Bewketu Seyoum’s hit literary pieces (poems, essays, novellas and short stories) puts on hold for the last five years amongst young Ethiopians and I dare to say that Bewketu is becoming the most read contemporary Amharic writer. His literary pieces established, Bewketu, as a rising literary talent to watch.
One of his recent essays, titled “እግር ዐልባው ባለ ክንፍ” brought aggressive beatings up on him, but I see this article as a literary piece which exceptionally dig deep down into the roots of some of our beliefs and challenge our convictions. Bewketu has tried to present food for our thought. I strongly believe that this piece would have ignited some ferocious controversies had it been read by more people and I decided to write this piece in defense of his right to freedom of expression.
As I clearly states on bio section of my blog I strongly believe in freedom of expression. Though it is on the paper and with its all claw back clauses our constitution defends the right to freedom of expression. If not government at least people who claim themselves as a freedom pugilist should be abided by it. I am even deeply worried by some folks who started a cause page on facebook against this “እግር ዐልባው ባለ ክንፍ” piece of writing. Many people despite their claim of being civil and gentle if I use Robert Frost’s words despite their claim of their –“ability” to listen to almost anything without losing their temper or self-confidence some facebook friends of mine sadly seem to have displayed impatience towards the spread of extremism by joining this group. For me this act of my friends is an inability and unwillingness to challenge different ideas. Please understand that I am not saying what Bewketu has written is right or wrong I am supporting his right to freedom of expression, which is also mine and yours and which means nothing if it does not include the right to say stuff that upset other people.
You know what I believe, had Ethiopians protect freedom of conscience, thought and expression, nobody would have a problem with somebody like Bewketu telling his point of view in friendly and hilarious language as in the article in the question.