August 26, 2019
“Hate is like a poison you make for your enemy that you end up swallowing yourself.” David Duchovny, Holy Cow
“Ethnic stereotypes are boring and stressful and sometimes criminal. It’s just not a good way to think. It’s non-thinking. It’s stupid and destructive.” Tommy Lee Jones
Author’s note: Although I wrote this article on January 09, 2019, I didn’t try to get it published until now for various reasons, including patience. However, after watching a recommended YouTube video that contained Sebhat Nega’s interview statements published by Tigrai Media House on Jun 21, 2019, I was provoked to release my article. I wanted to let him know that I think of him as an evil in Ethiopian society, Ethiopian’s cancer, a hatemonger and day hyena for promoting “ethnic extremism” across Ethiopia, looting Ethiopians resources and conspiring with the TPLF’s elites to assassinate PM Abiy Ahmed by a hand grenade attack.
“Notoriously hungry, the hyena has long been a source of fear throughout Africa. A nocturnal hunter and scavenger, it has been associated with sorcery, evil, and trickery. During the European Middle Ages, bestiary texts adopted the hyena as a symbol for the devil’s dark deeds.” Jessica Sheppard-Reynolds
Ato Bereket Simon, who is incarcerated for alleged rampant corruptions and mismanagement of public resources, was the TPLF’s (Woyane’s) Hitman, Minster of Disinformation and Day Hyena for about forty decades. Before he was arrested, he pitched at the TPLF’s cadres his new book (“a string of [fictionalized] stories that are, at best, littered with errors and, at worst, inaccurate”) at Mekelle University’s conference. He claimed his book contains answers to Ethiopians’ current political and economic problems. He also complained of, among other things, Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed’s unqualified usage of “የቀን ጅብ”, an Amharic phrase pronounced as “yekenijibi” which means day hyena.
Since it is worth understanding “yekenijibi”, this critic would present a background story of the possible origin of the phrase; would describe it in words and pictures and also deal with Simon’s complaint. So that Simon and his accomplices, including Sebhat Nega would be absolutely assured how a person who is about eight years or older interprets “yekenijibi” unmediated by prejudices.
A day hyena
Ancient Ethiopians wildlife observers noticed hyenas are scavengers and nocturnal. The prehistoric Ethiopians also thought hyenas’ daytime vision was not so great. So they thought it was completely out of character to see hyena wondering around during a daytime unless it was starving to death, disoriented or infected with rabies, which could make it much more daring than a night hyena. That led them to coin the phrase day hyena – a hyena more dangerous than a night hyena because it lost its senses. Through time they also used the phrase to describe a behavior and an act of a despicable and an extremely dangerous person who lost all its senses out of hate and/or sheer greed.
Fables on hyenas
As in Ethiopians’ classic fables, hyenas across the world are associated with immorality, treachery, greed, greedily gulping food, “feasting on corpses”, ugly appearance and “disturbing and frightening whoop loud laughter”. They are also associated with stupidity. The following “comic tales” would perfectly illustrate people around the world, including Ethiopians’ judgment of hyenas:
“The Hungry Slender Hyena: The hyena has long had a bad reputation in African folklore and children’s tales as an untrustworthy, ugly cheater who is greedy as well as stupid. In one comic tale the hungry, slender hyena squeezes through a fence into a chicken coop and begins to eat to its heart’s content. Unlike the clever fox, who knows not to eat too much so he can sneak back out through the fence, the hyena eats all the birds and becomes too fat to escape. When morning comes, he is caught due to his own greed.” The Iris, the blog of the J. Paul Getty Trust in Los Angeles, said Jessica Sheppard-Reynolds posted the story.
“The Greedy Hyena: A hare and a hyena became friends, but one day the hare overheard her friend [the hyena] telling another hyena that once she trusted him enough to sleep at his place, he would eat her. Of course, the hare was worried about this and knew she had to think of a plan to save herself from the hyena’s jaws.”…
“When, on the next occasion, the hyena arrived to call on the hare, he noticed that his friend had a sack and asked what was inside it.”
“The sweetest meat you ever tasted, my friend,” said the hare. “Here, take a piece.”
“The hyena chewed the meat greedily before swallowing, “Yes indeed, it is the sweetest meat I ever tasted. Can I have some more?”
“This meat is so sweet it should only be eaten a little at a time, but you shouldn’t waste its sweetness by going to the toilet,” said the hare.
“How can you do that?” the hyena asked, looking puzzled.”
“By having your bottom sewn up, that’s what everyone who eats this meat does. I can get it done for you, if you wish.”
“I will, if you show me where the meat is,” said the hyena. Such was his greed.
“Up there.” The hare pointed at the cloud-shrouded mountain top. “There’s lots of it on mystical Kirinyaga, I’ll take you there, if you wish, and we’ll get your bottom sewn up before we go.”
They arranged to meet later and the hyena wandered over to talk to some of his sisters. The hare was having doubts about following the badger’s plan, till she overheard the hyena say to his sisters, “I’ll eat the hare, once she has shown me where to find the sweet meat.”
So, when the hyena returned, eager to be off, they went to see the ants. The badger used the bee grubs as payment for the ants’ work. The ants soon had the hyena’s bottom sewn up tightly and off they went to climb the mountain…By Lailoken, to Finish
The Woyane’s elites deservedly earned their nickname, day hyenas
Though stereotypes are “sometimes criminal”, the TPLF’s elites made their living by “exploiting pain of” ethnic diversity – politicizing ethnicity and stereotyping – among Ethiopians for more than forty years. For instance, to divide and conquer Ethiopians, the Woyane first waged a psychological warfare against the Tigrayan peasants. They were misinformed, brainwashed, tribalized and made to believe: The Amhara people are the enemy of the Tigrayan people because the Amhara people stole the Tigrayan people’s more than three thousand year old history, and they use it to brag about themselves. The Amharas invented and introduced prostitution among Tigrayan women. Moreover, Melese Zenawi told the Tigrayan people that they are the “Golden People”; he meant that they will continue dominating and ruling all Ethiopian ethnic groups for a century at least.
Ethnocentrism is extremely dangerous. For instance, “One of the most well-known and horrific examples of ethnocentrism pertains to Nazi Germany. Adolf Hitler decided he hated Jewish people, as well as other groups of people, and had many innocent people slaughtered in concentration camps.”
No one knows except for the TPLF’s elites how many innocent Amhara people the TPLF’s assassination squads slaughtered. How many innocent Tigrayan youth (the TPLF’s fighters) the TPLF’s hitmen murdered for having consensual heterosexual relationship which was banned by the TPLF? How many of those executed Tigrayan girls (the TPLF’s guerrilla fighters) were pregnant?
This critic argues that the “comic tales” of “The Hungry Slender Hyena” and “The Greedy Hyena” held true to Ethiopians’ lives when the TPLF’s elites, the bloodthirsty day hyenas – የቀን ጅቦች – had hegemony. Put differently, the greedy elites’ behavior of the last forty years had an “inherent behavioral similarities” with the greedy hyenas’ behavior of the “comic tales”.
One of the reasons the Ethiopian revolution dismantled the TPLF’s elites hegemony erupted like a volcanic eruption across Ethiopia is that the elites had “their bottoms sewn up” when they greedily gulped Ethiopians resources for twenty-seven years. And like “a bonnacon, a mythical, bull-like beast”, the TPLF’s elites such as Sebhat Nega, Bereket Simon, Getachew Reda and Getachew Assefa are emitting their “blast of smelly gas and shooting their excrement” across Ethiopia. “The terrible smell of the animals’ [the TPLF’s elites] gas and excrement” are causing ethnic violence that, so far, had displaced more than three million people so far.
The Iris remarked “The bonnacon is a mythical, bull-like beast with the mane of a horse and horns that spiral inward on top of its head. The bonnacon’s curved horns are not effective for defending itself against hunters, so instead it shoots a stream of potent dung that can burn anything in its path.”
Qualifying the phrase day hyena
To deal with Nega and Simon’s complaint, here is an impartial qualification of the phrase day hyena. Day hyena is an “insulting comment” with “clear meaning and intent”. Ethiopians use the phrase day hyena to describe a greedy, depraved, bloodthirsty, stupid as well as an unmannered and/or untrustworthy person such as Sebhat Nega, Bereket Simon, Getachew Reda, Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam (whom the TPLF’s day hyenas’ made him appear to be an angel) and Getachew Assefa. Though the TPLF’s voracious elites have been described in so many cartoons, images and terms such as tribalist, cancer, “irretrievably biased”, revisionist, thief, murder, hitmen, Nazi and sons of Mussolini’s Italian askaris and asses nothing has described them as perfectly as the phrase “day hyena”;
The below examples are proof that the TPLF’s elites have commonality of purpose with the Nazis:
- They looted humanitarian aid food from famine victims; for example, Bereket Simon publicly acknowledged raiding cooking oil stored for the needy when he was the TPLF’s guerilla fighter, hitman.
- They arrested and/or executed tens of thousands of people, including their own dear friends some of whom they had been friends with since childhood. And they executed their own teenage (12-17 years old) guerilla fighters some of whom might have been pregnant for having heterosexual relationships.
- They enabled their torturers, among other things, to urinate on/at/ detainees and to mutilate detainees’ genitals with pliers.
To sum up, I’m not trying to be mean by aiming at the TPLF’s criminal elites’ devilish personhood now known as evils in Ethiopian society, Ethiopian’s cancer, hatemongers, hitmen, and day hyenas, instead, I showed the “inherent behavioral similarities” between the beast within them and their counterpart – day hyena. Though equating people with an animal is an insult, paralleling people who inhumanely treated a person, including the writer’s friends and families for more than forty years with “a lesser being” is the least I could do.
To show solidarity, this article is dedicated for the TPLF’s teenage (12-17 years old) guerilla fighters, including pregnant teenagers for whom the TPLF’s elites lynched for alleged heterosexual relationships. This article is also dedicated for the TPLF’s political prisoners in the TPLF’s prison camps across Tigray.
The writer LJDemissie can be reached at [email protected]