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The Late Major/Shaleqa Mirut Yefter/Shifter Warning to the Future of Ethiopian Athletics !!!

By Tedla Asfaw

Following the passing away of the legendary Ethiopian runner Mirut Yefter/Shifter last week past interviews and footage of Mirut glorious victories are posted on social medias. Out of all these interviews Mirut interview by Alebachew Desalegn during the London Olympics in 2012 is worth following. .
https://youtu.be/t_5U0w9ylw0

The current Ethnic Politics/Gosegnent has become an obstacle in training because there is no common language of instruction according to the interview Mirut gave. Major/Shaleqa Mirut insisted that unless we implement the national language Amharic for instruction and communication purpose Ethiopian athletics future is in big danger.

Hearing this from a legendary Yefter the “Shifter” who was born in Zalambasa, Adigrat trained in Eritrea finally end up in Debre Zeit should not be seen in Ethnic Prism. Mirut Yefter is an Ethiopian who loved and appreciate what the people of Ethiopia did to him and other athletes.

Ethiopian heroes like the late Abebe Biklila and Mamo Wolde are heroes that unified Ethiopians from different ethnic backgrounds. The songs following their victories are classic and Ethiopian.

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“The Green Flood”, Mirut Yefter, Mohammed Keder, Toloso Kotu and others dominated the 1970s and 80s until the rise of Haile, Kenenisa, Deraretu, Fatuma, Tirunesh, Meseret to the present Almaz and the Dibabas etc.

All these athletes are known to the world representing Ethiopia and many foreign journalists visited Arsi and Addis Ababa to see the birth and training place of our runners. Yes indeed as Mirut said on his interview many of our athletes started running as a child to school or used by parents to bring in or send a message to neighbors. Running is part of Ethiopian life !!!!

Mirut was inspired by Abebe Bikila and Mamo Wolde. In fact on his interview he met Abebe Bikila at Asmara on their way to the 1968 Olympics. Abebe Bikila seeing the young Mirut performance recommend him to join the Air Force team. He sent him with a note to the Air Force.

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All these communication happens through Amharic an Ethiopian national language. Mirut himself a Tigrean and Abebe an Oromo were proud of communicating with each other in Amharic as Ethiopian.

I personally witnessed a problem in Boston Marathon few years ago. Ethiopian won the marathon and when he came to be interviewed by the journalist as always Ethiopians stay away from English as a pride or being less fluent in it.

The athletics representative translated the English to Afan Oromo. This was not by accident. Most likely the athlete and the representative do not know Amharic the Official language of Ethiopia. Mirut might have seen such problem earlier and that is the reason he gave the warning. Without common language no team work to bring Victory !!!! All our glorious victories in Olympics were made possible by a team work.

The national language of Ethiopia is Amharic and we need to use this to unify our athletes like the Abebe Bikilas and The Mirut Yefters generation did to pass the torch to the next.

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It is very sad to see the end of our heroes like Mamo Wolde and Mirut Yefter without getting the respect they deserve after accomplishing and putting our country on a world stage. I want to extend my condolence to his family and to the Ethiopian people.

However, the warning by the late Shaleqa Mirut Yefter should not be seen lightly. The running and training language of Ethiopian Athletics Must Be Amharic !!!!!

6 Comments

  1. Tedla you twit! since when is a language an obstacle to athletic success or flair? you’re just running your filthy chauvinist mouth without any evidence! Oromo athlete throughout the history of the Empire’s participation in the Olympics beginning in the Melbourne, Australia Olympics in 1956, used their own language-Affan Oromo. Mamo Wolde, Geremmo Danbobaa, Hunde Torree, etce.. did very well for a novice bunch and first time participants in their fields of choice…. Mamo in long distance, Danbobaa in Cycling, Hundee in Long distance Walking! For them, speaking their own language was not a sign of disunity,

    On what ground is Amharic language is a unifying tool? and Oromo language the cause of disunity? It is knuckle heads like you that is the problem of that country who insists that their culture and their language must remain dominant and other citizens of the Empire needs to emulate them!

    The bulk of the Olympic Medals and World Championship Games victories were achieved by Oromo athlete for the Empire. To demand that they must speak only Amharic for sake of national unity is a lame proposal conjured-up by small minds like Tedla who can’t see the beauty of diversity of the Empire!

  2. Tedla you twit! since when is a language an obstacle to athletic success or flair? you’re just running your filthy chauvinist mouth without any evidence! Oromo athlete throughout the history of the Empire’s participation in the Olympics beginning in the Melbourne, Australia Olympics in 1956, used their own language-Affan Oromo. Mamo Wolde, Geremmo Danbobaa, Hunde Torree, etce.. did very well for a novice bunch and first time participants in their fields of choice…. Mamo in long distance, Danbobaa in Cycling, Hundee in Long distance Walking! For them, speaking their own language was not a sign of disunity,

    On what ground is Amharic language is a unifying tool? and Oromo language the cause of disunity? It is knuckle heads like you that is the problem of that country who insists that their culture and their language must remain dominant and other citizens of the Empire needs to emulate them!

    The bulk of the Olympic Medals and World Championship Games victories were achieved by Oromo athlete for the Empire. To demand that they must speak only Amharic for sake of national unity is a lame proposal conjured-up by small minds like Tedla who can’t see the beauty of diversity of the Empire!

  3. “Running and training language of Ethiopia athletics should be Amharic ” Mr. Tedla Asafaw
    Most of Ethiopia unity preachers are good at hiding thier nature on public most of the time, person called Tedla Asafaw is true reflection of what most them would like to see again if possible. He is so ignorant and true chauvinist ever we seen in ethiopipian empire. All of his dreams are about glory of past and never understand what most nationalities of that empire going through since inception of that country. In general, Ethiopia unity preachers do not care about democracy, justices, and equality, what they want to see is Ethiopia pre-1991 without any changes!!. It it is very hard to see this type of mentality in 2016, unbelievable!!!!!

  4. “Running and training language of Ethiopia athletics should be Amharic ” Mr. Tedla Asafaw
    Most of Ethiopia unity preachers are good at hiding thier nature on public most of the time, person called Tedla Asafaw is true reflection of what most them would like to see again if possible. He is so ignorant and true chauvinist ever we seen in ethiopipian empire. All of his dreams are about glory of past and never understand what most nationalities of that empire going through since inception of that country. In general, Ethiopia unity preachers do not care about democracy, justices, and equality, what they want to see is Ethiopia pre-1991 without any changes!!. It it is very hard to see this type of mentality in 2016, unbelievable!!!!!

  5. You dam galas are always the lowest subhuman in Ethiopia now and forever, Habesha always will keep you morons under control so stop your false hope of being a leader etc You don’t have the talent to be a real Habesha stop winning we can always mow you down when you need trimming.

  6. You dam galas are always the lowest subhuman in Ethiopia now and forever, Habesha always will keep you morons under control so stop your false hope of being a leader etc You don’t have the talent to be a real Habesha stop winning we can always mow you down when you need trimming.

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