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Blue Nile Monologue

By Ghelawdewos Araia, PhD
Tigrai Onlne - April 04, 2014

I was born millions of years ago
Perhaps 180 million years geological timeline
When Gondwanaland broke up
During the Mesozoic period
When crustal extension took place
Beyond the Lake Ţana
Near the mountain called Denquez

I was then alone except for the stars
The moon and the sun that accompanied me
Other planets too that gave me solace
In sympathy, I believe, to my lone existence

I was alone, where no one can hear my utterance
Even in the cataracts, where I make thunderous falls
That turns into mists but perceived from afar as smoke

I said to my self once, ‘what am I?’
What is the purpose of my existence?
I questioned myself in a manner of introspection
Sort of self-examination

But it boiled down to an intriguing soliloquy
Followed by virtually no feedback
No answer to my quest
And I gave up!

Thousands of years after I grew up in size,
In length, width, and depth
I still inquired my very nature

In the midst of all these constant monologue
Something strange happened!
I felt something within my inner membrane
Within my womb!

Something began to move within my aquatic corporal
Turtles! Hippos! Fish of all species followed by amphibians

And if my memory serves me right
These creatures came into being circa 55 million to 5 million years ago

And as a I continue to flow non stop, year round
The creatures flourished in abundance
I said to myself, ‘do these new companions exist for me’
Or I happen to nurture their existence?

Several million years after the sea creatures and amphibians appeared
There came another companion
That began to wander east of my abode

These new specie happen to be the Homo habilis
Ancestor of the Homo sapiens
That ultimately became the master creature and began to use me 

Unlike the creatures that were born within me, however
The Homo sapiens were terrestrial beings and they were inventive
At times inquisitive, and sometimes destructive

About 5,000 years ago, these Homo sapiens founded a brilliant civilization
And they called themselves Ethiopians (sun burnt faces)
And they called me Abay
But, in order to mirror their dark complexion
They also gave me a second name, Tikur Abay

Sometimes, jokingly or sarcastically
This clever Ethiopians attribute a maxim to me, and they say
‘Abay does not know its destination and yet carries logs with it’

That maxim, I believe, is meant to depict my seemingly aimless journey
To far away places beyond Ethiopia
In fact, my sojourn begins at Lake Ţana
I encircle Gojjam and then flow into the land of the Aswed (Sudan)
And furthermore into the land of ancient Kemet

Kemet, I am told, is now called Egypt
And I knew from day one that Kemet could not sustain life without me
Let alone find a brilliant civilization on either side of my banks

It is for my water prowess that the Egyptians called me Hapi
Hapi, a god associated with fertility and me
Because I provide them, not only water but also alluvial soil

My twin brother who originates from Lake Nyanza
Joins me at Khartoum
And together we travel to Egypt and end in the Mediterranean

The aquatic creatures, the Ethiopians, the Sudanese
The Egyptians and other riparian people are our children
And we provide them adequate water for their sustenance

Our commitment to the Nile people is unquestionable
Unless the sun comes close to earth and burns us, and we evaporate
That appalling phenomenon is going to happen, I believe
A billion years from now, and that do not worry me

What worries me is the misperception people have
And the unnecessary conflict they enter into
I say this, because, when the Ethiopians began constructing the dam
The Egyptians were offended and they said damn!

And I say to myself, ‘why are the Egyptians cursing the Ethiopians?’
And I think they sensed my bubbling tone
And they said, “Once the Renaissance Dam is finished, we are finished”

“It is a dam, for heavens sake,” I retorted
And I will overflow
And you will have enough of me to sustain the land of the Kemet

I also pleaded to the Ethiopians to guarantee enough water
That there Egyptian brethren need
The Ethiopians confirmed by saying, “for sure and indeed”

To the Egyptians, I say, stay calm
Look at your neighbor to the south, the Sudanese
They established good neighborly relations with Ethiopia
And they even embraced the whole project of the Renaissance Dam

You Egyptians should learn a lesson from the Sudanese
And also from other riparian states
And all of you should use me as if by harmonious design

Thus, when I immerse myself in a monologue
You Egyptians should engage the Ethiopians in a meaningful dialogue

And make sure to honor your ancestor’s moral grounding
Of their sense of justice and sharing
And also in proper handling of nature and preserving
You must reaffirm this fortitude not by negating others but by offering

Your forebears of Kemet were endowed with the highest environmental consciousness
As they have attested in their Declaration of Innocence
Also known as Negative Confessions
One of these confessions being, “I have not befouled the water”

So, I urge you not to violate the ethos of your ancestors
And rather keep me limpid and clean always
And never contemplate of spilling blood on my banks
Otherwise, I may ask Hapi to tell Ra to lower the Sun
And you will never be able to live on either side of my banks
It could be a bad omen; your farms could turn into barren lands

You should also recite one other verse of your ancestor’s wisdom
Where they declared, “I have never magnified my condition beyond what was fitting”
When you attempt to preclude the construction of a dam
You are, in effect, magnifying your interests at the expense of Ethiopians

On the contrary, I say to you the Egyptians
Enter dialogue with the Ethiopians; listen to them
Cooperate with them and do not deliberate conflict
Rest assured, you will get what you have had for millennia! Amen-Ra

This poetic-verse is dedicated to the Renaissance Dam built by the Ethiopian people in the first decade of the 21st century!

All Rights Reserved. Copyright © IDEA, Inc. Dr. Ghelawdewos Araia can be contacted for educational and constructive feedback via dr.garaia@africanidea.org