Intal Caaltuu – Almaaz Tafarraa

This song, originally written by Abdii Qophee and sang by Almaaz Tafarraa, is about a teenage grief-ridden girl named Caaltuu (Chaltu) who is recounting the series of events leading up to her pregnancy. She speaks to the attitude of the era, in which pregnancy out of wedlock was detrimental to a family’s name and legacy, and is apologetic in tone as she addresses her father in the lyrics.

This was an early form of social commentary in modern Oromo music, and was part of a wave of Oromo songs which aimed to educate and warn their audience about various issues in the community. “Intal Caaltuu” was part of a collaborative cassette released in the 1980’s by four legendary Oromo artists: Almaaz Tafarraa, Halloo Daawwee, Kadiir Sa’id and Aadam Haaruun.

Gaddi khoo dachaa dha
If qofattin oolle
Tiyya fafaaweetiin
Maqaa kheeysan falee
Ija teeysan dura
Daddeemuu 
waa hin malle

Enjoy!

The Siiqqee Chronicles Team

Spoken Word by Soreti B. Kadir

 

A very moving piece by Soreti B. Kadir inspired by Hawwii Tazarraa’s protest song “Ka’i Qeerroo”. In her words: “News of Hawwii’s arrest by Ethiopian security forces (third time in 3 months) surfaced less than 24 hours ago. Her beautiful song is my heart’s anthem right now. My tiny tribute to her and all who have sacrificed similarly to bring the #OromoProtests movement to where it stands today.”

We loved Soreti’s lyrical prowess and powerful delivery. For more of her work, buy her book of poetry, entitled Siyaanne, at the following link: http://soretibkadir.strikingly.com/

MY Country

by Faiza Juhar

I am Oromo
I do not identify myself with the Saudi country which I was born in
Or the Italian country I lived in
Or the Canadian country I now reside in
But with the country I have so much pride in
The country in which I have spent less than a year of my entire life
The country in which my roots lie
The country my forefathers and foremothers have made home
The country where my own parents were born
Where there are plenty of fresh fruit to eat
And you walk around till you have aches in your feet
Where the sun shines bright all day
And the flies just won’t go away
Where the little boys play football down the street
And the little girls go to the market to fetch some meat
Where the market is full of spices of all kinds
And the schools are filled with bright eager minds
I identify myself with the country that has no officially recognized borders
But which we all know existed before, and shall exist once more
A country whose existence is denied and debated
And whose propaganda-like political ideologies are becoming inflated
A country where the people look like me,
Have the same history as me
And speak the same language as me
Where Afaan Oromo is heard from every corner of the land
Where a flag of victory will one day stand

I am Oromo
And my country is Oromia


Faiza Juhar is a graduate of the University of Manitoba with a degree in International Development Studies. She has currently taken time off to raise her 1-year-old son. Although not born in Oromia, she maintains a close connection to the land where her last visit lasted 6 months as she worked in a school and orphanage in the Melka Jebdu/Dire Dawa region.