Je suis Woyane
By Dilwenberu Nega
Tigrai Online January 19, 2015
As the TPLF ploughs ahead with preparations to mark its Ruby Anniversary, a sense of triumphant boldness seems to embolden sections of our society which had thus far chosen to sit on the fence. Last month at a candid, sincere and ingenuous panel discussion held at the birthplace of the TPLF and mecca to veteran fighters, Dedebit, a gaggle of journalists, as well as anybody who is somebody from Ethiopia’s fine arts and theatre, after realising the Moloch-like sacrifice, i.e. appalling sacrifice, the people of the Regional State of Tigrai paid for freedom, for equality and for democracy, proudly declared: “Enem Woyane Negn” which, to put in buzz-size French, means “Je suis Woyane!”
Such bold and defiant declaration of support for the TPLF has left the toxic diaspora, particularly the so-called Washington’s Task Force of unhinged ruffians, reeling with anger, indignation, resentment and rage so much so that they are now engaged in firing fusillades of invectives at those brave men and women, whose only fault is to defy conventional wisdom of the politics of hate by expressing solidarity with a generation of Ethiopians who stood against oppression, inequality and against pluralistic democracy.
The very word “Woyane” is anathema to a toxic diaspora which, by and large, consists of relics of the Derg and its kakitocrats. They usually become the avant guard and guglemen at anti-EPRDF demonstrations in American and European towns and cities. They advocate for a government of the people, for the people and by the people, but the truth is that they aspire to restore kakitocracy - a government by worst citizens - so that they can resume hounding and hunting Ethiopians in the name of the Motherland. They give lip service to the notion of all Ethiopians are equal, but in reality they stauchly believe that God has bestowed the freehold of Ethiopia on a single ethnic group - a faith which has no leg to stand in either The Old or The New Statement.
It is not surprising then that the very word “Woyane” is anathema to those who want to suffocate, rather than celebrate, our differences. What is needed then is to garner the courage to speak out by setting ourselves free from the yoke of herd mentality and become masters of our own destiny, rather than continue being the spring-board for confused and confusing power-hungry individuals. Only then would we be free - like those brothers and sisters who took part at the TPLF’s 40th Anniversary panel discussion at Dedebit - to speak out the truth and shame the devil. Every good-willed Ethiopian aspires to see the prevalence of freedom, of eqaulity and of pluralistic democracy in Ethiopia, and therefore in a sense, we all are Woyanes, are we not?
Today, and rightly so, Tigrai is no longer the sole patent holder of the word “Woyane.” Thanks to the sacrifices paid and achiements gained by all Ethiopians under the tried and tested sat nav of EPRDF, Woyane has now morphed and become a badge of affectation to Ethiopians whose aspirations are freedom, equality and pluralistic democracy.
Je ne sais pas pour vous, mais Je suis Woyane!