Haile Selassie Triumphantly returns to Addis Ababa
On this day 5th May 1941, Emperor Haile Selassie re-enters Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, exactly five years to the day of when it was occupied by Italy. Ethiopia known widely as Abyssinia was one of the first countries to be liberated during the Second World War.
Benito Mussolini had been eyeing Ethiopia (also known as Abyssinia) as an economic colony to be added to Italian Somaliland, in East Africa, since the 1920’s. Italy had an old score to settle after being one of the only countries to be defeated by an African Power during the first Italio-Ethiopian War by the then Ethiopian Emperor Menelik at Adowa on 1 March 1896. He hoped to resettle 10 million Italians in a unified East Africa.
Important Dates: The Earth Day of Empress Menen, Queen of Queens
Woizero Menen was born on 3rd April 1891 (25th Megabit 1883), in the Egua village, Wollo Province. Woizero Menen was baptised Wolete Giorgis in St Delba Girogis Church. A skilful writer, Woizero Menen was known to be kind, compassionate and devoutly God fearing.
In 1902 Woizero Menen married Ras Lul Sagud and had two daughters and two sons before divorcing him. She later married Haile Selassie I in 1911. For the first time in Ethiopian history, during the Coronation of H.I.M Emperor Haile Selassie I, King of Kings on 2nd November 1930, Empress Menen was crowned Queen of Queens.
The Coronation was held at the St Giorgis Church in Addis Ababa and was witness by dignitaries from across the world.
The sacred and happy union between Emperor Haile Selassie I and Empress
Menen lasted for forty seven years, during which time they had three sons and three daughters and was blessed with numerous grandchildren.
Empress Menen made a huge contribution to the development of schools and hospitals as well as the social science institutions.
Today 28th January 2017 marks the 80th anniversary of the ‘Voice of Ethiopia’. On this day in 1937 Dr Malaku E Bayen the special emissary to America of Emperor Haile Selassie, and his African American wife Dorothy, created a newspaper called ‘Voice of Ethiopia’ to simultaneously denounce Jim Crow in America, and the fascist invasion in Ethiopia. The ‘Voice of Ethiopia’, was to become known as the official media organ of the Ethiopian World Federation Incorporated. It was pro African newspaper that urged the millions of sons and daughters of Ethiopia scattered throughout the world, to join hands with Ethiopia to save the country from the wolves of Europe. Its first anniversary was marked by a special cable via Western Union from Emperor Haile Selassie, who at that time resided in exile at Fairfield House in Bath.
The cable read ” It is with great pleasure that i have just noted that the ‘Voice of Ethiopia’ has just completed its first year of struggle for the cause of Ethiopia and i send my congratulations. I sincerely hope that it will continue to receive the support of all who love justice”. Emperor Haile Selassie.
An extract from the ‘Voice of Ethiopia’, describes the first birthday celebration. Read on…..
Timket is the Ethiopian Orthodox celebration of Epiphany. Timket celebrates the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. This festival is best known for its ritual reenactment of baptism During the ceremonies of Timkat, the Tabot, a model of the Ark of the Covenant, is reverently wrapped in rich cloth and borne in procession and carried through the crowd in every city on the head of a priest. The Tabot/s are carried only by the most senior priests of the community and completely covered because they are too sacred for anyone to gaze at them. Even the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox church is forbidden to see it; only its guardians can look at it. The actual Ark of the Covenant is said to be in the city of Aksum, guarded by monks who have vowed not to leave the chapel grounds until death. Continue reading……………….
While the Gregorian calendar celebrates Christmas on the 25th of December, Ethiopia still retains the ancient Julian calendar in which Christmas falls on January 7th (of the Gregorian calendar.) The Ethiopian name given to Christmas is Ledet or Genna which, according to elders, comes from the word Gennana, meaning “imminent” to express the coming of Christ and the freeing of mankind from sin. It is a public holiday, and the day is a time of reflection, inner thoughts and healing Continue reading……………………………………….