Yenesew Gebre an Embodiment of Existential Seriousness
| November 26, 2011
The face is elegantly thin. The eyes are large. The mouth is slightly open, betraying an ambiguous smile. The forehead is big, born to think for the Ethiopian world by being the voice of the voiceless, the eyes of all those who cannot see, the healer of all those whom he touched and the caring mind of those who cannot think freely, lest they are silenced by the guns of tyranny.
For now and for years to come Yenesew will be the vessel of the Ethiopian five senses. The people say he was a great teacher, a star of the ground on which he walked and touched so many lives.
I imagine him now in the hands of the Transcendent being recognized for the existentially serious project, which he carried out fearlessly; I imagine his loving parents revisiting his birthday, when he was enthusiastically welcome to this world, not very many years ago.
The fundamental principle of Existentialism is that the human self is condemned to choose freely and responsibly. So has the existentially serious Yenesew chosen death to life, freely and heroically, at the prime of his life.
His death is a reminder to all Ethiopians that the Ethiopian condition is getting worse by the second, and that Yenesew may be the first to immolate himself in an Ethiopian public sphere, but this is only the beginning. He will not be the last, unless the Ethiopian condition is radically changed and organized by a new Good.
It is true that desperate times call for desperate measures and that this Ethiopian revolutionary has taken his life, while in sober but courageous mental moment. Self-immolation is not pathological; rather it is an extreme response to an extreme Ethiopian condition marred by unemployment, humiliation, hopelessness and fear of reprisals in the dungeons of tyranny.
- Ethiopian ‘first’ self-immolation or mere suicide? (danielberhane.wordpress.com)
- Ethiopia’s Own Mohamed Bouazizi: Ethiopian man burns himself to death in protest (jontambek.wordpress.com)