Yazeed Kamaldien
Yazeed Kamaldien

(Maybe) I wish for too many things

The invitation letter from the Thought Leader website brains suggests that it would be ideal to post at least one blog entry a week from my fingertips to the aforementioned website. I wish I could do that; be more regular in meeting the “ideal”.

But I don’t always have something to say. Well, actually there are many things that I could say in a blog entry. I wish though that these many things that I could say were worthy of the time and effort it takes to put together these blog entries. My writing has become somewhat sporadic anyway and, as a result, I lack the urge to put together blog entries.

I haven’t managed to write anything for publication for at least the past three weeks. Or maybe for the past two weeks, 17 days, or something like that. And that means, as a freelance writer, I simply haven’t worked. I’ve been on holiday anyway, travelling in Ethiopia, but I suppose I could spin a story for one of those things called glossy magazines — the type filled with advertisements and which usually sell us information we already bought in a different format from the same magazine publishers last year. (I wish silently to myself in the dark of the night — hence the brackets, which should indicate some sort of hushed tone — that none of the magazines I’m thinking of pitching to has a story on Ethiopia.)

Currently, as I write this, I’m sitting at the Ghion Hotel. It’s right on the edge of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile River, in a small northern Ethiopian town called Bahir Dar which has about 170 000 residents. That’s not counting the mosquitoes. It’s beautiful and beyond blissful. The lake’s luxuriously lazy waters are utterly welcoming.

I took a swim in Lake Tana earlier today and the three Ethiopian guys who swam with me decided to slap some soap on their bodies and take a bath. When they got butt-naked out of the lake there was not even a second look from any of the locals — including young women — sitting on the rocks of Lake Tana for a majestic sunset.

I had a healthy mixed fruit juice at the hotel later in the evening and wished that life could always feel this grand. The juice is not really mixed, by the way. It’s layered, with each layer a different fruit freshly squeezed into the tall glass.

I wished also that more tourists and travellers could descend on Lake Tana and swim in its waters that run in the form of the historical Nile River out to the Mediterranean Ocean — a distance of 5 223km, across two other countries — from this original source. And silently I wished that the politics between people of the Semitic tongues surrounding me in Ethiopia would not result in more spilled blood.

I wished that the Ethiopians and Eritreans would spend less cash on stockpiling weapons in case the other violently erupted with battle over a long-standing border dispute. Way back when, before Italian attempts to colonise Ethiopia and its resultant successful decades-long stranglehold on Eritrea, the two African countries were united as one land.

Ethiopians speak Amharic as their national language and a large part of the country’s population, especially close to the Eritrean border, speaks Tigrinya. The latter is the national language of Eritrea with its minute population estimated at 4,6-million. Amharic and Tigrinya are Semitic languages, like Arabic and Hebrew, and these four languages share numerous common words.

Arabic is the language of Palestinians and Hebrew the official language of the Zionist state of Israel, which includes settlers who don’t speak the Semitic tongue but no less identify it as their religious slang. As a matter of interest, Ethiopian Jews have settled in Israel but don’t enjoy equal status or treatment to their lighter-skinned counterparts.

Glimpses caught of headlines from the Holy Land show that the Semites are still not getting things right. And so I also wished they could open their eyes to their strong similarities and give the rest of us some peace. I don’t want to read about more deaths in Gaza and wherever else the guts and other body parts hit the fan. Give the world a break.

I actually wished, very strongly, that the English-language massive mainstream media machinery held in the hands that pull strings from the Western world would stop telling me lies about this conflict. Reading between the lines remains imperative when it comes to the Middle East as it is sensation — a derogatory swear-like word; think “bitch” — that is brandied about as truth.

This led me to another wish. I wished the media industry would represent broader interests as opposed to the same old rehashed verbatim. I have Barack-Hillary fatigue; just get on with it and elect the black man. At least make history, even if we all know you’re going to continue with your whacky foreign policies.

I also wanted to wish away the fatigue from the road journeying and flying during my Ethiopian marvelling. I love this land. I wished to come back some day and soak up more of it. Bahir Dar was my last stop before heading to South Africa. I wished to spend time with my family; give them hugs and feed on Nando’s.

But right now I am exhausted and wish to retire to my dreams. Maybe that’s where all wishes come true.