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An Accidental Hero or a Child of Prophecy in Waiting?

Samuel Estefanous April 10, 2018

For confirmed movie buffs with marked inclination towards the ‘comedy-drama’ genre, Accidental Hero needs no introduction. It must have secured ‘cult’ following status or something, I mean after all it is an all-star ensemble with Geena Davis, Dustin Hoffman and Andy Garcia in starring roles.

Here is what I would very much like to know. Is our new Premier an accidental hero or a child of prophecy? I think both ways plausible persuasive arguments could be forwarded.

What I remember vividly about the movie is, when it was ‘premiered’ in Addis half a dozen years after the official release; we had the chance to watch it at Cinema Ethiopia ‘cos it was cheaper to watch movies at Cinema Ethiopia in those days, may be still is. God, time is indeed ‘a winged chariot’ as a good friend of mine tends to quote every now and then! Whew, we all are aging fast except for the blessed few.

You see, in the movie, the true ‘Hero’ is actually a screwed up father, a lousy husband and worse still a con man in his everyday life. The ‘Accidental Hero’ who usurps the limelight on the contrary is a goodie- goodie sort in actual life. The theme is quite unlike the simplistic ‘hero and anti-hero’ kind where the good guy suffers while the bad guy gets all the kudos at the former expense and how later justice is done and stuff. Incidentally, it makes me wonder how folks get the patience to watch through such predictable simplistic movies from end to end.

From bit and pieces being thrown around, in a way Dr. Abiy impresses me as your quintessential accidental hero who has ably risen to the occasion. Indeed in most instances than not, it is circumstances that make a leader not premeditated enduring schemes.

And there is Joan of Arc and the undying prophecy as of old that a young humble peasant girl would rise to save France from British hegemony that preceded her actual appearance in French history. The fact of the matter is a young peasant maiden in her late teens did come to the rescue of France and she did change the course of French and European history.

Dr.Abiy’s mother-a native of Burrayu-who had settled in a garrison looking town in the South-Western pocket of the country had instilled the spirit of perseverance and faith in endless possibilities in her son and had prophesied he would assume the throne of Menelik someday. He did, too!

How does the current topical political fever of Ethiopian politics relate to these two anecdotes?

Let us see.

1- Ethiopia-God’s own Dominion.

God does watch over us, my fellow Ethiopians. We all were worried sick. We offered silent and not so silent prayers to God to spare us what looked like a text book road to the ultimate perdition of a Nation in the African political context.  I mean some of our own folks were on the verge of losing their God given, divine, rational and unique individual traits. Gradually they were gathering deadly force like a twister and set to become a menacing faceless crowd.

For the first time in our collective living memory, gross incidents of lynching were recounted under Abyssinian sky. Lynching in Ethiopia? In the third decade of the 21C? On my part, I stuffed my ears and refused to believe the gory stories.

But God didn’t forsake us. Yet for the first time since the war against Eritrea, Ethiopians have come together to celebrate and honor the election of Abiy Ahmed as the Prime Minister of the FDRE. The other day I was reading Eyesuswork  Zafu’s interview and I kinda teared up- for the record I am quite unsentimental. You know what he’d said? He’d said that the minute the outgoing Premier tendered his resignation, he had symbolically chosen the next PM, sealed the envelop and wrote at the back-the seal is only to be broken in the presence of friends on the date and event of the election of the new PM. The seal was broken as dictated and the name was read loud-Abiy Ahmed!

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