“What did OLF do in the past several decades?”
REFLECTION ON THE PAST 50 YEARS!
By Giftii Wako
The question that is becoming popular these days. For some it is pure ignorance and for others it is a way of discrediting the accomplishments thus far. I felt it was necessary to reflect, assess, and share.
You know how modest some of us are in terms of explaining our professional/personal achievements and take them for granted? The same goes with OLF! Let’s not be modest with this one! Time to reflect and celebrate the successes including the major milestones of this great organization that most of us proudly associate ourselves with and is a symbol of our eenyummaa!
The information below was gathered though an informal chat and text exchanges with a few individuals.
- The people who created OLF were the ones who led the movement that toppled Haile Selassie (1974). These same people drafted the historical land reform declaration that gave the land back to Oromo farmers.
- Before OLF was created, Oromo people were referred to as Gallas. It was through undying devotion and the sacrifice OLF paid that our people proudly started calling themselves Oromo or Oromoota (plural). It took years to educate them self-determination and convince Oromos to call themselves Oromo rather than Galla, an abusive slur used mostly by Amharas. Galla was a derogatory term used to refer to pagan, savage, uncivilized, uncultured, enemy, slave or inherently inferior (Melbaa,1999).
- OLF created the current federal system and the constitution that gave the Oromiyaa statehood that we are all proud of today. The map of Oromiyaa that we see today was possible through this constitution.
- OLF enabled the Oromo language to become one of the widely spoken languages in the horn of Africa.
- Qubee became an Oromo alphabet and is widely and effectively used today. The new generation can speak in Afaan Oromoo in Oromiyaa regions and can read and write in Qubee.
- Our flag, the symbol of our identity and the emblem of our struggle, became extremely popular and the people proudly associate themselves to it. OLF played a significant role in making this happen regardless of all the resistance from every corner in the country.
- It is by the sacrifice of our OLF heroes and heroines that the name Oromo became known on the world stage.
- OLF played pivotal role in reviving Oromo culture/heritage including Oromo music and art.
- OLF made Oromos to be known to the rest of the world via Oromo study journals and OSA, “The Oromo Studies Association is a non-profit, multi-disciplinary organization established to promote and foster scholarly studies in all fields pertaining to the Oromo people.” (OSA, 2019)
- OLF challenged fake Ethiopiawinet narratives which were built for decades.
- OLF drafted education curriculum in Afaan Oromoo in Oromiyaa region.
- Oromiyaa National Anthem was created by OLF.
“If there is no struggle, there is no progress”