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Thunderous welcome for Andargachew
Andargachew Tsige

Thunderous welcome for Andargachew

Andargachew Tsige left prison where he had been on death row on Tuesday, had an audience with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) on Wednesday and left Ethiopia on Thursday and arrived in his adopted nation of Britain on Friday. What a week for the Ethiopian-born Briton!

On Monday–at the entrance of Kaliti prison–there was youth idealism everywhere with the aging faces of his generation and spectators joining the crowd to welcome him. He was expected to be freed but he wasn’t. It would be another day of waiting.

When he came out on Tuesday, to the people who had waited for his release for many hours, for two consecutive days, his return in an aging unmarked Toyota Land Cruiser was something to behold; a jubilant celebration with fresh cut flowers, fireworks and music.

His family, his wife–had advocated for his release, even by going as far as standing shoulder to shoulder with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom as a parliamentarian candidate to highlight his cause and others.

By the time he was released, he had to struggle to walk, as he was carried inside his father’s residence by the young. It seemed as if they were carrying their generations’ hope on their shoulder. He had to beg to be heard, be given the space to greet his own father drowned in the voices of many.

Many wanted to touch him, converse with him.

Here he was at 63, at his father’s residence–a 90 plus year old man who had been anticipating this day. He had been made aware of his son’s release that seemed imminent. He had made countless trips to the gates of his spacious residence only to be told he had not come. For a man too weak to stand alone, that was much to bear.

“Four years isn’t that much of a sacrifice and we have seen much worse,” his son would say. “Now is the time to see my father”.

This moment was clearly something that was promised by the new Premier and delivered and sealed in a handshake a day later. A new era, a new day seems to have arrived in Ethiopia–that was easy to see for a father who had seen a slew of political era of Ethiopia–that was now close to heart. His and the hearts of many citizens of Ethiopia!