By Nadhii Hajii ( source: Facebook)
What I endured and experienced growing up in Finfinnee as an Oromo girl with an out standing Oromo name “Nadhii”: Identity under fire!
It’s understandable that first hand Gabrumma experience would compel you to let go of your identity and hence forces you to adopt to a new colonizers identity, language culture and way of thinking. This can be enforced not only by force but by systems that can be applied over a period of time.
Based on my own personal account I just want to state some facts how the colonial power and it’s children would force and influence your way of thinking and life style through bulling and state designed mechanisms when you live and school in predominantly Habasha environments. I hope those Oromos who grow up in Finfinee or places where habesha’s dominated, so-called commercial towns, can understand me better.
As a kid you go to primary school and the war on your identity commences there. Your typical Oromo name will be mocked till you cry to death or in some cases they will even go as far as changing your name without you or your family’s consent. You listen to colonizers kids calling your people names and brand them as dirty and ignorant while making you sick in the stomach but scared to say anything because you are all alone. You grow up forced to laugh at their stupid racist jokes while crying blood inside and even forcing you to laugh at yourself and compelling you to acknowledge and admit your own subordination and their superiority.
As a child you always struggle to find out how they have become the best and your people have become the worst and were reduced to ashes. You always struggle to know what went wrong and when, but your answer doesn’t come so easily and you live with wonder and grief inside your heart. So let me take you back early colonial school time and child hood experience, when you finish classes and head home with your head bowed down you need Sth or someone to comfort you to continue living as a human being, in the atmosphere that makes you doubt yourself being as equal person like anyone else. Most who couldn’t stand being ridiculed would leave school forever, but few who have strong family support would still go back every next day to endure the situation.
While struggling to cope you forget focusing on science or Math for you have a bigger problem called none Abasha identity and you struggle to watch out for your accent when you speak Amharic or you are doomed.
When you are in your suburb or on your way home from school You witness Your people who bring their crops to the colonial market only to be ripped off there hard work with chip price because of their lack of education and their innocence and on to get humiliated and degraded by our colonial masters, which would further make you feel helpless.
Then finally when you are a grown person and out of high school now you know their three thousand years of myths or history …lol, celebrating their holiday, speaking their language for 12 years now you will be exactly what they want you to be, perfectly groomed. A crisis which you would celebrate as an achievement while riding in perfect self destruction you probably get to university where another process of self discovery and identity restoration starts crop up again. The era of where you felt Proud with your perfect Amarinya and listening to their Amaharic songs watching their movie as if it is your own starts to fed away. It’s a new world with completely new experience all over again, you get to meet proud Oromos with intact Oromo identity, students who never accepted the superiority of anyone else but lived with and grew up with complete Oromummaa, what a fulfilment and restoration again. But for that new identity and pride to be protected and nurtured and even implemented in to practical power you need to galvanise that number in to revolutionary force which later on put most of us in to complete disagreement with colonial government.
My point is with that stiff pressure how money have lost their identity and how many had to quite for fear of further humiliation. Those who have relinquished their identity mostly don’t even realise it was happening. They thought they were going by the flow, but most were overwhelmed by the Abashas pressure and never lived to see the light of self restoration.
Please help your kids out, tell them that they are equal human beings whenever they come home in the evening, tell them what happened to our people and how we are colonised and tell then colonised people would one day be free and tell them what needs to be done for us to restore our power which in turn would restore our pride and protect our identity. Don’t make your kids comply and conform to colonial identity and please teach them Afan Oromoo or they will get lost forever. I believe tough experiences would creat resilient people if they are well informed.