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The Shingrwa Of Eritrean Politics

Just to make things clear first: ‘Shingrwa’ was the American idol of Eritrea, and the word which is borrowed from the Blin language, means ‘Star’. The first time it was aired on Eri-TV in 2009, I remember when we surrounded the TV on Saturday afternoons eagerly waiting to be entertained. To be honest, the first Shingrwa was really fun. Competitors were allowed to present either their vocal singing ability or dancing techniques. If somebody wrote their own songs, it was also welcome. I remember there was a certain amount of registration fee to be in the show, but it was not expensive. Amazing was to see how people from all parts of the country and all ages and classes jumped in to take their chances. It was the best chance to bring themselves in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers for the first time. Despite a success or a turndown from going to the next round, the mere presentation of the self on the national TV was an achievement in itself.

Farmers from far villages were there, because they believed in their talent as they had been singing to their oxen for years and the passing village girls glanced in their direction in admiration. Soldiers who played ‘krar’ and entertained their comrades in the gloomy life of the trenches were there because they thought they had what it takes–the calling and begging from their comrades to play the krar for them under those nostalgic nights of the front lines was their vote of confidence. Some city boys and girls or ‘kunini’ had joined in because they wanted the attention, and enjoyed the thrill of making the headlines among their ‘meteabiyti’.

For us, the audience, these people who couldn’t sing were the most fun. Because they were the clowns of the show, and everyone enjoys clowns. The serious singers who had been in the singing world for a while were not that entertaining. They repeated the songs we know in almost a perfection, then the judges – such as Mr. Barnabas commented on ‘abstract’ matters such as the ‘tonality’ and ‘rhythm’.

Now, enough of the singers and dancers Shingrwa. What I want to write about is the present day Eritrean diaspora politics that is aired on the cyber media and which to me is appearing to be more of a ‘political shingrwa’ than a genuinely sought after cause. In my analogy, the Eritrean political Shingrwa is similar in many ways to the real Shingrwa and here is why.

TV shows entertain people, and to ‘entertain’ one must effectively hit the main faculty of human entertainment center–the emotion. Most presentation of the political shingrwans tend to appeal to the emotions of Eritreans – the anger against the regime, the resentment of the Ghedli, the resentment towards the opposition politicians(as is this article, too!). The stories are built either on the far past of resentment and nostalgia or the far future of fear and uncertainty. Nevertheless, just like an addictive TV show, many of us never want to miss it, you can tell about this by observing how obsessed many of us Eritreans are to follow the issues on cyber media and specially Facebook.

TV shows engage people, especially the young and the fashionable. I don’t think most Eritreans are great conversationalists when it comes to issues that require ragging the brain for ideas. But, start with any Eritrean on politics, even those 16 year olds who have dropped out of school and made it across the sea safely will surprise you with their analysis of the division of the ‘useless’ opposition leaders, the ‘Eritrean problems by Eritreans’ mantra(they are mesarhi, as they would out it), and so forth. This is how superlatively engaged Eritreans are in the politics–I mean in the political show–no, I mean TV Show.

TV shows makes you a couch potato. I feel that the Eritrean political performers have many of us turned in to couch potatoes who are too lazy to do anything that brings about tangible change except play with the remote control – the computer keyboard in this case–and switch from one website to another, from one pathetic performance by a Shingrwa competitor(could be a website article or a Facebook post) to another Shingriwa clown. By the end of the late night that poor Eritrean who is always desperately looking for something of inspiration and uplifting will go to his bed, confused, melancholic, drained and less intelligent than the previous day (perhaps too much show even if it is a text post on facebook will reduce brain performance like too much TV does)

And now, let me tell you our diaspora politics and its similarity with Shingrwa based on the type of elements that it embraces. There are three dominant characteristic groups among the performers:

The attention seekers:

Go back in your mind to the first Shingrwa or youtube it and you will find those attention seekers that entered the show even if they sounded like an old ‘venti uno’ or they shrieked like a squirrel. When it comes to the Eritrean politics–calling it ‘politics’ only for lack of a better word–you will find a bunch of them rampaging the cyber space with their ridiculousness. These people will bring anything to the show as long as it gets them noticed. Out of the many futile voices that are barking against the other futile or half dead object on the other side of the fence, these people try their best to come up with any extreme sort of political opinion that draws the attention of us–the couch potatoes.

The suicidally angry (mad men):

These political Shingrwa competitors are those who make a show out of the feat of anger and the blind destruction they cause. As John F. Boyes says: “Violence in the voice is often only the death rattle of reason in the throat.”  Well, who cares? – think these guys. They are like persons high on dope, only their drug is the anger and cynicism they host.

The arrogant

I bet many of us remember from the Eri-Tv Shingrwa how some competitors stubbornly stood in defiance of the criticism the judges announced.

‘I am sorry, you do not qualify for this round Mr.x’

The guy’s face would shrivel as if a bitter insult had been thrown at him. He would make a movement as if he would go away, but again would just stand there mumbling.


‘Sorry Mr.X, your vocal skills are not good enough to carry you past this stage….we wish you good luck in the next round”

Mr. arrogant finds it unbelievable that this bunch of good for nothing experts reject him. He takes the criticism as a personal attack on him.

“But…but…I am…”

Finally, he waves his hand impolitely and storms out of the studio.

Now, we do witness such cases in the political version.

The audience: “Mr. Y, sorry, but we don’t find you qualified to lead a political movement…”

Mr.Y would reply with that all too familiar arrogance:

“But…but…I have been in the struggle for decades, I was born before you were…”

“Hey, we don’t care, we don’t want you to be our leader…”

“why! but I was among the first people who founded this movement….”

“Sir, we don’t like you!!”

“No! You can’t reject me!! You have to like me. You have to love me…look at me…”


“Belu keriekumye!!” he storms out of the conference. Then straight ahead goes to his kinsmen.

“Dear kinsmen, today I came here to tell you how we need to assemble a political party that represents us. But first let me tell you something that has been done to you and you had no idea about, but my deep research and just diagnosed it! Guess what? We have been ‘Marginalized’! (marginalization-syndrome)”

The show goes on for a while, but, as did end the first shingriwa with the final resolution of ‘eti kokob ayterekben’ – meaning ‘no one has starred this competition’, the public has been screaming the same thing to our political Shingrwans, albeit in a loud silence, saying “What a disappointment! Where is the star? Our star? We see no star!” some might say, it probably could be the failure of the viewers to see it, but I say, what’s not bright enough to be recognized by the weakest of sights is not a real star. Call it a moon, a satellite, if you may, but definitely not a star.

Well, there are no stars; nor on the stage, neither on the Eritrean skies yet. But it doesn’t mean they do not exist. The faith that the stars will someday come out and shine is probably what keeps the viewers wide awake in to late nights probing the cyber skies for a glitter of hope.

About Yohannes Abraham

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  • Robi

    what is wrong with commenting on the right or wrong of the comments written on this page! is it about lecturing each other on the political dynamics of the State of Eritrea? what is to be done about the wrongs that has been already done? is there a way to correct it? The contemporary regime has been hip hopping from mistakes to mistakes starting the day it came to power till now. all was done under the strive to do right what was already wronged. Starting from giving power to an entity which was not entitled to have it up to having a wrong self image so exalted that it became vanity at the end. So how are we to make it stop? is this through our cyber conversations which boil up to nothing but a glimpse of a smile or a groan of surprise at some ones ridiculous comments? what is to be done to make the lives of millions in this poor country right and settled?

  • Nitricc

    Hi All, is this our Solomon Haile AKA TsaTse? very touching.

  • Abi

    Hi VF
    Try your iPhone sideways. It works better.

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Belay (Mr. Forgive),

    Let me begin by writing that your message is no different from the majority. So, how do you plan to recover your lost relatives? By telling them that they are a whip-lash to the neighborhood? By telling them that they are inferiors and unfit to govern themselves? By telling them that they are camel herders and no more? By telling them that they are our kins and we want you back? … have same identity? … have same history? … need for Asab, etc? The “layer” goes on. But where is the humanity and the respect in all of your (Ethiopians) messages? Very sad to observe that the core message is similar and one, only written by different names or aliases.

    If I were an Ethiopian, I would begin by studying the demographic realities of Eritrea and see the complexities. Then I would try to see economic realities. Finally political realities. History shows us that the Ethiopian leaders were wrong, in all aspects, from the beginning untill now. I am talking about from centuries back. So how do you redeem of these misdeeds, knowing the fact that Eritreans are bitter about what happened to them?

    Study Europe and you will learn a good lesson that Mankind, by his nature, is not to be trusted. That is why, irrespective of their ethnic/racial and dogmatic differences, indivduals and parties gather together to chart a democratic system that governs them; with only the rule of law being above anyone and anything else. I will be the first to tell you that what Eritrea needs right now is a democratic system, in which everybody and every party, including Ethiopian affiliated parties, participates. This was lacking, in both Ethiopia (all the time) and Eritrea (from 1991 till now). In fact, this was one of my unhappiness with both EPRDF and EPLF in the early 1990s, that Ethiopians were not allowed to campain peacefully about the referendum or its possible alternatives within it. Or was there another deal between them, without consulting the people of both countries, that we do not know? Is this may be why so many Ethiopians, especially Tigarus, that are so bitter about Eritrea? I am yet to read an Ethiopian who champaigns for these values.

    • አዲስ

      Hi Dis Donic,

      You said: “If I were an Ethiopian…”

      Thank God you are NOT. We have enough of your type and certainly don’t need more.


      • Dis Donc

        Good day to you Mr. Addis,

        Many did say that before and many will say it again so as you can see you will not be the last nor the first to hate others for demanding the rule of law.

        • አዲስ

          Dis Donc,

          Nah… you know exactly why I called you what I called you. It’s certainly not for demanding the rule of law.


          • Dis Donc

            Dear Old,
            Your a pternalistic superiority complex knows no boundary. I am not your slave, timid student or your kid that I should pay attention to what you say and know by heart!!! Equality and rule of begins by respecting one another. Begin from that!!!!

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    I think Eritrean people need building democratic establishments that believe and master all inclusive democratic game. I think searching for a Star (King) is very old experiences fit to old centuries.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Selam All;
    Semere Andom and Emma

    Semere A. It’s misleading, wrong and dishonest to characterize Eritrean revolution that way. It’s more complex than that. I have deleted a long Hateta, because I thought it was not worth it. For those who seek easy punch lines and quick oratory remarks, you are facing a proud people who will never get carried away by manufactured “histories” they know the snake is under their feet and the stick is ready to hit the snake’s head. (Tigrayt saying: ኣርዌካ ዲብ ሓንቴካ ወ ሞረትካ ዲብ እዴካ). They are able to separate the chaff from the wheat. In short, they seem to know what went wrong and they will right it the Eritrean way, building on what has been achieved.

    Headbutting history time and again and firing off angry revisionist remarks…bashing and mocking Eritrean blood is not the right way for winning. And when the collateral damage of such callous tantrums is our ghedli, a popular project that every Eritrean family paid in it dearly, such statements could not be regarded as coming from an opposition. Opposition proposes alternative solutions. Therefore, PROPOSE, AND WORK ON YOUR PROPOSITION. The “BIG BLAME”, blaming EPLF has become an end unto itself. Some have perfected the art of blaming.
    Let me say this clearly: up to this point the political opposition has been chasing PFDJ’s proposals, pronouncements, blunders…etc. It has not come up with its own proposals as to how it will correct what went wrong under PFDJ. Forget about this huge task: it has not even come out with a proposal as to how it will solidify its scattered voices and resources. Semere and Emma, go blame EPLF for the pathetic situation of ELF-SPLINTER GOUPS which dominate the organized political opposition. Be frank. Be honest. Examine your inner self and propose ways of correcting things.
    Yohannes is trying to shade light on a part of the opposition: the cyber chatters. As I said it time and again, name-calling, belittling, tarnishing…bashing…will not do the job. You have to have the GUT and the COURAGE and Guile to call a SPADE a SPADE. It takes courage to criticize, it takes a moral clarity to call a wrong, WRONG, wherever it may occur (be it in the opposition or the regime).

    Yohannes is saying that it’s too tempting to sit behind the keyboard and fire off a couple of lines, and yet, call for the dismantlement of a regime!! wedaje Gura!! I’m guilty as charged above, and will try to shorten and reduce the frequency. It’s amazing how someone could jump from a benign and enlightening social critic of a current trend to a totally different issue of bashing our popular ghedli. Just amazing. If you can’t agree with writer, present your argument within the scope of the article; relevancy is important. Alas! such is the nature of “cyber opposition”, the subject of the author.

    • tes

      Dear Mahmud Saleh,

      You are very funny when you write in such gibberish way. Why you are easily carried by what ever it is and turn your pen in diminishing your own work?

      You know more than any body how a pen can change a discourse. You know it unless you try to give a deaf ear and a blind eye on what the justice seekers camp is doing. haven’t you followed what PFDJ is doing to rebutt the COIE report? It has been a year plus now for PFDJ to moblize his cult followers in trying to refuse the COiE report.

      And how this is achieved? Do you think that it is from Manna? are you ignoring the achievements registered by the justice seeking camp in exposing PFDJ’s crimes and mismanagement?

      You are claiming that the opposition camp is not coming with its solution proposal? I can say, “are you sure about this point?”

      The opposition camp have a solution proposal which is knocking every Eritrean even the diehard PFDJ cult followers can not deny it. And the solution is JUSTICE.

      To repeat:


      Are you then ignoring this? Or you are not satisfied by this call?

      I know you are wasting your precious energy protecting history, the EPLF history. I know that. However genuine opposition camps are struggling for JUSTICE.

      If you have an open and honest mind you won’t deny the road to justice. As you well know the road to justice is always rough and sometimes disappointing. Nevertheless justice will triumph at the end. This is what the justice seeking camp proposal and final solution is.

      I hope you won’t say that justice is not an alternative solution to PFDJ’s criminal administration system. I just hope so.

      Stop bushing therefore.

      Yohannes, though he is a creative writer, he has to learn a lot from the arts of politics. I am really disappointed at him. I could have criticized the article more than I did but I want him to write more and in due coarse he will come to understand on shaping his creative writing into a more productive way rather than the reverse.

      Dear Mahmud cool down and use your rational approach (politics of reasoning) instead of historical approach(protective /defensive politics). i know you are capable to do the former though what you spill the later when you are evoked.


      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam tes
        What is buddy? You can’t answer “gibberish” stuff by being even more gibberish? Tell you what? Even the most brutal regimes carry lofty slogans such as JUSTICE. Sloganeering justice is not an alternative proposal. Acting just, living it; showing people how you can achieve that in an a, b, c… scheme is a proposal…Now, please save me your rant. My target are organized political opposition. Characters like me and you are covered in Yohannes article. We can fire occasional rants, and if deluded can think as if fighting …or dismantling the regime. If you believe in what Semere said, fine. Tell Eritreans that their struggle of independence was based on kinsmen, and their current struggle is also predicated on that past political character. Then wait…and wait….hopping they will support you.
        You see tes, the idea of opposing injustice is a human character. That’s what drives history. Citizens can express their opposition the way they see fit. But for political organizations? More is expected since they are telling citizens they could govern better. It’s that simple. Citizens have the right to demand that those opposition behave better, perform better….citizens push them to be better. I think I have to end it here.

        • Nitricc

          Greetings Mahmuday; hahahaha I can’t help it but to read the response of bipolar. Don’t worry; he will compliment you with in 24 hours. It is amazing how the run-aways can talk smack and dish out garbage after garbage. Don’t waste your time with such losers.
          Here is a song for you to chill with.

          • sara

            Dear Gen, Nit
            thanks, Good one.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Sara, you are very well-come. you might want to check the song i hand picked for my good friend Hayat ADAM. hahahha, check it out.

          • tes

            Hello sara,

            Same breed-type praising the other same breed.What more a another cult-follower can do more than praising his fellow cult follower?


          • tes

            Selam Nitricc,

            Unlike you, I am not a pessimistic person. I applaud when there is good and I criticize when there is bad.


          • Nitricc

            Hi Tes, what you are lacking is respect. You have no idea what the likes of Mahmuday went through, i.e. be carful how you open your mouth. You may think you know but you know jack.

          • tes

            Selam Nitricc,

            Do you know what a respect is?

            Aren’t you the one who mocked on the Lampedusa victims? Aren’t you the one who do not have any respect when people call for justice? Aren’t you the one who have no respect at all for what the families of Petros Solomon call is?

            You are a damn spoiled cult follower. You can’t tell me about respect.



    • Hayat Adem

      Hi Mahmuday,
      You said, “[Eritreans] seem to know what went wrong and they will right it the Eritrean way, building on what has been achieved”. There is no exclusivity to ways of righting wrongs, there is only one universal way of righting the wrong: undo.
      Lately, I’m being amazed by you, Mahmuday. You claimed exclusivity that “building on what has been achieved” is an Eritrean way. Did we build on the Adulis-Zula civilization or left it to prehistory insignificance? Did we build on the Axumite/Abyssinian civilization or we ran away from? Did we build on the Federation time political plurality/ civilization and light industrialization or we departed from it in total denial as if it never existed?
      Did even EPLF receive the torch from ELF with gratefulness and dignity or smashed the originator and stole the legacy like it started everything and drove home? Did even IA build on the ghedli collective values or perish the ghedli heroes one by one and built a cult that equates him to be larger than the people and the nation? The only thing I saw a value transfer is the slavery mindset and deafening culture of incuriosity from Yikaleo to Warsay, from You to Nitiricc.
      Mahmuday, your paternalistic projection is really way in excess and I couldn’t stand it. You have been served well and enough by the awet n’Hafash empty sloganeering in the past. No need nor space for repeat out niHafash values here. I don’t think there is appetite for any rumination of old slogans any longer.No invention of history or false pride is adequate enough to overlook the current agony of our people.
      Bring new ideas that would help us solve the problem at hand. Or else refrain from re-selling old and failed values. There is no reason the stick wouldn’t mis/take you for a proper target.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Selam Gual Adem
        You have already said you have no respect for our struggle, and independent status. So why do you think I should be surprised with your comment or get incentivized to reply to it in kind?

        • Hayat Adem

          Dear Mahmuday,
          The best reply would be when you remain silent and consume the truth. The worst would be when you repeat your mantra. Thank you for not opting for the latter.

        • Ted

          Hi the greatest MS. You missed the beauty of having the double dealers, dishonest and imposters out there working to move Sahal mountain. They are caged for good and should be happy about it. In their foxy brain, discrediting Ghedli help them disarm what EPLF mean to Eritreans and its accomplishment. Don’t waste an ink on them, they already took care of themselves.
          Awet N hafash.
          Clearly you didn’t teach Semere Andom not to stand behind peeing Camel. He stinks.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Hey Ted
            Semere will definitely need to bath in maay-awald, maay-ATal, maay-bela, maay wuEuy…
            There is a story he told me about a stinking thorny shrub that the camels fed on. I couldn’t recall the name of the shrub, but my smell memory sent off strong signals wrecking the remaining neurons of my brain. I think that shrub stinks more than the camel’s urine.

      • tes

        Dear Hayat Adem,

        Well said. In fact I missed that part though I thought to respond. You did and thank you.

        All PFDJ did was a mess and there is nothing to start from. All we need is to start from scratch.


      • Nitricc

        Hi Hayat Adam; how are you? lol, the final days of your tribe is getting you up there. lol take it easy, what goes up, must come down. hahahah

        when you say,

        ” The only thing I saw a value transfer is the slavery mindset and deafening culture of incuriosity from Yikaleo to Warsay, from You to Nitiricc.”
        Thank you and for the recored, I rather be a slave than a begger. in slavery, with due time there is the light at the end of the tunnel. but what is there when you are addicted to Aid and begging?
        here is a song for you gual Adam!

        • Hayat Adem

          Hi Nitricc,
          You made my day again: ” I rather be a slave than a begger (sic).”


        • Abi

          Hi Nitricc
          You sound a happy slave. No cures available. A free beggar is much better than a fat slave.

          • Ted

            Hi Abi, Is there a thing called free beggar. Does a soul worth a thing. If you ask me, there is noway of coming back from the habit of “begging”, just saying..

          • Abi

            Hi Ted
            Begging is temporary there is a permanent solution to it . Ethiopia is working very hard to be self reliance . It is not a smooth sailing. A lot of bumps on the road.
            Slavery, specially mental slavery that general Nitricc enjoying is a different issue. It gets complicated if someone is proud to be a slave.

          • Nitricc

            hi Abi, let’s be honest; if begging is temporary, then you know how long it has been that Ethiopia has being begging? with due respect begging is a culture that will never go away while slavery is a situational condition that will can over come over time. for instances; Eritrea supposed be under slavery, yet, now the country is slashing the prices of commodity to 50 to 80 % while quadrupling citizens income. you see, what i mean? besides i am Eritrean, i rather be a slave than being a beggar. Abi i dedicate this song for you.


          • Ayneta

            Spare us of this senseless joke you seem to enjoy with beggar vs slave thing. You never been to Eritrea and thus you are way far from begging for anything. I am sure you are enjoying the freedom and prosperity that the West provides and shame on you for trying to associate yourself with the Eritrean situation. The last thing you are is a beggar. If you are indeed a beggar, you are a western beggar and not an Eritrean one . Leave that label to Eritreans who are actually begging for material things and liberty inside Eritrea. It amazes me to see you bubbling about Eritrea and Eritreans while you never have a first hand experience. You are the worst useful idiot ever, a soulless at that!
            Look at you praising how prices have gone down and salary has increased many folds. Always parroting. Always distorting. Always glossing over.

          • Abi

            Hi General
            Thanks for the music. I heard the singer is free now. Good for him. It seems not everyone enjoyed slavery after all.Some escaped to freedom.
            Ethiopia is in the right path in the fight against poverty. There will be more dabo soon. Bring your sack .

          • Dear Nitricc,
            When one suffers from mental slavery, there is no cure for it. If beginning is a shame, being a slave to the most inhuman master makes a person worse than a slave. One loses his/her dignity forever, and becomes a creature devoid of human nature. You can respect a person who happened to be poor and a beggar when he becomes somebody, but not a person with mental slavery, for a person with mental slavery will never ever change. Enjoy your slavery, while others enjoy their begging; nevertheless, you better know something; you might represent the regime and its slaves, but surely, not the Eritrean people.

            How little you know and understand the Eritrean people! No wonder, you are doing
            your best to show that you are an Eritrean, an ultra-nationalist Eritrean for that. I am sure, most Eritreans, unlike some Amiches, would rather choose to be beggars than slaves. Your master is a slave, serving Arab interests. His ancestors
            no doubt served the Italians as Ascaris, and may even have served the Ottoman
            Turks. You see, it is within that family.

            Here are quotes, if they can stimulate your broadly acknowledged one-cell brain.
            “Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as work.”. “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”. –Frederick Douglass.

            You and your friends were dancing because DIA sent Eritrean mercenaries to die in Yemen and he has made salary increase. You were even saying that you should be ready to milk the Arabs on par what you were doing to Ethiopia. What percentage of the population does salary-raise affect? Forget the 50-80% decrease in commodity price; how can you bring about, when you produce little and you import almost everything, and if you do not have the money to import, you will force the people to go without in silence, but of course, not without complaint? Eritreans will find themselves in a worse situation than before salary raise. Businesses have to take a portion of the cake by increasing prices (that is inflation, an economic reality which you cannot avoid, even under dictatorship). If they have no profit, simply they will close their businesses. The regime does not have the money nor feels responsible to provide for the people. Therefore, the currency change was to control the economy; and salary raise was the honey to help the medicine go down, and get the muscle to pass its mafia action. You can full yourself, but not the Eritrean people.

          • Nitricc

            “Slaves are generally expected to sing as well as work.”. “Knowledge makes a man unfit to be a slave.”. –Frederick Douglass
            Hey Horizon; thanks for the dead white man’s quote but if you had a true sense of reality then you would have known any developed country at one time and period had a generation that was passed through hard times and forms slavery. I don’t which country you are but where ever in the west you are, the one that you are enjoying today, and some one in the past has paid the price of slaver to get what you getting. Everything that you see, some one at some generation has worked 18 hours a day, no break, no days-off and with almost no fruits for their labors. The reason, your country Ethiopia and the rest of Africa will never change is because no generation wanted to pay the price and the scarifies; so the next generations could harvest the fruits. The highways you drive and the train relies you see; they were build with slavery style dedication and hard work.
            This is what the Eritrean president is trying to do. He is trying one generation to pay the price so, the next one to advance. Of course, his intentions are met with absolute ignorance within and an absolute defamation abroad. Despite the objections and hostilities from all corners; the iron man has turned the corner and the fruits are there for all to see.
            “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.”
            So, if working for my country is considered “slavery,” then, I am a happy slave.
            About the Economy; well, lean no one when you fall you blame no body is the story. We shall see, but I truly believe Eritrea is on lunching pad ready to take off. Even though people keep saying that the Eritrean government is weak and collapsing, yet weak government and ready to collapse don’t take the measures that the Eritrean government took. So, I suggest for your government to observe and learn from the lion of Naqfa how to build a strong, aid free, self-reliant and productive nation. Oh forgot, you don’t have a leader!

          • Dear Nitricc,
            What has your government achieved that you invite us to see? what is there to show except the loss of freedom and dignity of the people at the hands of the dictator, a country turned into an open prison, generations of Eritreans sacrificed for the wrong reason, a culture of free slave labor exploited freely by high officials, a mass exodus of the young during times of peace, a capital city with shortage of water and electricity, a country where their citizens cannot travel freely within their own country, they cannot trade or cultivate the land without being robbed by the regime etc. Eritreans are not sacrificed for their country and people, but for an egocentric and callous dictator and his supporters. Times have changed, and people are free; their labor is their personal property and this should be respected. In this 21st century, no country can develop its economy through slave labor.

            The aid-free and self-reliance myth is destroying Eritrea and yet you are proud of it? No country is self-reliant, let alone a small country of 5m. How do you call the 300m Euros Eritrea got recently or the millions of dollars she gets from Arab countries; is it not aid money? If you can get aid, grab it, my friend, grab it. Build infrastructures, develop your economy and try to improve the lives of the people. Empty pride will not take you anywhere. If you think that Eritrea is more free than Ethiopia, because Ethiopia accepts aid money, you must be naïve. Simply, Eritrea is more lonely, forgetful of the world by whom she is forgotten. If you remember, this was said about Ethiopia a long time ago.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Horizon; I guess you are not reading me correctly. All I am saying is I reject and resent Peace and order that did not achieved through chaos and disorder.
            Do you feel me?

          • Abi

            Anta entay khonka?
            Dehan Do ? Eway!
            We need intervention by Vet Mahmud ASAP.
            First you enjoyed slavery. Now, you need chaos and disorder ?
            Aqzubilahi !!!

          • Nitricc

            Abi lol Mahmuday understands what i am saying. let me you an example that will help you understand my point.
            We all know what the Ethio-Eritrea relationship was before 1998. i will leave it to you.
            And we now where it stands as if now. if there to happen a new relationship for future; what Kind of relationship do you think will emerge? I can assure you one thing; it will never be the same as relationship pre 1998. if the new relationship to emerge then the new relationship will be based on just, based on mutual respect, based on mutual benefit. why do you think the future relationship will be as I mentioned? because the new relationship is achieved through war, disorder and absolute chaos.

          • Abi

            Genereally Girgir
            Your example is between two countries that did have a relationship bound to collapse. I am not clear as to how the same example works between citizens of the same country. I think there is a Difference between border war and civil war.

          • Abi

            Hey General
            Frederick Douglas was not a white man.
            You didn’t expect a black man to say those words. Did you? Toothless!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Nitricc

            Hi Abi, hahahahah you got me, lol. i didn’t know he was a black man. you are correct, i did not expected a black man to say those words. good job i am Busted!!!!

          • Hayat Adem

            Do you even have to explain that? This guy prefers to be a slave at will?! Would you even imagine that to be a joke at the 21stC, let alone be an honest opinion of a grown up human being?
            If you ask me, I am so totally surprised his friends and mentors didn’t rush to flag that line off as a help of damage control. Mahmuday, where is your ghedli widom if you can’t drip-drop it on this chap, disciple of yours? He said, slave is okay, beggar is not…hahahaha…what would such guy do to a society if he had some power and influence on others? Could be a robot? or a monster? Or a 99th degeneration of IA? Nitricc, you killed me with that line. Get a counseling help, now, I mean NOW!

          • Abi

            Hayat yene Emebet
            I got a joke for you. One of my favorites.
            A guy went to the market to by a sheep.
            Buyer : yihe beg sint new?
            Seller : 500 birr
            Buyer : yihema yeTegebe ahya yasgeza yelem ende?
            Seller : getaye, yemiTafTotin erswo yawqalu

          • Nitricc

            Hi Abi, a question for you; aren’t you a slave? Please don’t tell me that you are Canadian too. Because you enter MacDonald wearing Wrangler and you sat next your master that doesn’t absolve you from your real status of a modern slave. Because you don’t know it, that you are slave;it does not mean you are not. Again, I rather am a salve of my country than a beggar!

          • Abi

            Hi General
            Would you prefer to be a slave or a beggar in your own country ? You will beg to be freed. Too bad you think of yourself that low.
            There was a 5 star General at awate battle field who used to say ” how do you free a happy slave”? RIP General.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Abi i think you are miss understanding my point. till I clear it up for you, here is what i am saying……

            “A nation is not defined by its borders or the boundaries of its land mass Rather, a nation is defined by adverse people who have been unified by a cause and a value system and who are committed to a vision for the type of society they wish to live in and give to the future generations to come.”

            If my slavery to my country and people will insure the above; i am welling to the slave.
            i will explain in details.

          • Ted

            Hi Nitricc, It is not too late Abi to join the ” “EU Stop enabling slavery in Eritrea” campaign. A conundrum Abi-s(plu) yet to figure out if it is “slavery”, ” perseverance for the bigger cause” or just”docile” nature. Luckily, unlike him, his bright cousins have figured it out alright.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Ted, People can say what ever they want but if anyone think that Eritrea will become another toothless country in Africa, then fasten your seat belt. there was a reason for the war to be the wedged by the people. there was a reason for 30 years blood shade and there was a purpose for Eritrea declaring her independence from Ethiopia. the point is if Eritrea to become just like any other African nation, what was the reason for shedding Eritreans blood for so long? what was the reason even to separate from Ethiopia? the fight to greatness is on; wether the gloom and doom are with it or with out it.

          • tes

            Selam Nitricc,

            You dump one celled,

            These days Eritrea is the worst country in Africa. And this not because external war but the home grown regime. If you want Eritrea to take its right place call for unconditional justice and weed-out your worship house of PFDJ.



          • Dis Donc

            Dear Tes,

            *dumb or dump? I am very sure that you meant the former as I see you repeatedly writing dump, in stead. Dump is a verb, meaning a site for depositing a rubbish and dumb is a noun, meaning temporarily unable or unwilling to speak.

          • Nitricc

            lol Dis Donc; you crack me up lol. the tragedy is that Tes is majoring in dictionary. well, i hope tes understands that majoring in dictionary is not his thing, you know like i knew for my self..

          • Gogo

            Dear DD,
            A good catch. But, when ‘dump’ is used to mean ‘a site for depositing a rubbish’ it becomes a noun not a verb.

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            Which one is your initial?
            Dammit or tes
            Don’t you think one is enough? I suggest you use them alternatively. One at a time…

        • sara

          Dear Gen Nit
          again correct.. i just asked an elder what is slavery etc, he said well… it means
          a lot to different people, but one thing sure is we never had slaves in Eritrea
          he also said , unfortunately that thing was practiced in our neighborhoods, and still does.

  • Tewelde gebremariam

    Hi Yohannes,
    You are embodiment of ignorance, otherwise you would not make such sweeping conclusion of things you have no clue. But again you could be the frustrated Desale Bereket Abraham from the so called Pen Eritrea.

  • Yoty Topy

    Hi Yohannes,
    The truth is that today’s toxic discourse environment to advance societal causes is almost ubiquitous everywhere not just limited to Eritreans. You could almost be talking about the ailing discourse in the US, Europe or even Ethiopia with what you have outlined in your article.At the heart and root of his problem is the advent of the internet that has enabled us to exchange ideas anonymously ,We can say and talk about a whole lot of issues hiding behind anonymity that we would not do in the open otherwise.

  • tes

    Dear Yohannes,

    I found your take to be a higher level of political analogy that tries the audience in the language favored to be heard. It is a professional skill that we need to learn. thanks.

    To come back on your article, I read it and I found the key points that makes me to think on your insights. I will quote you:

    1. “TV shows entertain people, and to ‘entertain’ one must effectively hit the main faculty of human entertainment center–the emotion.”

    2. Well, there are no stars; nor on the stage, neither on the Eritrean skies yet. But it doesn’t mean they do not exist.

    First quote

    According to my understanding, all in all your article can be summarized within these two quotes. Here is then where I found your article to be weak and expectation oriented approach.

    First of all, when politics targets emotions its outcome is disastrous. Many world wars and genocides emerged from political approach that targets emotions. Lets see that of Communist, Marx. Due to the exploitation of working class by bourgeois and pea crisis by the feudal lords, Marx came and said,

    ““Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.
    Workingmen of all countries unite!”

    Karl Marx

    This quote has hit the emotions of working class and ignited a revolution throughout the world.

    But what happened with the emotion? This is the most critical question one should ask. Once Marx wrote his manifesto those proletariats stood for their rights all over the world. emotions were so high and unstoppable. then a ruling class was built. This ruling class knows what the emotions are and he can not stop them unless there is a strong and oppressive class that puts a limit to these emotions. As a result the world has witnessed the Gulag of USSR, the China revolution correction centers, and many.

    All these revolutions emerged once emotions are ignited and the worst dictators emerged to stop these emotions.

    – That of Hitler was not also different. Hitler used speeches that trigger the Aryan race emotional thinking and the world has witnessed holocaust.

    – Even Mengistu hailemariam used emotion triggering techniques to let peasants of Ethiopia die in war

    – The Rwandan case is also not different

    – Today, just today we have ISIS. ISIS uses emotional triggering techniques to brainwash poor and innocent Moslems to stand for Jihad.

    – if we closely observe in the Eritrean case PFDJ is an expert on this techniques.

    -I have some observation also within some political organizations that use emotions as a tool to advance their politics.

    On the Second quote

    When you say, “there are no stars…, I laughed.

    Dear Yohannes, I think you are much better than concluding like this. I hope you are not waiting Manna to fall and lead us.

    What you are missing is, the diaspora politics is not in a state that we can see it from “where is the star” perspective? rather what we need to see is from a perspective that questions as “is the democratization process is happening within the opposition camp?” Democratization process will bring capable people in the forefront.

    From my perspective, I believe that the diaspora Eritrean politics is registering high degree of democratization. However what as Eritreans we should be careful is from using emotions as a means of politics and searching a star to lead us our way.

    lets build politics of reasoning and lets empower justice and democratization process to bring capable people to the forefront. If we don’t this we will have another dictator that will use emotions to come to power.

    At last, I found your article without a pillar (you destroyed them by your own take as I discussed above). And what ever you said in between is what everyone says during tea time.


    • Peace!

      Selmat tes,

      Help me I am a bit confused here that the article is about diaspora Eritreans, and a few days ago you said “In my political discourse there is no difference between Diaspora Eritreans and those who are still in Eritrea. We are just an exiled family who are deeply connected. Therefore drop your diaspora bla bla. I don’t buy these kind of politics.”

      And now, “What you are missing is, the diaspora politics is not in a state that we can see it from “where is the star” perspective? rather what we need to see is from a perspective that questions as “is the democratization process is happening within the opposition camp?” Democratization process will bring capable people in the forefront.” How do you reconcile these seemingly opposing thoughts?


      • tes

        Dear Peace!

        I think there is no opposing thoughts here. In fact my point enforces what I said before and refuses what Yohannes is looking for.

        Your quote from previous one correct and here in my take today:

        “From my perspective, I believe that the diaspora Eritrean politics is registering high degree of democratization. However what as Eritreans we should be careful is from using emotions as a means of politics and searching a star to lead us our way.

        Lets build politics of reasoning and lets empower justice and democratization process to bring capable people to the forefront. If we fail to do as such we will have another dictator that will use emotions to come to power.

        As you well know there is no democratization process inside Eritrea and hence it is obvious and understandable when I say “the diaspora Eritrean politics…”

        But then I didn’t divide the Eritreans between diaspora and those at home. I simple said, Eritreans. And this strengthens my stand on what I said before.

        Re-read my sentences and you will notice my take clearly.


  • Peace!

    Selam Yohannes,

    “Well, there are no stars; nor on the stage, neither on the Eritrean skies yet. But it doesn’t mean they do not exist. The faith that the stars will someday come out and shine is probably what keeps the viewers wide awake in to late nights probing the cyber skies for a glitter of hope.”

    Well, there are no stars and there will be no stars if you are counting on diaspora Eritreans. The role of diaspora Eritreans, as far as bringing meaningful change concerned, shall be restricted only to support people inside the country to rise up and create a powerful grassroots movement that gives birth to a real stars otherwise as you can see it’s already been boring to watch the attention seekers, the suicidal, and the arrogant singing the same song and fighting each other for nothing with no end in sight. shame!


  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear Yohannes
    A good observation described in an excellently smart way, entertaining and educating. Sadly, that’s the current image of the opposition. Please keep it up.

    • Semere Andom

      Hi Yohannes and Mahmuday:

      I am not sure what to make of this piece, but to call the entire opposition the Shingrwa of politics is misleading,

      First, ok, Shingrwa is star for Blen we are told that is classic PFDJ line of deceiving the minority. We care about you so we will call our official magazine “Sagem” then we will destroy it in the dead of the night or when people are drinking. We care about, so we will include your camel in our currency but we will not bring you home from the refugee camps that you the owners of the camel are languishing since 1965. We love you and we will call our website, shabait, a corruption of the Tigryitt word “Shebet”, (she emerged, teqlqilla) but we will not allow you to educate your kid in Arabic

      If Shingrwa was a private enterprise and the owner or owners decided to name it In Blenait, fine, but Shingrwa is another control mechanism, you cannot sing unless you pass through Shingrwa system and the judges specially Yemane Kidane wanted to mimic the great Simon from American Idol, but it is ugly and he was rude and crude, the worst of the bunch. Compare that to the deference and respect the “balegaru” Judge Abraham offers to the participants. Shignrwa is mostly was created in the image of PFDJ, of bullying and fakery and Idol judges wonnabes

      The article is correct in the kinsmen attitude that some opposition member’s display, but why is Yohannes shocked, the Eritrean revolution from the beginning was predicated on sectarian and kinsmen politics and it only hid the malice, but used it to advance and solidify the power of IA. I am not even talking about zemene Kiflitat. The very PFDJ that was the precursor of EPLF (yes you heard it correct, EPLF was the the precursor of PFDJ, but that is another story for another time) was created on kinsmen and ethnic politics, from Nhan Elamanan to the very makeup of the organization that did not appeal to the larger base but only to Kebessa and the Semhar Tigre people. Although the Eritrean people bled and died tougher as one people the leaders have always played the kinsmen card in the shadows and still they are doing it and hence the mushrooming of ethnic base opposition groups, yet people are still deluded that the leaders are devoid of the malice that this article hankered on by applying the metaphor of the Shingrwa to our politics. Why did IA leave ELF? Ethnicity, why did the Semhar people create their own faction from ELF, kinsmen ship, why did the Obel separate? Same reason. So our very Gheldi was swaddled, steeped and marinated in the in these kinsmen ship and ethnic backward politics

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hi Sem,

        Talking about the camel……did you recall Abu Sbeneb ‘s retort to Weldyesus Ammar regarding the Naqfa currency and the camel? It was a historical retort that will remain stained in our memory, and it goes as follows: ” the camel is in and the owner is out.” A sad and brutal history that is difficult to swallow.

        Amanuel Hidrat

  • Peace!

    Selam Efrem,

    Actually I see no bashing here in fact the writer undermines the complexity of the Diaspora Eritrean politics Shinguruwa given that there are 33+ candidates, multiple venues, and a bunch of judges for only one song and one prize which are JUSTCE and PEACE!


  • stewie

    The real problem with eritreans is that you don’t REALLY, hate Issais/ shabai, You are just disappointed by his performance. Also Eritrean weak national identity itself only exist juxtaposed to ethiopian one. Finally, it seems you have collectively agreed eritrea is not a viable state and no place to live without outside nanny.

    • Music Novice

      Greetings stewie,

      Eritrea being already a fact on the ground, there is nothing wrong in trying or wishing to salvage something decent from the current crisis.

    • AOsman

      Dear Stewie,

      While the bashing reaches picks up to its crescendo, enjoy the link below that has Judge Barnabas from Shingirwa+ Eritrean anthem, colonialists architecture, music, romance….all in one:


      • Dis Donc

        *Leipzig orchestra.

        • A.Osman

          Thank you, I admire your persistence in correcting us….keep it up.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Osman,
            Just for historical note, I did live in that city for few years and played a violin at the same orchestra (once in a while)…. some of the instrumentalists, there, I know them personally.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Dis Donc,

            I hope you consider some day to create, organize and conduct with the Asmara Symphony Orchestra.


          • Dis Donc

            Dear Berhe,
            that will be a day of days!!

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        ኩብር አይዑስማን

        አዛ ሽንጉርዋ አትበል ቃል ከብዚ ጸሓፋይ ከማሕልፎ ደልይዎ ዘሎ መልእኽቲ ትርጉማ ቁሩብ ግምት አሎኒ:: እንተኾነ ግን ቃል ብቃላ እንታይ ምኹናዶ ምሓበርካኒ::

        ምስ ሰላምታ
        አማኑኤል ሕድራት

        • AOsman

          Dear Amanuel,

          You know I have always wondered what Shingrwa meant, we learnt one Bilen word today. When I first read the article…..I pondered…which box I belong to …. The Attention Seeker, The Suicidal or The Arrogant. We will have to keep on self flagellation until Moses lands from the Skies.

          The message: ረሃቁለይ ኣነ አየ ዚፈትሓ አዛ ሺገር፤ ይመስለኒ አቲ መልእኽቲ

          With your አይዑስማን 🙂 you reminded me of Abyssinia twisting his mouth to say it….I will change it to A.Osman as in name.surname.


          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear A. Osman,

            Aha, my attempt was to translate ” A ” to አይ . Otherwise I knew ” A ” is an initial to your first name.

            Amanuel Hidrat

      • Berhe Y

        Dear AOsman,

        Thank you for sharing, it’s was great. I hope we will have some day we will have Barnabas and others like him will be performing with an entire Eritrean orchestra.

        Hi Stewie,

        I have nothing more to add to what others have said, but I really do not understand your obsession and you try to demonize us, to demoralize us to the extent that we go and destroy ourselves to just please them.

        Asmara, Massawa and Keren are not just colonial architecture that we look and warship. For all of us, it’s our homes, it’s our schools, its the only place on earth that we come to know. We love our country not because it has some buildings left by the colonialist but we love it because it’s our home.It doesn’t matter weather it’s beautiful or not, we love it just like we expect any other ordinary and sane people you expect him to do.

        Just to give you some prospects, let’s compare some facts/observations. Let’s compare Eritreans from Kebesa (Christians) and Ethiopian from Tigray (Christians). Can you please point out any difference in terms of culture, religion, food, arts, music or what have that you can think of that has significant difference. All that 60 years colonial time, what have we really changed to. Specially these new generation (for the past 50 years), do we speak Italian, did you abandon our religion, did we abandon eating our traditional food, what’s exactly is that we have changed to, that you guys do not seem to get over it.

        My advice is, grow up. If you believe that you are big, think big. There is a lot more for you to achieve….just leave the small fight with your cousins alone and aim really high. It’s your obsession on dominating your own people, Amhara to Tigray, Tigray to Oromo, Oromo to Amhara, Amahara to Eritrea that you constantly seem to be obsessed about is the reason why you don’t seem to move on.

        Don’t about us, we will take of of our problems and we will come up with out own solutions. And really we do not need a lesson from you, in how to fight Isayas.


    • Dis Donc

      Dear Stewie,
      Tell us more oh the Chosen One! Why the insult while you can debate? This is what is lacking of you, Ethiopians that come to this website to dump your disrespect (to a nation and a community) and throw vile commentaries about Eritrea. You hate us so much you can’t stand us to leave us alone to even discuss our national pressing issues. But you are what you are. Your past leaders tried that and it never worked. The modern thing to do is to accept and respect it. Look around you, every other country does that, except you…. Down right dirty shame!!!

      • stewie

        Hi Dis Donc, not trying to bash anyone, or hate anyone…just trying to convey what I consider to be the ugly little secret.

        • Dis Donc

          Dear Stewie,
          It’s good to know that that’s what you think; it is a hidden secrete. Please do read historical facts and you’ll discover that Eritreans have always being on the receiving end of your stick. Directly or indirectly! Fault or not!! Almost all Ethiopians here have the same feeling as you do. You’re all the same but different names or aliases. The exception is Amde and a little bit Abi.

          • stewie

            “The receiving end of your stick “, more like on the hand of your own, from those who started a war against ethiopia and those who rule it today.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Stewie; You said
            “…just trying to convey what I consider to be the ugly little secret.”
            Well, let me fill you in to the true little secret why you guys; with your 80 million of you could never subdue the 5 million Eritreans.
            You know why? Here is the secret!
            Eritrean’s love to Eritrea exceeds way too far of Ethiopian’s hate to ward Eritrea.
            Simply put; Ethiopians don’t hate Eritrea and Eritreans enough, not enough. Although; your hate is noticed.

    • Music Novice

      Greetings stewie,

      Although it is unwise to start an unnecessary conflict with Ethiopia, Ethiopia is not Heaven on Earth as it is being touted now.

      Modern Ethiopia is an idea, at the core of which are the Amharas, Tigrayans and the Oromos. Since the time of the era of the Princes, the core of Ethiopia has been run by a form of alliance of the three ethnic groups. This is reflected in the domination of the political and economic sphere.

      During the emperor, the Shoa Amhara-Oromo elite dominated politics and economic spheres such as owning fertile land. During the Derg, Gojjam was politically more dominant. In the economic area, for example, the finance ministry and Insurance were Gondere, Central Planning and National Bank were Gojjame and EDDC (consumer good distribution) was Oromo. And now, of course, the Tigrayans are compensating themselves after suffering one hundred year of marginalisation.