Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Artwork by: Lola beltran

These days when people ask me what I do, my first response is that I am a student. I understand that I am not just one thing but also a whole of other things but the ‘student’ tittle is the one that comes to me naturally. Just as easy the ‘student’ moniker rolls out of my tounge, I find it harder and harder to identify as a writer. There is a pause, a stutter of some sort, in between the question of what I do and my subsquent response.

Can I really call myself a writer when I barely even write anymore?

The follow up questions are always “What kind of writing do you do?” or something along the lines. I say “I write poetry” as it seems to be the only form of writing that is inconsistently consistent , or that I write “short short stories” which I havent written in a while.

The moment the words come out of my mouth I feel like a fraud. Like someone who is taking credit for something I had no hand in, to something that I am not.

What is a writer, really? Someone who creates a completley new world from nothing? Someone who is able to transform the person reading the texts to a completley diffrent emotional state? Someone who’s published?

Does self-identification as one suffice to be worthy to hold that tittle?

So many questions that lead to a whole lot of other questions, questions I can barely even begin to answer.

So what happens, what’s next? Will I even publish this post? Or is it going to end up like the other millions and millions of unfinished writings that bite the dust or sit in my archives collecting dust?

So what is the RIGHT answer to this question of being or not being a WRITER?


I am sitting in a restaurant at Arat Kilo. The place is more crowded than I thought it would be. And the speaker is blasting some old Amharic song I can’t seem to remember who the singer is. I don’t mind being in a crowded space. With so many conversations going on at the same time. Add in car honks. And loud music; you have your recipe for an absolute pandemonium. But it helps. Somehow. It helps drown out the voices in my head, the countless conversations going on simultaneously. When I imagine my mind, I picture a place like this outdoor restaurant. At rush hour. Where everybody is having beer after a long days work.


A couple of month back one of my friends and I were approched to be part of an exhibition focusing on East African Arts. The exhibition is called Future Trends, a look into a utopian future where reimagined fashions, design, and architecture combine with emerging forms of technology to establish new desires. The Exhibition showcases work from emerging urban cultures using fashion, styles and architecture from East Africa. A future image of society is presented by playing with gender, sexuality and new forms of social exchange.


While the rest of the world has had its holiday season, we here in Ethiopia like to move on our own phase (which says a lot about us, btw) and stay true to the sterotype yehabesha ketero and celebrate Christmas two weeks late. We are also still in 2009 and get to make New Year resolutions we won’t be following twice celebrate two New Years. I don’t like holidays at all and it doesn’t help that I’m not religious and don’t believe in these things. So here is a very very short guide on how to brave the holiday storm…in the tropics. 

1. Smile and Nod

Being Ethiopian on a holiday means you have to deal with your relatives…ALL of them. Your mom’s cousins cousin, your uncles wife’s nephews, the lady your aunt used to work with who you call your aunt but really isn’t… Although it is nice to be around family, it can also get a bit annoying with all the unsolitcited advices and endless questions. They’re gonna tell you that you have grown tall, although there isn’t an inch diffrence from the last time they saw you, ask about school, tell you how skinny you’ve gotten or otherwise.They’re gonna comment on your sense of style, ask you if that’s the “new fashion” that youngsters follow these days to
show their disapproval (people here use the word ‘fashion’ to refer to ‘trends’ when one is broader than the other but I
digress.) So smile till your cheek hurts and nod till your head falls off…that’s the only way to keep your head.

2.Stay off your phone

…at least in front of your relatives unless you want to get into a thorough discussion about how technology is affecting the means of communication and that “kids these days” are always on their phone and care more about changing their profile picture than their underwear. 

 3. 21 Questions

They’re gonna ask you a lot of questions so limit your answers to Yes, No, ahas and one-liners. And ofcourse, don’t forget to smile and node while doing so.

And if at any point that uncle of yours offers you a drink in his room away from the prying eyes of your other relatives, you follow him! 🍻🍺🍻🍺🍻🍺

Tears Dry On Their Own

Posted: December 2, 2015 in Life, Other
Tags: , ,

I thought of you today and I was shocked to realize it didn’t affect me as it usually did. How a single thought would make me shiver and chill me to my bones. How waking up alone in the morning, with your side of the bed empty, made me want to stay in bed forever. Curled up under the covers hoping it was all a dream.

You have no idea how empty my chest felt, robed of it’s beating heart, whenever I reheat the left over pizza in the microwave. Eating alone, with only the sound of my chewing to keep me company.


Inaudible Melodies

Posted: December 1, 2015 in Other
Tags: ,

I have a lot to say. I do. But each time I open my mouth, no sound comes out. My brain stops what my heart wants to say. My heart refuses to let my mouth voice everything out loud. My vocal cords fail when my mind wants to scream.

And just like that, the cycle continues. Again and again. One part of my being stoping the other. Even when I have alot to say. Which I really do.

So I write. I pour my heart on page after page, knowing my words won’t see the light of day. So I scribble down the loud noises in my head that are muffed by the inaudible melodies of my heart.

And I keep writing. About words left unspoken, screams unheared and of calls unanswered. On and on.
Louder and LOUDER. Because I have a lot to say. I do.

He came home to find the house empty, his family was spending the night attending mass for easter. He was relieved there was no one at home. The house was errly quite save for the sound of the burning fire.