Fetsum: Nipsey Hussle and the significance of collective Eritrean talent on the sovereignty of the country
Fetsum: Nipsey Hussle and the significance of collective Eritrean talent on the sovereignty of the country The Eritrean phenomenon is universal, something that transcended all over the world, and the cumulative success of the youth in
Fetsum: Nipsey Hussle and the significance of collective Eritrean talent on the sovereignty of the country
The Eritrean phenomenon is universal, something that transcended all over the world, and the cumulative success of the youth in front of the unfriendly condition at home is a product of the people’s dedication for freedom and democracy. The world has witnessed many Eritrean heroes after independence: No one could isolate them from their identity, nor can one reverse their nationhood established through blood and sweat except the imaginary “YEWAH”. We could have been the same people with the Ethiopians but only the YEWAH fails to see the psychological distinction between us and tries to cross the line of freedom for fatal conclusion.
I feel like the Eritrean dictator has never been politically cornered as tight as in the current situation after 27 years of blunder on the Eritrean society. There is no room for deception on the sovereignty of the country and democracy, no people-based power after the dramatic collapse of the WEYANEs and Ethiopia’s acceptance of the court decision on their borders. The Weyanes focused on weakening the Eritrean people as much as possible, giving him the chance to flip them over with the rest of Ethiopian politicians at the end of the day. Everything is exhausted for the dictator to play games with the people as “the unflinching defender of their sovereignty” after “the game is over” because no one can change the people’s unwavering position on their independence. His hesitation to demarcate the borders may be a result of his fear of facing the Eritreans with the pending issues of freedom and democracy but he can no longer deceive the people without tangible substance in the backdrop. Yet he is sticking to his gun in completely different socio-political and public awareness situation and I predict the mistake will end up consuming his life one way or another; sooner than the ordinary mind can imagine.
Of course, HISUR KEMNEBSU YEHSIREKA: The man is too stupid to figure this out but the more he pushes our society to the limit, the stronger the people assert their independence through high level performance in various fields of universal contact. The Eritrean struggle went toe to toe with the enemies till all of them resigned from the game with humiliating defeat and our young talented kids have been challenging the dictator’s betrayal through colorful presence and exceptional achievement in the international paradigm of excellence. I don’t think any nation as small as ours had impacted the world in many different ways as the Eritreans did in a very short time amounted only after independence. I can in fact put my life on the line on this contemplation; the 4.75 million Eritreans are after all only 0.0006 % of the world population while the comparative essence of mankind tells another story.
Let me take you back in history talking about some goodies before independence. “Zeudi Araya was born in Decamerè, Eritrea. At a very young age she was elected as Miss Ethiopia and then noticed by the Italian Cinema environment. Zeudi’s first movie, “La Ragazza dalla Pelle di Luna”, was directed by Luigi Scattini.” The Eritrean-Italian beauty queen later had enough skills to make more movies with Hollywood legends in the caliber of Burt Lancaster.
It was in the same era that Tekeste Weldu, aka “Gegante”, became “the first Eritrean Athletes who participated in international cycling tournaments including the Olympic Games, making his name shine across the world of cycling.” Gegante won the gold media for Ethiopia in the African Cycling competitions [Nigeria] in the early seventies.
Leaving the runners alone for now without forgetting Zeresenai Tadesse who used to own the half marathon world record from 2010 to 2018 and the youngest marathon winner of the world Ghirmay Gebreselasie [in Beijing, 2015], the ERITREAN phenomenon continues to resonate in the minds of millions after the country won the war against Ethiopia and the super powers in 1991. Sidelining our cyclists that dominated the continental sport for many years, of course keeping in mind the history they made as the first black cyclists in Tour de France with Daniel Teklehaimanot winning the king of mountains prize and Merhawi Kudus registering a mark as the youngest cyclist of the event few years ago, the Eritrean dynamics has been a potent force to recon with the country’s exceptionality disclosed in many different scenarios saying the least. Merhawi is today the latest Champion of Tour of Rwanda . Not only did our kids introduce our flag in different podiums of the planet but also helped all peoples of the world to acknowledge the existence of Eritrea as a rare talent unachieved by any other society comparable to its population. To over excite the situation, Eritrea even participated in the last winter Olympics with SHANNON-OGBANI ABEDA who made another piece of history for Africa as the first winter Olympian from the continent.
Let me now shift your attention to the outstanding achievements of Eritreans-Americans in the west. Meb Kiflezghi is an Eritrean-American that achieved a silver medal for the US in the Olympics and gold medals in New York and Boston marathons after independence.
Thomas Kelati [shooting guard/small forward] was one of the very few African Athletes that played dominant college basketball as a member of Washington State [2001-2005]. Among others, he played with Polish National team in Europe and signed with the LA Lakers as a training camp invitee in 2009 but later waived. He had few games to play blending well with super star Kobe Bryant and the then coach Phil Jackson before he moved back to Europe for extended career in professional Basketball literally rejecting the Laker’s offer that you may research and learn what it was all about. He just had too many options and specially in Europe to let that opportunity slip away without hesitation.
As so difficult as it has always been to be a member of the NFL, Natnael Sebhatu Berhe is an Eritrean-American athlete who played for NY Giants [2014-2017], Pittsburgh Steelers in 2018 and still active as a free agent today. I don’t remember any other person with African background that had ever achieved what he achieved in this regard.
Shifting the gear to the Hollywood does not allow you to ignore the vibrant Tiffany Haddish, a multi-talented Eritrean-American Artist [music, writing, modeling and comedy] that has won the Grammys and now involved in about 5 movies, basically becoming one of the most dominant artists in America. Tiffany is a biproduct of South central Los Angeles who went through many problems in her life including a brief period of homelessness. But she overcame the odds like the history of her people in the struggle, earning about $5 Million so far at the beginning stage of her career. She is a proud Eritrean that visited the mother land and who habitually introduces her roots in different media appearances. We are talking about the talent dimensions comparable to Whoopi Guldberg’s minus experience, ladies and gentlemen! Her interview with EriTV in Asmara in 2018 was beautiful. Tiffany is today the most admired artist by Whoopi Guldberg, a super star she made a movie with: she is just in love with her. She introduces herself as an Eritrean before anything else in any program she may involve and that is what Eritrea means to the world.
At this juncture the entire world is grieving the tragic death of super star, actor and Hip-Hop Artist Nipsey Hussle [Ermias Asghedom], an Eritrean-American known to have been a product of the drug and violence culture of South-Central LA. He was a former gang member [Rolling 60’s Neighborhood Crip Gang] who transformed the hip-hop culture by dedicating his resources to the development of his neighborhood in south Los Angeles county. This young man was too Eritrean in spirit to have been involved in the Eritrean communities, in the US. Nipsey Hussle’s net worth was reported to be $8 million in 2005 and he invested most of it in his neighborhood. He was a Grammy nominated Rapper in 2018; so confident and talented enough to have had close work-related relationship with other superstars in the caliber of Drake and Snoop Dog. The man attracted many celebrities in the last few years and was known for his motivational slogans that read; “STAY FOCUSED, QUITING IS NOT AN OPTION; DON’T WAIT, THE TIME WILL NEVER BE JUST RIGHT; GO IN THE DIRECTION OF YOUR DREAM; DON’T TALK ABOUT IT BE ABOUT IT; CRUSH THE ENEMY TOTALLY KILL THEM WITH SUCCESS”. The slogans of his movement were on the walls of his studio for the “boys in the hood” to learn from and transform their lives around. He was considered an “icon that revolutionized the [hip hop] industry”. Here are few grievances about his death from the elite class of the society:
Snoop: “Gone so soon Nipsey. I am so sad right now I will just reflect on the good times we had”
Lebron James: ”Just spoke with you the other day on text Bro! Telling you how proud I was of you and how I was get you to more Laker games next season. Being a stand up dude from day 1! May you rest in paradise Young King!! This one hurts big time”.” “So SAD man!! DAMN man this hurt.”
Drake: “F**k. My whole energy is just at a low right now hearing this,” Drake wrote in the caption. “We just linked for the first time in years and said we were gonna do a new song this summer cause it had been too long.”
Stephen Curry: “I got to know him last year and had a great conversation about who he was as a person and what he stood for, what his message was and how , how he tried to inspire people , considering where he grew up and he turned it into something really powerful representing the entire city… so sad sad event..”
Rihanna: “+This doesn’t make any sense! My spirit is shaken by this! Dear God may His spirit Rest In Peace and May You grant divine comfort to all his loved ones! … I’m so sorry this happened to you @nipseyhussle”
LA mayor Eric Garcetti: “Our hearts are with the loved ones of Nipsey Hussle and everyone touched by this awful tragedy. LA is hurt deeply each time a young life is lost to senseless gun violence. My Crisis Response Team is assisting the families coping with shock and grief”
Ice Cube: “Sad, mad and disappointed about my guy @Nipsey Hussle.”
Actress writer Issa Rae: “Watching Nipsey inspired me to invest and own in our communities. He was a solid man who loved his woman, his family and his community. This hurts.”
Former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick: “This is so painful! @NipseyHussle was doing great work for the people. Keep his legacy alive by carrying on his work! Sending love to his family. Rest in Power King”
New York Knicks player DeAndre Jordan: “Thoughts and prayers go out to @NipseyHussle’s family and especially his children… hope they receive every ounce of strength and positivity the universe is sending them right now #RIPNipsey.”
Rapper Nas: “It’s dangerous to be an MC. Dangerous to be a b-ball player. It’s dangerous to have money. Dangerous To Be A Black Man … So much hatred. We live like our brothers and sisters in third world countries live. Right in America … Its so deep rooted. It’s not easy fix. Hard to fix anything when kids are still living in poverty. I ain’t shutting up though, Nipsey is a True voice. He will never be silenced.” — rapper Nas on Instagram.
Rapper J.Cole: “Nipsey you a legend. I respect and admire your career path and what you did for the neighborhood. My heart broke today when I saw the news. I’m praying for your loved ones. This was sposed to be the year we got one in. God had bigger plans for you.”.
Journalist and commentator Tamron Hall: “Thinking of all the positive things Nipsey Hussle brought to the community he loved so dearly.”
As the grief moves on with incredible speed, “Montrezl Harrell [Clippers’s basketball] has Nipsey Hussle Jersey in [the] Locker. Harrell was asked about the No. 5 ‘Hussle’ jersey hanging in his locker after the game. The Clippers forward said he asked for it to be made, citing the fact that he admired Hussle for “working his tail off” and “doing it his way.” Harrell states that the hard work and doing it the right way is the person he tries to be, and it’s the approach Hussle took throughout his life.”
I was surprised by how far this icon of transformation; family man and respected communal activist took his freedom of speech listening to his Victory Lap album (2017) where he told his life story using the word NIGGER 95 times within 7:29 time frame; using it once in 4.73 seconds (with a little help from the acoustic echo in the background), according to my counting capacity with 5% margin of error. I don’t think any Hip-Hop Artist used the word as much in a single event as this special Eritrean did for me to assume it being a record in this regard. In that experience, he appeared on stage with dropped down pants and performed his progressive rap in gangster style touching his private part about 44 times. He weighed 179 pounds in SLIM 6 ft 3 inches frame.
A person from a foreign background would not dare saying the expression in front of Americans without taking a risk. One in this situation should be extremely comfortable within the Afro-American communities as spiritual part of the Ghetto experience to get away with it. That is how deeply connected he was with his communities as a hybrid black artist in racist America. Hussle also collaborated with Rapper YG and released a video clip with the controversial “FUCK DONALD TRUMP” expression in Apr 18, 2016. His tenacity to express his mind with maximum freedom is very interesting to contrast with the secretive culture of the Eritreans even at the highest educational point of the connection. Everything is done in secret in our situation: The dictator does national issues in privacy and some intellectuals tend to design the society’s political road map behind closed doors; without exposing themselves to the public and giving the people a chance to openly select their representatives in this regard; a sickening compulsion that continues to complicate the struggle against any form of dictatorship.
The question is how conscious he had been about his roots and the Eritrean struggle in general! Well, here are few indicators to this effect:
Nepsey Hussle: “I was raised in LA by my mom, you know! My mom’s family is black American. I always know my heritage from my dad but I never met my family. My dad was the only one in America. Everybody else was back home. So when I went there [Eritrea], it educated me to the other side.”
Hussle with EriTV in Asmara: “I feel sense of pride knowing the history of the struggle and the circumstances that our people overcame, you know from being outnumbered against the super powers and became victorious and being self sufficient and independent in a country that needs self-sufficiency from the scratch ”he also said “suffering is the process for the bigger picture, it was a long term process, a metaphor for life to finish what you start.” As he said “the moment one tries it by force, the sooner it disintegrates for good”, a clear message to the dictator in Asmara and other dictatorial tendencies in the elite class of the society.
The more I tried to know this Artist, the further his wisdom impressed me as an ordinary human being. There is no doubt he was about to become as iconic as the legendary Bob Marley had he had a little more time to live but he had 10 rules of success that he shared with the world; and here they are:
- “Have a plan to avoid pipe dreaming so that you are not faking what you are doing”. Deal with your plan a stage at a time! He was talking about working under a plan with defined specification of the associated challenges and executing them procedurally before facing the destination!
- “Don’t alienate your brand for business”. He believed in sticking with what he represented as a human being, in “keeping as pure as I can”. He was talking about the risk of mixing philosophical convictions with business (money, pride, ego, fame, etc.)
- “Find leverage”. He believed in “delivering a deal different to the standard output” which I understood to imply global participation with unique creativity in the blend. He was talking about studying what is available and blending it with something creative to magnify its substance.
- “Seek Respect” because he understood he could not do anything productive with others without respect in both directions of the duality.
- “Be proud of what you do”. He said “I am peaceful about what I do” because he knew he was doing something extraordinary for the development of his communities.
- “live your dream”; he saw this as success!
- “Seize opportunities” because he knew one lost opportunity dies out at dire expense of the self and society at large. He knew the tragedy in lost opportunities because they may never come around again.
- “Don’t listen to the little man”, do it without waiting others to do it for you or without waiting for their direction. Don’t confine your potential within external limitations!
- “Keep evolving”. Learn and grow don’t remain dormant! Involve and develop, show it in practice rather than the lips.
10) “Be Loyal”, do not betray people that you did something with. This, of course can mean many things in life but it is all about trusting your people and making it together instead of standing in the way through intrigues for the sake of attention and domination. Knowing no individual should self-assume as the sole solution of a common problem is a wisdom that Nipsey conquered early on in life.
In conclusion, Nipsey Hussle’s last tweet before his death outside of his Los Angeles clothing store on March 31, 2018 was “Having strong enemies is a blessing”. I am grieving his violent death in my privacy like any other touched human being in the world by the tragedy. The human race lost something exceptional and the mood in the US and specially in his community has been unbelievable with so many people reacting to the event. I feel sorry to see him go before impacting our society because of the disgusting dictatorship in the country. But that is what Eritreans gave to the world for all people to recon the country no matter how petit it may appear in terms of population. Once again, the success story of the Eritreans in different aspects of life emanates from the dedication for freedom registered during the independence struggle against all odds. The more Isaias tries to undermine the Eritrean identity, the stronger their talents explode in the universal stages of mankind. The kids are doing the best, the flag dancing and the world watching their incredible contributions to mankind. Yet, the miserable dictator is butt-leaking the Ethiopians resisting the demarcation of our countries by the book. What a choice to depend on Abiy, a weak leader of the fragmented society in the verge of disintegration instead of the Eritreans that glorified him by doing miracles everywhere. I am not undermining him here and I respect PM Abiy very much so. I sure wish him the best but the fact says that he cannot even control Tigrai let alone changing the Eritrean nationhood with the master of fear and deception Isaias Afwerki, IF THAT MAY BE HIS INTENTION WHICH IS OBSCURE AS OF TODAY. Isaias wants war with the Tigreans not for the benefit of Eritreans but to secure Abiy’s regime from them at the expense of our blood. He wants the war thinking it will save his behind from the mess he put it in. This will never happen again; no Tigrean can ever be fooled into war with the Eritreans anymore and the vise versa! For now, my deepest condolence to the family and friends of Ermias Asghedom, the entire Eritreans, African Americans and the human race at large!