Let me say something about the documentary that featured our Prime Minister as host and was transmitted in nearly all local TV channels in the past few days. Related to the beautification of Addis, a subject which I addressed in my last week’s blog, our Prime Minister took his time to help us the discover his grand projects for the capital city with the help of a documentary which he hosted himself. I watched most of it, although I have to admit I did not find the time, heart and energy to complete it.
Several questions came to my mind. First and foremost, why did he choose to host the documentary himself when any journalist is capable of doing it for him? Is it a way of claiming ownership of the beautification projects? And related to that, how on earth did he find the time to host such a long documentary on the esthetics of Addis in a time where so many dreadful and heart breaking things that need his urgent attention and response are happening in the country? Is it really the time for the Prime Minister to consecrate his time on such documentary in a time where people who have lost the lives of their beloved ones and their hard earned properties in a matter of just one and two days are seen on TV crying their hearts out? Wouldn’t his action be taken as an insult to their grieves? Couldn’t have showing the documentary on TV waited at least until the government has done something tangible to compensate those who lost their life-long earned properties? Or at least until all the miseries we have been witnessing following Hachalu Hundessa’s death faded from our memories? Wouldn’t the fact that the Prime Minister showed up on TV with a video full of promises of beauty for the city instead of a video showing him visiting to console those victims who are currently grieving day and night because of the absence of law and order in the country be considered as a bad joke? I leave the answers to you. But as I watched the documentary, I couldn’t help but wonder what those who are grieving might be feeling when watching it. I certainly felt sad.
So many problems are plaguing the country, and the one thing that our leader seems to be passionately thinking about is the aesthetics of the country. I do not know about you but I feel that there is something very wrong in that. I feel that priorities are being missed. It reminds me of the Amharic saying that goes like ‘Yemetelebssew yelat yemetekenanebew amarat’ which reminds of a person who has nothing to wear but instead wishes to buy an expensive scarf just for the sake of the esthetics. Take our health system for instance. It is not rarely that I feel that the country is a country where even those who have money are unable to get the medical treatment that their money can buy. How many times have we heard about the exodus of the the rich and famous in search of medical treatment? Forget the poor. These rely on the public health system that is plagued with piles and piles of problems that range from very unprofessional health care takers to missing vital medical equipment to very poor hygienic conditions, you name it. Take the agricultural system which until today is unable to match the very small supply of produce of the farmer to the very big demands of the consumer. Take the absence of law and order, which I do not even need to talk about. Take the weak education system which is manufacturing thousands and thousands of graduates that are unemployable. The list goes on. I just think we need to rethink our priorities.