Monday, October 20, 2014

UPDATED WITH SPEECH’S TEXT – 15-Year-Old Haawii’s Moving Speech on the Importance of Media, OMN and the Struggle to Uphold Afan Oromo

Hello everyone, my name is Haawii.
While I have your focus and attention, I will highlight the importance as well as the significance of OMN which stands for Oromo Media Network. As you all know, OMN is a very important achievement in the struggle for Oromo freedom we are all very proud of.
Why Media Is Important?
I am 15 years old. My generation uses media more than ever so you can believe that I know about it very thoroughly. We need media so that our people and other nations in Oromia and around the world can learn about our struggle. Nowadays you can message people from Canada to Europe just by using a downloadable app. Imagine what we can do with our growing satellite television. This is very vital for the Oromo nation, a nation that is still fighting for even the most basics of rights; the right for its homeland, the right for its resources, and the right to develop its language and culture.
As we all know, information is power and OMN is one of the key means to circulate information around the world. It’s enough just to remember the uprising of Oromo students a few months ago and the role different media outlets played to bring Oromo people together regardless of where they were around the globe. With OMN we can do much more!
Back in the days, it would take months or even years for East Oromia to learn about what was happening all around Oromia. Today, thanks to OMN and all other social media outlets, we’ll know what’s happening to our people across Oromia in minutes and figure out the actions we can take across the globe.
But again, let me remind you that all this things are not gifts or grants to Oromo people. They were all earned through hard struggle and sacrifices. Let me bring you back into a little bit of Oromo’s history.
The invasion of Oromia by Abyssinians led to subjugation and suppression of Oromo culture, and our language so much more.
Here are some points:
• The Oromo language was outlawed from any official use
• Oromo cultural symbols and icons (like Irreecha for example) were banned
• Speaking the Oromo language was a source of ridicule
• Broadcasting in Afan Oromo was an impossible dream
• The enemies of the Oromo people joked that broadcasting in Afan Oromo would break the radio
• People had to change their Oromo names to be accepted in society.
During all these tragedies the Oromo people didn’t accept or live with it. They fought back at different times and places across Oromia. Many Oromo children and elders sacrificed their lives for the cause of Oromo freedom. But their sacrifices were not in vain. They have achieved victories for Oromo people in all fronts. Our people speak Afan Oromo with confidence. Kids are schooled in Afan Oromo across Oromia. Courts, mosques, Churches, Chaffe Oromo and other services are conducted in Afan Oromo.
Today, here and now, we are celebrating one of these victories. At the center of this celebration is OMN. Now we can get a lot of information about our people, language, culture, history, and so much more! Our elders have a platform for the first time to tell us the uncensored experiences of past atrocities committed against Oromo people. Our intellectuals can have an honest debate in front of Oromo people across the world about the different strategies to secure our freedom. All of these are possible because of OMN – our greatest national achievement.
Finally, it is important for my generation to take up their torches and lift them high. We have to march towards the complete freedom of Oromia. To that goal, OMN is our greatest hope.
Thank-you for your patience and time and please remember that OMN needs our continuous support to achieve its goals.
Victory to Oromo people!
OMN for ever!

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