The hatred is buried deep
in our bones
Only the panga can bring it out
to give it life.
Limbs are chopped off, backs slashed,
decapitated heads, young and old, tumble
down to the red earth, bloody,
the panga has worked.
Only the panga can give life
to our historic hate.
Only the panga can dig out
the savage in us all
turn us into an Intrahamwe
only the panga can give us back courage.
Bedeno and Arbagugu are in Ethiopia
not Burundi - Rwanda
Prince Johnson's men
(who cut Samuel Doe to pieces)
are in Liberia
the warlords are not found on!y in Somalia
and the fanatics in more places
other than Algeria.
Short as a knife long as a machete
no matter the name. The panga,
the collective symbol of hate,
the flower of our shame
The hatred is buried deep
Vive en: Paris, Francia
Hama Tuma (born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in May 1949) is a writer, poet, and journalist who has been active in the struggle for democracy and human rights in Africa since the 1960s. He studied Law in Addis Ababa University and became an advocate for democracy and justice. In his final year of law school, he was expelled for demonstrating against the regime of Emperor Haile Selassie. Being a founding member of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party, he believes in a new start in the daily life of Ethopia that is defined by political rivalries and tribal warfare. He has been banned from the country by three different Ethiopian governments for his commitment to human rights and left Ethiopia in 1969 to pursue a life of political activism - leaving behind not only his studies, family and home, but also his real name, Iyasou Alemayehu.
Hama Tuma writes poems in English and in Amharic. Moreover, he has published numerous political and satirical articles.
Even though many of Hama Tuma’s stories deal with the dark period of the Mengistu regime, the Red Terror that shed so much blood and tested the core and soul of Ethiopians, he is known as one of Ethiopia's greatest satirists. He conducts his struggle against the wars in his country with a sharpened pen and chose satire to deal with grim reality, aiming for reconciliation, not revenge. Yet, his unique combination of wit and warmth reveal the realities of life under an oppressive regime in all its pain and absurdity.
Some of his books of fiction and satire have been translated into French,Italian and Hebrew.
Hama Tuma has lived in Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda and currently lives in Paris with his wife and daughter.
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