be on the side of the truth. But one thing is certain. Our country will be victorious and our people will regain their lost pride. Welcome Teodros to the house of the truth.

    God bless Ethiopia and Ethiopians!
    God bless Abugida!
    Wedi Samre, from the great region of Enderta

  2. teodros kiros
    | #2

    Dear Wedi Semre;

    Thanks for the touching response. My reason is simple. I made a mistake and took the claims of revolutionary democracy as a committed student of Marx too seriously. The charltans fooled me because of my intellectual innocence. No more. I will now fight for the Ethiopian people until my last days. I assure that without hesitation.

  3. wedi samre
    | #3

    Dear professor Teodros,
    I salute your determination to fight for the heroic people of Ethiopia. I appreciate also your sincerity in admitting your mistakes. My use of the expression “intellectual prostitute” in my previous post could sound a little bit harsh for those who may not be very familiar with your articles. But I have a good reason for that. Ten years ago Melis Zinwi jailed Siye Abraha on charges of corruption. It was of course a trumped-up charge destined to tarnish the image of a popular political figure. I cannot say though Siye is a patriotic Ethiopian. Be that as it may, Melis Zinwi, the Shabia monster, could not put up with Siye’s determination to punish the Anseba Hamasin for their audacity to invade Tigray. You must remember what you wrote then in the pro-Shabia (TPLF) Reporter. To the dismay of many from Tigray you subscribed to Melis Zinwi’s unmitigated lie. You said if only indirectly that Siye was corrupt. You even went the extra mile to press forward your point. Your referred to Jean Jacques Rousseau’s theory of social contract and particularly to the theory of “general will”. Your aim was to convince Ethiopians that the “corruption” committed by Siye was a violation of the general will. However incredible it was, you tried to convince Ethiopians that Melis Zinwi, the Shabia of Shabians was the defender of the “general will” of the Ethiopian people. Of course you preached to empty benches for no one was too stupid to swallow that lie. There was no compelling reason for you to stoop as low as that.
    Now that you seem to be seized with remorse, we Ethiopians should be able to say “let bygones be bygones”. You have the intellectual wherewithal to contribute towards the construction of a bright future for our country. Your Ethiopian brothers and sisters will be proud of you. It is high time that the sons and daughters of Ethiopia were united and acted as one man to shrug off the shackles of Shabia barbarian rule.
    Long live Ethiopia!
    Down with Shabia (TPLF) !

  4. rationalist
    | #4

    where is Haile Selassie University?

  5. Observer
    | #5

    Hi brother Teodros,

    There is so much enviable sincerity as well as courage in saying ‘I made a mistake..’.
    There is also so much renewal and redemptive power in saying that you have got it wrong and you don’t want to get it wrong again.

    Our love you and respect!Teodros.

  6. teodros kiros
    | #6

    Thank you my brothers and sisters. Your words mean everything to me. A poor writer like writes to be read, to be understood and to be corrected when he makes mistakes.

    I will not move from the road that the Transcendent has carved for me, to the bitter end, nor will my restless hands stop writing until the existing regime is peacefully toppled, and will pray that I will be alive to participate in the construction of a new Ethiopia.

    Thanks to you Wedi Samre and the Observer.

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