ΤΙΜΕ ΙΝ ΑΤΗΕΝS            

Education for the Future Selassie  Leletta Educational Consultant 



After four years, here I was again in the country I was born in. My emotions are intense and confused.
I am glad to be back . I arrived in the middle of the night at an extremely efficient airport. With high tech equipment. My finger prints and photo taken I was out with luggage in  half an hour. No porter to harass you as it is no longer allowed. It makes the arrival more pleasant but it must mean a lot of people are losing income. 
I noticed very few passengers turn to porters sitting on bench for help as most of us have luggage with wheels. Once through customs we enter the waiting room of the airport which was empty . People are not allowed in. Everyone waits for passengers in the car park.
 The familiar drive from Airport to Arat Kilo was on a huge wide road. The drive towards the famous Meskel Square was unsettling. Several ugly buildings have mushroomed on both side of this newly built Road.
 From Meskel Square to Sedist Kilo things were as I had left them. The Palace, Hilton, ECA building , Arat Kilo with my Aunts supermarket now with neon lights"BELONIAS "
was all there as I remembered. This was very reassuring. After all my nostalgia for the good old days was one of the reasons for returning.
 The next day however was a shock to the system. Driving to what is considered the "In" place Ayat...
 I saw the expansion of Addis Ababa. Huge roads with hundreds of ugly big buildings and even uglier shopping malls.
 Ayat itself full of large villas where the neaveaux rich and the Diaspora have moved to was for me a sad realisation that progress had changed the culture. In fact this became even more obvious during my stay as my relatives who live in Ayat were the ones I saw the least as it is an hours journey to get there.
Addis has now got commuters but no public transport!
 The truth is that the huge roads built by the Chinese have reduced the traffic chaos and when we finally get traffic lights the situation will be even better. I saw this when the first traffic lights started working.
The weather was also another shock! It was 12 degrees most of the time and the sky was grey 90% of the time. It was as bad as being in London!!!! A friend had given me a farewell card when I left uk that said" too wet to stay". here I was in Africa in my homeland feeling the same way. I remember coming to Ethiopia as a child and going swimming. What happened???
Huge, cold, wet.Was this still my Addis Ababa?

Leletta Selassie


July 27th  2013  I attended an event that I never believed would happen. I was honoured with an invitation to attend an event to commemorate the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of the OAU and to honour its Founding Fathers.

The event was taking place in the same hall that the AU was inaugurated in 1963. In the Africa Hall of what today is the Economic Commission for Africa where the AU had started.

I arrived early. We were made to enter the campus from behind, and after a security check, we had a long walk in the rain to reach the main building. The Building that I had seen from outside but had never entered. The building that I have always wanted to enter because I wanted to see the wonderful art work of Afework Tekle depicting Africans struggling for freedom.

Seeing this masterpiece was overwhelming. It is so beautiful that no words can express the sensation of standing in front of it. It consists of stained glass on three windows, which cover about 150 square metres. Afework expresses with detail the sorrow of Africa in the past, its struggle and its hope.

We then entered Africa Hall and sat down. As we sat there I was amazed to see that so many people where coming to an event that was going to Commemorate Haile Selassie. People of all ages, members of the Royal Family, Members of the Royal Body Guard in Uniform and Ministers of HIM government and generally several people of all walks of live. A few Rasta’s of course.

While we were waiting, there was a continuous flow of photographs of HIM Haile Selassie the wall. I am sure Mengistu Haile Mariam would have had a heart attack.

The Guest of Honour was H.E. THABO MBEKI

Mr. Mbeki reminded us all of how fragile Africa is and how difficult it was to unite her. He quoted Haile Selassie as saying:

“This Conference cannot close without adopting a single Charter. We cannot leave here without having created a single African organisation possessed of the attributes We have described. If We fail in this, we will have shirked our responsibility to Africa and to the people we lead. If we succeed, then, and only then, will we have justified our presence here.”

Mbeki reminded us that Ethiopia was an inspiration to the rest of Africa due to its independence and its ability to defeat a western power twice.

He reminded us that even Mandela was inspired by Ethiopia
as he wrote in his Autobiography,No Easy Walk to Freedom, : 

“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.” 

I felt very proud of being Ethiopian but also rather nervous of the fact that in order to survive Africans have to be united and that seems like a very difficult task that I am not sure we are capable of fulfilling. I have the impression that the OAU is a façade that would easily crumble because we do not have wise and mature politicians or people to achieve such an objective. If we want China, America and Europe to respect Africa we have to make sure we set ground rules that we respect first. After we have a huge continent with all the resource necessary. We must prevent others from exploiting what is African. Have a look at the attached map to understand how big Africa is.

                                    TO VIEW MAP CLICK ON IT

The evening finished with a panel presentation. It was a pleasure to hear so many wonderful positive views on the role
of HIM and the fact that everyone was requesting that there should be a Statue for Haile Selassie outside the OAU.

An Afternoon I shall never forget.

Leletta Selassie






Selassie  Leletta
Educational Consultant

Have been in Education since 1978.  British Comprehensive school, International School of London, Athens College, Campion. Strong supporter of the International Baccalaureate ever since I was introduced to it at the International  School of London.
Aug.02- present  Self employed Educational Consultant

As of February 2013
  Recognition Ambassador for the International Baccalaureate ( IB)


1957-1963:                  Anglo – American School, Moscow                                 

1963-1970:                  St. George’s English School, Rome


Queen Mary College, London University  BSc  Biochemistry


Chelsea College, London University  Postgraduate in Education.



English, French, Italian, Greek  

Fair:                          Amharic


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