A Letter to Qeerroo

by Elella Daba

As the sound of the call for freedom rings louder, I thought it was about time that I reached out to you. There is no question that the past four months have been demanding and trying. The sacrifice that you are paying on behalf of our people and country has not gone unnoticed. The determination that you have to stand in front of bullets with nothing but your bare hands and the courage that you have to fight for our people at any cost makes the likes of you a hero. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I said that you are redefining the meaning of determination, courage and hope.

The enemy really believed that the will and the spirit of the people had been broken; that the fire burning bright had been put out. But you are living proof that this is not the case. You keep proving them wrong time and again. No matter how many times the enemy barks of planning and taking merciless action, you refuse to back down and sell off your land. The message you are sending is clear: Oromia is not for sale, never has been, and never will be.

I want to tell you how much we appreciate you, Qeerroo. I want you to know every Oromo heart beats true for you, prays for you, thinks day and night only of you and the struggle of the people that you are leading. No other nation can ever claim to be this lucky, lucky to have a generation that has not forgotten its history, nor has become a sellout. The struggle of our people has not become foreign to you. The heroes of yesterday that sacrificed their lives are living and breathing through you. Their struggle has not been for naught. You have taken the torch and you have run faster towards freedom than anytime before.

From every corner in Oromia you have organized and come out in droves, marching and singing the songs that I heard when I was a little girl, “siifan lola Oromo narra hin gortuu” bringing back so many memories of the struggle and the price paid by so many Oromos. The sheer determination I see in you tells me that fear has left Oromia. The naysayers can say whatever they want, but the time is not for the faint-hearted. No longer can they tell you that you are not well organized or that the enemy is more prepared than you. Despite the immeasurable obstacles you are facing everyday, you keep pushing back, harder and stronger. I have no doubt that many wish you were theirs, that they could call you their own, claim you as their brothers and sisters, and heroes of their people. But you belong right where you are, and it is with the Oromo people. You are writing history with your blood and the price you paid for our people will never be forgotten.

Qeerroo, the hope and the future of Oromia, I want to tell you I believe in you, that I believe in your potential to build a brighter future for Oromia. You are what we have been waiting for. You and only you will be determining your future, and the future of the generation coming after you. The next generation will never have to wonder what qabsoo looks like; they have you as a prime example. Our ancestors began this struggle and famously promised “gabrummaa hiddaan buqqifna, dadhabnu ilmaan itti guddifna”. They started “fincila diddaa gabrummaa” and now you are rewriting history with “fincila xumura gabrummaa”. Your children will never know the taste of injustice. I have no doubt they will eternally be grateful for the price you paid and for the responsibility you took upon yourself to put an end to injustice.

Your sister,
Elella Daba


Elella Daba is a university student living in Norway. Her hope is to see the day where Oromos will be able to determine the future of Oromia without any preconditions imposed by outsiders. As the saying goes in Afaan Oromo,  “alagaan alaguma, Oromo dammaqi”.

A Message for Our Graduates

by Amaanee Badhassoo


Oromo students protesting in front of Haromaya University

Congratulations Oromo graduates,

I would like to especially congratulate Oromo graduates this year. You give me chills, your success is a nation’s success and your victory is a nation’s victory. I am inspired by all of you and the families that nurtured you.

May you never forget that you are a product of warriors, founders of democracy and the great African nation. No matter where you go in life, be reminded of the sacrifices made on your behalf. Let their sacrifices be your armor, strength and courage.

Do not allow anyone nor existing oppressive systems restrict you from making your dreams a reality. Become thinkers, healers, advisors, educators, innovators, change agents, humanitarians, leaders and all that you aspire to be. Lean on one another and empower each other.

There is something special about this generation. I am confident that this is the generation that will put an end to misery in Oromia, Ethiopia and win some victory on behalf of humanity. So, graduates, brush your shoulders off, you are the champions of Africa and the world. Who is going to stop you? Take the world by storm, victors!


Amaanee Badhassoo is currently a researcher and consultant in MN. She is a prospective student of law and an aspiring lawyer, political advisor and conflict negotiator. She is inspired by the previous and current social movements in Oromia, Ethiopia. More importantly, she sees the Oromo struggle as a symbol of defiance against oppressive systems. The victory of the Oromo struggle is an alternative to the current repressive ethnic federalist system that aims to benefit a few!