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Kiros Yohannes Pays Tribute to Saleh Gadi

I was moved and elated to read Kiros Yohannes poem on Saleh Gadi; it is a fitting tribute. Kiros Yohannes believes that we should not wait to express our appreciation and respect for the giants, who walk among us, till they are no longer with us. For the last few days, Saleh Gadi was in a stand-off with death and death blinked; it tried to mess up with the wrong guy. The born-story-teller and fighter will soon be back to tell us about his ordeal in his usual manner and don’t be surprised if this near-death-experience has afforded him an opportunity to see  some of the most colorful personalities of Keren that we come to fall in love with, over the years.

We usually say that a Habesha and a chicken are honored after their death (habeshan derhon ms motu yom zkhbru), but not the likes of Saleh Gadi. Those of us who are lucky enough to call him friends are always in awe of his energy, commitment and an unshakable will. Indeed, Saleh Gadi is a power whose vacuum could not be easily filled, and the good news is we don’t have to. Saleh Gadi is here to stay and finish the struggle for justice that has become the epicenter of his life. Get well my friend! It isn’t the same without you!

Saleh Gadi
By Kiros Yohannes (Translated By Semere T Habtemariam)

If you’re lucky enough to sit down with Saleh Gadi;
And have a conversation,
You would discover that history awaits you in a rolled up scroll.
His mighty pen is an advocate that stands up for justice.
Keren, the beautiful, gave birth to Saleh Gadi;
The city where “kofo hllekum” is heard from afar.
Saleh is a teacher who straightens what is crooked;
Nonchalantly shunning those that aggravate him,
Saying “Jinni-Efrit” as his best defense mechanism.
Is there anything that his sharp pen has not debated?
Is there any debate that he did not win by championing the truth?
In his blood runs the quintessential “can do attitude” of the liberation struggle era,
It is his dream to see justice reigning in Eritrea.
In his pursuit of justice, he has not taken a break, bears testimony to his love of a work well-done.
One gains a lot by consulting with Saleh Gadi.
Saleh Gadi, you must stick around,
We have already had enough of those whose life was cut short.

The end of your struggle is in the offing,
Where both the Lowlanders and Highlanders will be home,
And embrace each other like David and Jonathon.


ምስ ሳልሕ ጋዲ ኮፍ ኢልኩም እንተትዕልሉ
ምስ ጸንሓኵም ታሪኽ ብራና ተጠቕሊሉ..
ንፍትሒ’ያ ትሙጉት እታ ብርዑ…

ከረን ጻዕዳ ንሳልሕ ጋዲ ወሊዳ…
ኮፌ ሄሌኩም ዘይፍለዮ ማዕዶ…
መምህር’ዩ ቅኑን ሓሳብ ዘዕሪ..
ጂንዕፍሪት ይብል ብገለ ነገር ክዅሪ
እታ በላሕ ብርዑ ምስ መን እሞ ዘይሞገተት
ንስለ ሓቂ ሞጊታ ዝረትዔት….
ኣብ ደሙ ኣላ እታ ኒሕ መለለይት ገድሊ…
ሕልሙ’ያ ፍትሓዊት ኤርትራ ክርኢ…
ንፍትሒ ክደልያ ከዕርፍ’የ ዘይብል…
ጹፉፍ ስራሕ ዝፈቱ ደምበ ዓዋተ ትመስክር..
ብዙሕ’ዩ ዝኸስብ ምስ ሳልሕ ጋዲ ዝመክር…
ሳልሕ ጋዲ ንስኻስ’ባ ሃሉ…
ይኣኽለና ናይቶም ቅድሚ ሕጂ ዝተኾልፉ
ቃልስኻ በጺሑ’ዩ ኣብቲ ምዕራፉ…..
ከበሳን መታሕትን ዓዱ ክኣቱ ተሓቛቑፉ…

ብኪሮስ ዮውሃንስ

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The PENCIL is's editorial and it reflects the combined opinions of the Awate Team and not the individual opinion of team members.

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  • Mesfin

    Dear AT!

    Salah Gadi is our living hero. I heard his interview on paltalk. He is a man of his words. He never spit out unnecessary words. And I hope that many Eritreans are learning from him to be like him or better than him. Long live Gadi! We, Eritreans need you. Your fight for justice to the suffering of Eritreans’ is gaining momentum. Eritreans are awakening. Keep well.


  • Rule of Law

    Dear Saleh Johar,
    Get well and come back in harness!

  • Yoty Topy

    Dear Saleh Johar,
    I wish you a speedy recovery. I have no doubt you will be up in no time and continue to bless us with your wisdom. With all the amount of writing and travelling you do, I must say sickness is the last thing that comes to my mind.

  • T..T.

    Dear Saleh Gadi Johar,

    With all the thoughts and prayers offered for your recovery, the expectation of being healthy is still high and includes:

    -Some rest and relaxation that will help towards your faster recovery.

    -To strictly follow doctor’s checklist on medication and lifestyle.

    -To enjoy best jokes of the day on Isayas (suggestion: open a column on awate-com for “Our today’s Jokes”).

    -And above all, ensure support services to continue recovery at home.

    Allow me to drop the following joke as one of the first jokes for the ribbon cutting when opening the new column “Our today’s Joke”:

    An old lady starts off her explanation about Isayas with “Adi Yihdeg Al-lo” (he is driving the people out). Another old and wise lady who just came in asks “who did it?” thinking that the people were driven out by a pungent smell of emitted/passed-out gas (fart). The whole house answers “Isayas.” The old wise lady shocked by the house’s answer jumps into putting the whole Eritrean situation into a question: WyGoood, Bi-Abi-Oo that bad – so what’s to be done?

    • T..T.

      Hello SGJ,

      I hope you’re considering my request for the new column. Herebelow is another joke for your get well.

      Upon returning from recent travel to Nairobi, SGJ was interviewed by an American journalist, who thought SGJ was denied entry to Asmara and was turned back at the airport.

      The American journalist tells SGJ, at least you are safe and sound back home. Then, starts asking SJG “how does the regime run its conversation with the opposition at the airport?”

      Saleh replies although the reality there demands to deny everything to questions such as: Have you seen any? No at all. Have you heard any? No all all, those who are refused entry must (1) deny eating lest not be poisoned, (2) deny sleeping lest not their organs be harvested while alive and asleep, and (3) watch your tongue by sweet describing Isayas and soot describing Obama, and (4…….) many noisy things to repeat.

  • YMB

    Many thanks Kiros for the beautiful poem for the deserving public figure. SG is my hero like few other Eritreans. May Allah give him strength & help him come back to us as usual ! ameen

  • Amanuel

    Hi Awete Team
    I have a away from awate and learned that SGJ survived heart attack. Thanks God. Wish him speedy recovery.

  • Kaddis

    My prayers all the way from Addis. You owe us a reflection of your recent visit of Addis, right? Get well soon Gash Saleh

  • Haile Zeru

    Hi all,

    As usual I read news late and I learned that SGJ had an heart attack and he survived it . I heard both news at the same time. I wish a fast recovery for SGJ. I like to tell him too that there is one more mountain pick to climb. Stay strong. Eritrean justice seekers need you now more than ever .


  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Kiros,
    That was wonderful massage. When we start to see in such way, problems will start to end. I love you my friend keep it up. please keep writing and tell us more.

    SGL, we love you.

  • Peace!

    Dear Kiros,

    Very Well done, thank you!! May Allah give the great fighter quick and full recovery.

    الله يشفيه وتمر هذه الأزمة وتكون حكاية منسية ويرجع للقروب وينورها بآرائه


  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Kiros
    Thanks for this fitting tribute. Indeed, the torch has been passed to you, our young generation. Keep it burning, pass it to the next generation. Every generation has a brick to lay down, a layer of the edifice to accomplish. The generation of Saleh Gadi did the overhauling, but got hijacked when it started rebuilding. Your generation should complete the rebuilding process and pass a beautifully renovated Eritrea to the next generation. Gadi’s generation is known for its tenacity, it will keep giving you energy and reference, but the lead is on you. Keep talking, keep walking, keep united.

  • Yohannes Zerai

    Dear Awatistas,

    This is indeed a fitting tribute to a Great Eritrean! Get well soon brother; you have been sorely missed.