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  • Chris Statham


I have recently come back from a business trip to Ethiopia, this my home from May 2014 - November 2015. When visiting, I am always pleasantly surprised at how un-African it is to all the rest I know of the continent. Let me qualify that statement... First, I have never been to West Africa (as much as I would like to), and whilst I have been to the Maghreb (Morocco and Tunisia) this was for short holidays. Thus, most of the last 15 years has been in East and Southern Africa, a good majority of which (back in the day) was part of the British imperial empire. and it can clearly be seen where there are similarities between say Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, and Malawi (to name but a few countries) and hence how and why I find Ethiopia, and which but for a short Italian incursion in the 1930s / 40s has managed to retain so much of its culture.

Here is a poem on the Habesha, Ethiopians mainly from the north/highlands area.

but not of the same soul.

We are proud of our culture

the chosen people;

this our history

we are habesha.

We are not African

we are Ethiopian.

Fuck you calendar, food and language,

we are God‘s people,

African Israelites;

Ethiopia; the promised land

where the tabernacle settles.

We are a mix of African and Arab,

of history and modernity.

11 regions together

Federal, but culturally unique,

Never colonised,


we are Ethiopian.

We are religion and being free,

Christians and Muslims side by side.

We make our own rules,

dance, sing and rejoice unique.

We take the best of all to create cultural beauty;

we are Habesha.

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