KAMPALA – The Ethiopian Community in Uganda on Sunday February 21, 2021 gathered at their country’s Embassy in Kololo in a scientific ceremony to celebrate the Adwa 125th Anniversary Celebrations.
ADWA is an emblem for an African victory and black excellence. The victory witnessed African capability to defend its dignity and ignited the light for struggle for anti-colonialism for African brothers. Adwa turned Ethiopia into a symbol of freedom for black people globally.
The Victory of Adwa marks the defeat of the invading Italian forces by the Ethiopians in March 2, 1896. The very cause of the war is the colonial ambition of Italy in which it tried to erode the sovereignty of Ethiopia by expanding into Ethiopian territory and tried to colonize the country.
H.E. Ambassador Alemtsehay Meseret, the Ethiopian Ambassador to Uganda while giving her remarks noted that they have a lot of Ethiopian communities in Uganda, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they had to restrict the number by just getting a representative from each community.
She explained that much as they were holding the celebration in the wake of a pandemic, the victory of Adwa is the victory of Ethiopians from different groups.
“It becomes a source of encouragement for other African countries to fight for freedom then. It is also a victory for black people across the world. The Adwa has a very significant contribution in the fight against colonialism,” she shared.
Meseret added that the Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Kampala will celebrate the anniversary into two main functions. The first one being with Ethiopians and Ethiopian origins residing in Uganda on Feb 21, 2021 at the premises of the Embassy and the second one through a Panel Discussion in collaboration with Makerere University on Feb 25, 2021.
Ethiopian Diasporas gathered at the Embassy and celebrated the Day with various programs. During the event, a speech by H.E. Alemtsehay Meseret, – Ethiopian Ambassador to the Republic of Uganda was made and the Ambassador gave clear updates on the current affairs of Ethiopia. In addition, discussions, photo exhibitions, songs about Adwa, documentaries, and a cocktail reception held.
The discussions revolves around how Ethiopia can better use the victory to ignite more efforts to work towards solving and defending internal and external challenges such as misinformation, anti-peace elements, and poverty. In the discussions held, the Diasporas vowed to stand together for their country.
The photo, music and documentary selections illustrate and demonstrate the battle fought as well as happenings that have occurred during that time to better depict the day with visual and audio representations.
Abdi Adan Tawal the Vice Chairman of Ethiopians Community in Uganda said that they celebrate this African Victory as a norm from their fore fathers from Ethiopia which was the first African Country to defeat colonialism.
He explained that this celebration comes at a difficult time when they have to observe the SOPs in the wake of a pandemic unlike in the past when they held big events in hotels.
“This is what we are living for. Our fore fathers gave their blood for our own freedom. We celebrate largely in all regions and bring together all kings showcasing our traditions. Something different now is that our people are now united and we feel more freedom. Ethiopia is like a state and we are one now more than ever,” he shared.
It was fascinating to see Didas Byabashaija, a Ugandan working with Insurance Company of East Africa (ICEA) as sales agent actively participating in the Adwa Celebrations at the Embassy.
According to him, just like any other African, it is his name that is different but scientifically, every black person should celebrate the Adwa.
“As an African, this defeat means a lot to us, it is considered African pride. This is my first time to celebrate physically with these people. I made it a point to come and bond with my brothers to celebrate our power and culture,” he said.
Byabashaija added that; “Every black person should know that while we were tortured by the colonialists, our brothers from Ethiopia defeated them and we should always celebrate this achievement.”
At the Battle of Adwa, Ethiopians fought the aggressor that tried to expand its colonial empire by trying to colonize Ethiopia. Ethiopians, irrespective of religion, ethnicity and language, from all directions of the country with a resounding leadership went to the battle on foot, horses and mules and fought to defend the sovereignty of the country. This determination made Ethiopia the first African country that is not colonized.
Ethiopians and Ethiopian origins at home and abroad commemorate the victory Day every year to honor their forefathers who sacrificed themselves to hand a free country to the generation. The Victory of Adwa is a source of pride and an exemplary of unity and standing one to defend ones right and dignity.
The 125th anniversary of the victory of Adwa is being celebrated with various events throughout the month of February until the Victory Day- March 2. A national committee for the anniversary is formed and chaired by H.E. President Sahile-Work Zewde and Hirut Kassaw, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Ethiopia leads the executive committee. By appreciating the sacrifices, Ethiopian celebrate this year’s Adwa victory with a motto roughly translated as ‘Adwa- an emblem of a Pluralistic unity’.