Ten interesting facts about ETHIOPIA AND NELSON MANDELA

1. Nelson Mandela wrote in his autobiography, “Ethiopia always has a special place in my imagination and the prospect of visiting Ethiopia attracted me more strongly than a trip to France, England, and America combined. I felt I would be visiting my own genesis, unearthing the roots of what made me an African.”

2. During his period in exile, Nelson Mandela spent time in Ethiopia in 1962, where he received military training and where he addressed the Organization of African Unity. It was shortly after leaving Ethiopia to South Africa that he was arrested, and served 27 years in prison.

3. Would you like to stay in the same room where Nelson Mandela once slept in? Travel no further than the Ras Hotel in downtown Addis Ababa.

4. During his stay in Ethiopia, Nelson Mandela received an Ethiopian passport under the alias name ‘David Motsamayi.’

5. Nelson Mandela has received a Bulgarian-made handgun from the Ethiopian Colonel General Tadesse Biru in 1962. It was reportedly buried in South Africa and much effort is being made to find it. If found, it could be worth over USD two million.

6. According to an interview with Time Magazine editor Richard Stengel, Nelson Mandela met and spoke to Ethiopian Emperor Haile Silassie I. On one occasion Mandela was quoted saying, “I explained to him very briefly what was happening in South Africa…He was seated on his chair, listening like a log…not nodding, just immovable, you know, like a statue…”

7. Following his release in February 1990, Nelson Mandela returned to Ethiopia in July 1990, as part of his worldwide tour, timed for the opening of the OAU summit. The Washington TIMES reported that, “the Organization of African Unity opened its annual summit here yesterday by giving anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela a hero’s reception.”

8. Nelson Mandela often associates the significance of Ethiopia and Ethiopianism as the inspiration for the formation of his political party the African National Congress(ANC). In December 1992 at the Free Ethiopian Church of South Africa, he was quoted saying, “Fundamental tenets of the Ethiopian Movement were self-worth, self-reliance and freedom. These tenets drew the advocates of Ethiopianism, like a magnet, to the growing political movement. That political movement was to culminate in the formation of the ANC in 1912. It is in this sense that we in the ANC trace the seeds of the formation of our organization to the Ethiopian Movement of the 1890s.”

9. It was noted that during the second annual International Nelson Mandela Day in 2011, 2,300 trees were planted around Addis Ababa in Mandela’s honor, according to Ms. Clara Keisuetter, Charge de Affair of the South Africa Embassy in Ethiopia.

10. The legacy of Nelson Mandela will continue to remain in Ethiopia. Today in Addis Ababa, there is a distance education college named after Mandela,a center in Addis Ababa University in his honour and a school in Arba Minch named after him.


One comment

  • Endale

    July 25, 2023 at 9:12 pm


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