Onesimos Nasib’s pioneering contributions to Oromo writing; revisiting Dr. Mekuria Bulcha’s 1995 paper to understand the current assault on Afan Oromo by Ethiopia’s TPLF regime
“The total ban placed on Oromo and the other non-Semitic languages from the mid-40’s to 1974 by Haile Selassie’s government obscured the works of these pioneers to the extent that it was believed even by intellectuals and university students, including many Oromos, that Afaan Oromoo was not only a non-literate language but also non-transcribable.” –(emphases by Gadaa.com) – Dr. Mekuria Bulcha, Nordic Journal of African Studies 4(1): 36-59 (1995)
“Jalqaba Barsiisa Afaan Oromoo” (by Obbo Abbaa Caalaa Lataa) is a collection of Oromo poems, folktales, proverbs and traditional love songs written by Abbaa Onesimos Nasib and also Aad. Aster Ganno, another pioneer of Afan Oromo literature.
The above quote was taken from Dr. Mekuria Bulcha’s 1995 paper entitled “Onesimos Nasib’s pioneering contributions to Oromo writing” and published in the Nordic Journal of African Studies in 1995. Some two decades since the publication of that paper, and 24 years since the lifting of Ethiopia’s official ban on the usage of Afan Oromo in public spheres, Ethiopia’s TPLF regime has continued to suppress Afan Oromo from being used in the Federal sphere. Before 1974, the methods used to suppress Afan Oromo’s use were frivolous; for instance, to ban Afan Oromo from radio broadcasting, the propaganda used was that the “radio set will break if Afan Oromo is heard on it.” Similar to that frivolous reason, TPLF and its agents in Oromia are suppressing Afan Oromo from being a Federal Working Language using the reason, “Afan Oromo is not developed enough to be used as a Federal Working Language.” Read here(VOA) and listen here(SBS) how TPLF’s agents in Oromia are publicly propagating their bosses’ nationally-biased view of Afan Oromo as well as their misunderstanding of bilingualism under the cover of “election campaign.” (Bilingualism requires the government to provide services and duties in two languages, but the individual does not need to know both of these languages; the individual only needs to know one of them.)
Contrary to what the TPLF regime is actively propagating these days, Afan Oromo is well developed to be used as a Federal Working Language. For that matter, why would even the State of Oromia use Afan Oromo if it’s not developed enough?
Another recent work on the contributions of Abbaa Gammachiis to Afan Oromo is the book by Obbo Abbaa Caalaa Lataa – title: “Jalqaba Barsiisa Afaan Oromoo” (the book is a collection of Oromo poems, folktales, proverbs and traditional love songs written by Abbaa Onesimos Nasib and also Aad. Aster Ganno, another pioneer of Afan Oromo literature). “Jalqaba Barsiisa Afaan Oromoo” is available at the Gadaa.com Bookstore(through Amazon.com) or at Borofa.com.