Adwa Victory: “A world turned upside down of history”

Addis Ababa University (AAU), College of Social Sciences, organized a two days celebratory conference to commemorate the 125th anniversary of Adwa Victory at Nelson Mandela Hall    on 25th and 26th of February 2021.

The history, memories, politics, national values and global movements of Adwa Victory were broadly revised in the conference where 14 papers and personal outlooks of different scholars related to the Victory presented.

Emebet Mulugeta (PhD), Academic Vice President of AAU, on her opening speech said that every person and the community as a whole have to stand on strong resilient understanding the identity as well as the unique history of the country to go through aclear visions.

According to Dr. Emebet, the Victory of Adwa keeps all motivated, teaches how to solve problems, changes perspectives and narrows the differences. It is a crucial incident for students to investigate and know the valuable history which teaches them how to proceed in a good manner in the future. Dr. Emebet added

Professor Bahiru Zewde, Historian, Author and Emeritus Professor at AAU, on his keynote speech said that the victory of Adwa is an example of unity both nationally and internationally. At a time all Ethiopians stand together, united from end to end, enabled them declare a victory on the Italian aggressor army, he added.

Prof Bahiru clarified, “Although Adwa Victory is celebrated annually at the national level, it has lost its national significance due to the lack of credible and tangible monuments that could represent its triumph. It is a living testament to the unity, freedom; equality and invincibility of Ethiopians, but nowadays there are indications that are trying to loosen the unity of the country by undermining the Victory.”

Raymond Jonas and Aljazeera confirmed Prof Bahiru’s views as: “This is the story of a world turned upside down. On the first of March, 1896, not far from the Ethiopian town of Adwa, an African army won a spectacular victory over a European army,” (Raymond Jonas 2011).

 “Adwa is annually commemorated as an iconic victory in Ethiopia, but it nevertheless remains a focal point of political and ideological contestation between various nationalist groups in the country. The contemporary narratives about the battle are largely retrospective, often reconstructed based on current political and ideological considerations,” (Aljazeera, 1st March 2019).

By: Tsion Aysheshim

Photo: Fikremariam Beyene

Editor: Abraham Girmay