halls of SELEDA are filled with mirth and merriment, dear readers, as we get
ready to wave goodbye to 2000- a year certainly filled with its share of tirimiss..dibiliq…
and some wry moments of, as Esachew Kburinetachew Ato Alan
Greenspam put it, irrational exuberance.
2000 marked our second “theme” based
SELEDA… a veritable literary move, we thought, until the raucous
shikoocha at editorial meetings to decide what the theme-of-the-month
would be started to resemble the chaos at Siminto vs. Buna football
matches at Kampolojo. We nearly came to blows with upper
management who threatened to shut this whole operation down if we didn’t have a
Lifestyles of the Rich and Infamous Ethiopians Who Love Stirred Martinis
Issue … Mayalf neger yelem.
was the Love Issue, which in SELEDA confines means that our writers and
the computer people came to a détente, however ephemeral… the Kompiwter
KebertEs promised not to replace the writers’ powdered carrot-ginseng (ye
meksess beverage-achew) with miTmiTa; and
the writers pledged not to light up eTan and turn the computer
room into a make-shift yoga tera.
crises threatened to mushroom into a bone fide catastrophe with our Science
and Technology Issue in March. It turned out to be the most popular
issue, dashing the hopes of the creative crew who were unwavering in their
thought that this here was a literary bastion of sorts. They swore the
tech people had put m’tihat on the Stats page… the Tech people
promptly tried to program a “m’tat” in Fortran… upper management
wanted a crash course on what a m’tihat was… and all the
marketing people were fired for making SELEDA appeal to “mindless, soulless
techie geeks.” Yelenibetim!
April we celebrated our first anniversary and SELEDA upper management managed
to thwart a carefully planned coup d'état by we the CHiQoon
of all CHiQoon Hizbs… and so, instead of the Victory issue, we
had to settle for the Careers Issue, effectively ending our careers
of planning and executing successful “bloodless but fabulous” revolutions… and
forever draining out any mercy our bosses might have had left in their right
tried to make history in our History Issue in May by being the first
Ethiopian outfit not to turn a good thing into an overly-politicized logaw
shibo forum. Instead, we continued on the path of the overly verbose, qum
neger alba and infantile medium, with no hopes of using
words like “siniQaN” and “amerQi”, and phrases like
“ye selam shig’igr”. Our loss.
June was our Family Issue and yes, we were aware of the kind of irony
that was posed when people like us try to approach family issues. Ay-hey-hey….
Qeld new… It took all we
got not to make it the Family Members We Have A Big Beef Against and Who We Are
In Litigation With Regarding Our Great-Grandfather’s R’st.
Thank goodness we combined the July and August issues to deliver the Finance Issue. By
the middle of the year, you might want to know, things get a little testy around the SELEDA corridors…
and more so this year because our comptroller (we think after a close encounter
with a zar of the ilikeNa ilk) suggested it might
be time for an audit of upper management’s expense account. “Mot yamarew
accountant ye upper management’n ‘$7842.03 in
miscellaneous, and $6,000.01 in other miscellaneous costs’ mezgeb
‘Mindinew?’ b’lo yiTeyiqal” indaylu Abew siteritu…
came back in September with our Diaspora/Life in Exile Issue and were …
surprised to hear that our comptroller had submitted his resignation during our
summer break. Wide-eyed upper management could not “imagine” what happened
since they thought he was “sooo… nice.” We are still suspicious especially
since his letter of resignation was signed “Intina”.
in Education graced the October SELEDA and we found out just how
sensitive private school students from Addis Ababa were. Woah Nelly and ere
b’Nguss! We got vitriolic mail in all the romance languages and one
anonymous and horrendously misspelled and typographically challenged death
threat… InEn! said the Mail Editor and sent all of the chagrined
readers a… love letter.
November we launched the Cities Issue and the long-reigning #1 status of
the Technology Issue was finally… heck, it was stomped on like a yadere
mastika, new negeru. Exhilarated, the writers and the
creative thinkers at SELEDA went on a selamawi s’lf and decided to celebrate by taunting the
techie people until another threat of shutting the whole operation down was
used to gedeb masgezat them. Upper management celebrated this
event by throwing an extravagant party… regrettably and curiously no SELEDA
staff member was invited due to an “invitational mix up”.
finally we ended the year with the Humor Issue, managing to offend
several readers at once with random and senseless acts of wigibns.
But we hope you all know it was meant in the nicest way possible, non?
all this, we would be remiss if we did not profusely thank our readers and
contributors for their unwavering support. We are grateful for the friendships
we have fostered with readers from all over the world, and we are especially
indebted to readers who put fingers to keyboard and thus became writers, and,
in one case of blackmail and psychological s'Qai masayet, an editor. Ij nestenal.
to the Literature Issue! We hope this will finally give us an entree into the super cool Ethiopians-in-Literature
crowd, which so far has denied us membership. We keep getting stunned at the
depth of talent out there in the Diaspora, and we are humbled people like you
let people like us ashaQbo mayet you with QuliCH-liCH ‘milu
eyes. We hope you enjoy reading our foray into the seductive, astounding,
remarkable, staggering and confounding world of Ethiopian Literature.
month will be our second Love Issue, and as always we welcome you to
share your stories with us. We will be accepting articles for publications
until January 15. Here is your chance to tell us your woes, victories and “fQru/fQruwa
inde awtomic libE lie fendito” stories. For a message from the Love
Issue Editor (who we all just happen to love) and for guidelines for submitting articles, please take a moment to read the tereNa Editor’s Hamsa Lomi.
will be our Class Issue, where we will finally resolve this issue once
and for all, they say with enviable insouciance. Frankly we didn’t even know
there were Class Issues with us Ethiopians… ke’yet meTa? Man
asQemeTew? (As far as we are concerned, there are only two classes:
those smart beautiful people who read SELEDA, and the philistines who don’t.
Case closed.) Deadline to submit articles is February 15, so ponder this and
send us your take on the so-unapproachable and let’s-sweep-it-under-the-rug
issue of Class, better known as medeb, thanks to the 70’s.
wish you the most joyous of Christmases, and a happy and healthy ferenji
New Year. We love hearing from you, of course, so if it mekejels
you, drop us a note at email@example.com
or go to the SELEDA Comment Box.