On May 25th at the Science Amba auditorium, the University of Gondar welcomed the Ethiopian Writers Association. The event commemorating the life and works of the late author Birhanu Zerihun began roughly around 3:00 pm. With a trip that extended from Addis Ababa, Debre Markos and Bahar Dar, UOG had become the next stop for the group of authors.
Over 20 news outlets were present. Some of the prominent guests that were in attendance, among others, were intellectual and TV personality Serse Dengil, authors Sisay Nugusu, Ayalneh Mulatu, Andualem Abata and architect Michael Shiferaw. The University of Gondar’s higher officials were also present to take part in the event.
The evening commemorated Ethiopia’s finest artistic talents. When welcoming the honored guests the University’s President Dr. Desalegn thanked Ethiopia’s Writers Association for coming to Gondar. The President believed that EWA’s work will “increase the awareness” of the art and in turn the field will become better for it.
They would take part in expressing what Gondar and penmanship meant to them. One of those who addressed the audience was Ayalneh Mulatu. This member of the association conveyed what all authors in the room felt about their tour. “The reason for us coming to the Amhara region and Gondar” he said, “is to absorb ideas and learn from the cities so that we can give back to the people, in hard copy, the things we have received.”
Mr. Mulatu went on to say that authors who are well known in our country need more recognition. He acknowledged the late laureate Dr. Haddis Alemayehu. He insisted that other fine writers around the world receive their due appreciation through statues and memorials, but our greats are forgotten because of the lack of attention. Mr. Mulatu ended by saying the late author of the great work Fikir Eske Mekabir “deserves a monument in Dangala, Debre Markos and even Gondar!”
His take on the chronicle of the Azmaree culminating from old Royal Courts in feudal Ethiopia until contemporary times drew massive applause because of his distinct detail and performance.
It could be observed that the people were pleased by the event. Upon closing, Yezina Worku a prominent modern Amharic short story writer conveyed to the people that, “people don’t need money, but rather motivation and good time management to be authors.” The member of EWA finished by saying, “don’t give up hope because all writers experience failure when starting.”
A ceremonial cutting of the bread and exchanging of gifts ended the night, but from the looks of it the atmosphere that was created left a mark on the audience. Some were even inspired to take pictures with the honored guests after the event had ended. The University of Gondar the top ranked university in Ethiopia recognized these groups of fine individuals quite well. Their work speaks volumes and their contribution to the Ethiopian society cannot be denied. As they left the venue the Ethiopian Writers Association were off to their next stop.
By Samuel Malede| Public and International Relations Directorate