Delegates of Wag, Lasta and Kemant in Awi

About 140 people’s delegates from Wag, Kemant and Lasta (Lalibela and Haik), stayed in Awi January 20 through 25, 2012. They were welcomed warmly by the Awi People every woreda/administrative county. The first reception ceremony took place on the junction of West Gojjam and Awi administrative areas, south of a little Nile River. Residents of Dangla, Fagita-Lakoma and zonal officials including horsemen traveled to this specific place to welcome guests. Since then, the guests were accompanied by large welcoming pedestrians, horsemen and motorists during their stay (find brief video links from the end of this document). Their official banquet started at Addis Kidam, capital of Fagita-Lakoma and ended in Dangla, the capital of Dangla District.

The first lunchue banquet was held in Addis Kidam on January 20. After lunch they traveled to Injibara zonal capital, where welcoming population waiting. Then, they visited Zikana Lake, where official ceremony took place. Amhara Regional Governor, Mr. Ayalew Gobeze, his cabinet members and Mr. Demeke Mekonen, Minister of Education and other officials appeared on the first day of the ceremony. On the next day, they traveled to Tilili, capital of Gogusa Shikukdad. The next stop was Gimjabet, capital of Ankesha Gogusa. A large number of horsemen was seen in Gimjabet, estimated to be 1,500. One sign held by a young man read, long live the fraternity of Awis and Kemants. There was meeting in the newly hall. At this gathering, representatives of Wag, Kemant, Lalibela, Haike and Belaya introduced themselves for audience following speech by Zonal Administrator, Mulugeta Debaso. The Then, they traveled to Kilage, Zigam capital. In Kilage, 14-oxen were reportedly slaughtered for the visiting guests. Young Gumuz Community members also presented cultural play at Kilage. The banquet was held in traditional green tree hall, about 1800 square meters. They stopped also Ankishi and Degere Abo on their way to Chagni, Gongo capital and enjoyed warm reception. In Chagni, they were welcomed by two types of crowds, Christian community and Mulem communities. The town hall, where the dinner banquet held was surrounded by security personnel throughout the evening, probably in fear of religious extremists. Settlers’ second generation has been active in extremism. The town square was designation in the name of Ashenda in the honor of guests. From Chagni, they traveled to Jawi, the reception was made in settler villages and capital Fundeke. On January, 24, afternoon, the delegates began their journey to Dangala, through a new short cut grovel road. Prior to Dangla arrival, the guests stopped by Workmeda and Asach Abo. As can be seen on video, one of Kemant representatives, Mr. Misganaw Fenkilew briefing elders. Because of mountains, the journey to Dangla took longer than expected time. They arrived in Dangala about sun set, approximately, 6:00 pm in the local time. A large crowed was witnessed in Danagal welcoming the guests. People carried slogans, which read, Wags Innocents (Wagowoch Degowch), Welcome Our Kemant Brothers (Kemant wondmocachin Enkon Dehina Metachhu). The guests and residents gathered in evening in Famous Agew Midir Hall erected three decays ago. On the next day afternoon, January 25, they departed back home as planned. There was report that there was cry at the time of departure, as a result of discomfort on separation. The public has a little knowledge about the presence of the delegates from Lalibela and Haike and consequently only two speakers addressed the delegates by name at public gathering. A man described his name Tadlo Mekont traveling form Humara to Addis Ababa said, after witnessing the event, “basically, I don’t like ethnic politics, but this is something special, it seems the day of resurrection; anyone with sober mind knows long sufferings of the Agaw people. To bring about the present event to a desirable conclusion, they need to have a party that can give strategic leadership.”

According to the source, little coverage was given on the events by the local media, except ETV, which gave moderate coverage. The regional television on its special program covered selectively and briefly picking less crowded spots in some towns. It showed events in the towns of Tillili, Gimjabet, partially Chagni and Jawi. Besides, it displayed briefly Mr. Demeke and Mr. Ayalew visiting a rehabilitated mountain and gathering on the Awi-West Gojjam conjunction. The rest of events ignored on both radio and television. Nothing was said about presence of the Kemant and Lasta delegates. Many kemants outraged on the media’s behavior what they felt public resources abuse and discriminative policy in the region. The media personnel had nothing to say on grievance forward to them.

Instead, the local television program broadcasted legend about seven-Agaw men. As one observer described, the regional government television broadcast on the legend story seems politically motivated conspiracy to confuse the originality the Agaw people in the region. Two Wag individuals had been used for propaganda probably unintentionally. According to this legend, seven Agaw men immigrated from Seqota to the south for hunting purposes and settled there. The story was rejected by named Melaku (2007) who conducted research on Agaw history. On the other hand, Siltanu (2009) whom cited 1969 manuscript by Millen tolerated the idea in different context. According to this notion, about 11-family members came to present Awi to visit their Agaw relatives already living in the region, currently called Gojjam. Regardless of the legend, Wags are brother like other Agaw groups, because of historical evidence and DNA similarity. This is true in case of Gaffats, Kemants, Lastans, Semines, so on. The name Gaffat was driven from the word gaffiti, which bears the meaning of first, vanguard, or patriot. The population has been deprived for the centuries from true self knowledge in order to maintain distorted history.

From a historical point of view, western Wollo, East Gojjam and surroundings, including parts of South Gondar Daga Damot was known as of Gaffat and Gffats are actual Agaws and they are now called Gojjamis, Damotis, Este, etc. According Professor Muse Tegegne (1991) book publication, the name Gojjam was given in the 14th century by Religious Monk, St. Tekle Haymanot of Debre Libanos because of their resistance to Christianity in favor of orit (Judaism). It should be noted that some of Gaffat areas such as Mentola Maryam introduced with Christianity before Tekle Haymanot, at the time of King Yizene. Overtime, Gaffats not only learned Amharic, but they also developed expression known as semna work (wax and gold) to cope with the situation.CLICK The word Gojjam was labeled in stereotypical context, like Agaw libu zetegn to emphasizing hardiness of the heart (“not being open”). In the early 1990s, Muse Tegegne renamed Gojjam to Felege Ghion and formed Ghion Political party consisted of individuals mostly from East Gojjam, however, it disappeared soon without achieving anything. Muse’s party organizing envoy, Mr. Adamu A. blamed the group’s lack of commitment for failure. In 1996, Muse tried to get the seat for Felege Ghion in a UN economic forum, but without success. According to an anonymous observer, later on, ill-advised Muse joined his enemy block and suffered more. Since then, Professor Muse Tegegne has been the target of the opposition force propaganda likely due to his identity more than his ideology.

VIEDO Links:

Addis Kidam









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6 Responses to Delegates of Wag, Lasta and Kemant in Awi

  1. Tibebu Ferede says:

    That day was very interesting and fantastic for all agaw people specialy for kemant community
    to announce what they are for Ethiopian people.But there is controversial issue b/c why awi radio station is not transmitted kemants announcement?

  2. To Tibebu says:

    To set the record straight, Kemants and other delegates Awi visit was covered in the Awi language broadcast.


  3. Misigana: Mulugeta says:

    Tibebu , I feel the way you felt. No matter the language of media (you can name it) it is all owned and controlled by the government. This Awi radio is not entirely free from the control and censorship of EPRDF. I followed the documentary of Ethiopian television on the event and heard Ato Mulugeta Debasu’s briefing the purposeof the conference. He never has raised the name of Qemant. It implied that he is there only to fill his belly by seving his loard. I am sorry to hear from a man who called himself Agaw pretending as if only Agaw people are Awi and Himra. What about Qemant who was there in the very event. . .?


    Mr. Misigana
    How come you expect from Ato Mulugeta Debasu any thing other than ANDM’s position. Mulugeta is there just to serve ANDM’s chauvinist policy not the interests of Agaw people. He was doing the assignment given by his chauvinist masters who feared our unity. The ANDM’s treatment of the Agaw people has induced fear even in its partner organizations. Mr. Ayalew who has been labeled with so many adjectives has already lost control. Whatever Mulugeta says it doesn’t matter us since his view does not represent the Agaw people. However, the actual problem is not from Mulugeta, but from us, freedom seekers who has not organized ourselves in a manner that the freedom journey require. Anyway, in whatever matter, the news was broadcasted in Awi more than once in a bi-weekly program.

    From: Birituma

  4. GIRMA TECHANE says:

    i like it very much the page. AGEW is the father ethiopians. AGEW has a glory history.AGEW is a truly HERO.

  5. Yifterelkum says:

    God bless you. You are doing a great job WLKA

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