Friday, 17 January 2020

Yalem Meketa Mekonnen

Yalem Meketa Mekonnen
5 year Memorial anniversary

Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies 
(Proverb 31:10).

Hard to be believe that it has been five years today, 17 January 2020 (ጥር 8 ቀን 2012 – a day difference in the calendar because of Leap Year), since Yalem Meketa (Yalem)  left this world, to join her creator, but her memory remains here among the living family members and friends. Yalem is unforgettable! Her kindness, care, humour and laughter remain always remembered.

No one misses Yalem like I do. She was my best friend, confidant, loyal, tower of support and dependable and loving wife.  She made me a better man. For a stranger who met us both for the first time together, we have always been mistaken for brother and sister and she had unforgettable jokes about that. We were inseparable until death did us apart. I have moved on, because that was what she wanted for me to do, but the void still remains unavoidable.
When I was happy, Yalem celebrated my success more than I did. Can you believe if I tell you she went to Buckingham with me when I had an interview for the position of lectureship? She was chatting with the receptionist all the time I was being  interviewed. It was so simple for her to make friends, instantly. On our way back to London, she said: "You are going to get this job"! I remember how she jumped up and down with joy like a child, when her prediction became true. 

When I was down, Yalem never doubted me that I would bounce back to form in no time. She believed in me more than I believed in myself. This was evident when I was made redundant from JSA Accounting Services and was looking for a job for one year. Yalem encouraged me and lifted me up, she stood by me and supported me and helped me to get back on my feet. When I made silly mistakes, she would just laugh as if a child faltered, but never rushed to criticise me. She was the cleverest girl I know.  She showed me the right way with loving care and corrected me gently. When I got confused, I always depended on her superior feminine instinct to sort me out. I owe Yalem so much. She is probably praying for me in heaven right now, that is why I am blessed to get another leash of life. This is not to mourn her death but to celebrate her life.

There will be prayers on Saturday 18 January 2020 in remembrance of Yalem, at London Saint Mary of Debretsion Orthodox Tewahedo Church in the morning.

Among Yalem’s families and friends, her memory lives on, positively affecting everyone.  No one would forget her. Her friends are bound by her legacy.  She lived for others more than for herself. Therefore, they carry on her task of caring for one another in a more organised way. “Yalem Friends Mutual Support Association” will be coming together on Sunday 19 January 2020 to hear reports about works done over the last year and plan for the future reaching out to support those in need.

Rest in peace, Yalem!!!

Friday, 27 December 2019

Nature's Paradox

Nature's Paradox

   Paradox is on the rise,
Drama staged in heaven;

Surprise! Surprise!
The moon obscures the sun!
Doomed, damned, dark day;
Looming shadows; chilling cold;
Perfect circle ring of ray,
Corona emits flame gold.
In a solar-lunar conflict,
Perplexing twist-turn;
Tiny moon makes an impact,
Eclipsing huge sun!
Nature is Pandora's box,
Offering infinite;
Gallery of paradox,
Book of lessons for a life.
Metaphorically speaking in every rival race,
Though victory may not last long;
Given time and space,
The weak can beat the strong.

Wondimu Mekonnen

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Son of a ‘Neftegna’

Son of a ‘Neftegna’

Oh you poor!
Thought I would be offended?
Actually it is an honour
neftegna’ to be branded!
Thank you!

You are right!
I am son of a ‘neftegna’!
Gun totting earth-mover!
Child of the ‘arbegna’
‘Fanno’ Freedom lover!

Let me say this clear and loud,
Hero’s descendant and proud!
I am that ‘neftegna’s’ off spring,
Ready to pick up his shield;
Deep-planted seedling,
Groomed, sworn and sealed!

That black fighting machine,
Colonialist’s nightmare;
Loved Ethiopia with passion,
Broke enemy’s snare.

Neftegna’ the freedom champion!
The devil Italians dreaded;
Nightmare of the French Legion;
The guerrilla the English hated!

A name that would bounce!
What a word to pronounce!
A name that rings a bell;
Menelik’s right hand!
Colonialists’ walking hell!
Defender of the motherland!

Brave gallant knight!
With an inviolable motive!
Hardened through fight!
Shelter to the fugitive!

‘Neftegna’ is a sacred name,
Traitors! Make no error!
A slight attempt to shame,
Might mitigate a nasty terror!

I am his proud son,
Replica carbon cut;
Pedigree second to none,
Genuine replacement!

I am the ‘Neftegna’s heir,
Cub of the black lion;
Duty bound successor,
Continuation of the line.
Guardian of liberty!
Ethiopia’s security!
Jealous for her unity!
Territorial integrity!

Just like yesterday,
Saving the nation from vultures,
On guard night and day!
Taking no chance on ventures!

Here I stand to pay a price,
Trekking the patriotic course,
Life ready for a sacrifice,
Born to die for a cause!

Call me “expansionist”
Bestow on me ‘Neftegna’!
Cry! Scream! “chauvinist”!
Reincarnate ‘arebegna’!
I ascribe honour to heroes,
Unwavering I stand;
Giving glory to fathers,
Inheritor of the land!

I have no other desire,
Apart from the free motherland!
None whatsoever to aspire,
However, if provoked!
Don’t blame for a mire;
No left or right to turn!
I am a fuming fire!
Ignited that would burn!

Don’t push me!!!

Dedicated to Ethiopian patriots regardless of their ethnic origin who who had fallen defending Ethiopia's independence and their children and grand children who are doing the same thing today.

Wondimu Mekonnen
Stirling, Scotland, UK March 1996


Wednesday, 16 January 2019


Four years have gone by today on 16th January 2019, since our most loved and bubbly Yalem Meketa Mekonnen, my first loving and caring wife, best friend and sister left this world for heaven. I trust in the Lord that she lives in heaven at the feet of her mothers, the likes of Sarah, Rebecca, Leah and Rachel (ራሔል).

In Jerusalem, at the stone slab, where the body of our Lord Jesus Christ was laid down to prepare for burial (October 2009)

.On Sunday, she was remembered during Holly Liturgy at London St Mary Church of  Debre-Tsion. After the church, some of us went to her grave to place flowers at her memorial stone.

Yalem was a wonderful person that will not be easily forgotten. All her life, she lived for others. As a result, two years ago, Yalem’s family and friends came together and established “Yalem’s Friends Mutual Support Association (Idir - ዕድር) On her fourth memorial year, the Association celebrated its 2nd Anniversary,  We had a wonderful meal at  at the Zeret Kitchen, Camberwell, lovely Ethiopian restaurant that belonged to one of Yalem’s and my best friends, Tafe! At the same time, the members of the Association held their Annual General Meeting and discussed various issues. 

With this Association bearing her name, in place, Yalem’s will always be remembered every year, as members gather together for a purpose, that is to help each other at times of crises. That was what she used to do when she was among us and that is what we will continue to do in her memory.

May the Lord Rest Her Soul in Peace!

Wondimu Mekonnen