He was the most important person twenty years ago, approving the landmark that signifies a chapter in the Country’s political history. Back from a very private life for almost twenty years in Germany, He had a lot to learn. Though he is no more under the eyes of the public , it seems that his learning and coping with changes and leaps is still intact. Reflective as he sounds, his aspired memoir could tell the personal truth to whoever is ready to learn and reflect as he is doing now.
We questioned him about his life now compared to 20 years ago:
NG: Twenty years ago, the Federal Democratic Republic was constituted, I was elected President of the Republic, I signed on the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. Thus, for me it was important to get used to the life of the presidency with my multiple, duties and responsibilities as the Head of State, family man and political figure.
Today, I am not member of any political organization and not involved in any State role, duties and responsibilities. it is now for me very important to edit and have my book published in Amharic and Oromiffa languages, and Personal memoir.
What Tickles the Taste Buds?
NG: Nothing changes: Marqaa (porridge) with yoghurt and Qochqochaa (young green hot pepper mixed with different kinds of spices) was my favorite dish from youth.
Evolution of Earnings
NG: Then everything paid for by the palace administration, I used to receive 5000 Br as a pocket money.
Since July 2005, my lifetime benefit privilege was abrogated. So now, I receive 1700 Br. as pension. I practically live on the income of my wife. I wish that my rights and benefits could be reinstated since I am not now involved in any partisan political activity and am not member of any political party.
Splashing Out on Fashion
NG: I did not have nor do I have any extraordinary expensive clothing than what the upper of the middle class Ethiopian has.
NG: Then, I was so busy with my new post as President, party work in the different organs of the OPDO and EPRDF I may frankly say that I did not have pass time/leisure twenty years ago. But I did strictly taken time to follow news electronically and written.
Today, I read and do follow news and I walk.
NG: My aspiration twenty years ago was that I genuinely and effectively serve and contribute in the work implementing the constitution for the building of a democratic Ethiopia. I still have this aspiration. I wish to do that by establishing a center for research and dialogue.
Perception of Death
NG: I did not have time to think about death twenty years ago. Today, now that I am 72 years old and health issues, I sometimes think about death.
In Your CD Collection
NG: I really did not and do not have a special favorite song.
NG: I was inspired by the new Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. I am still inspired by it and wish that it is implemented properly
Tipping the Scales
NG: I think I weighed 57 kilos then. I now weigh 64 kilos.
NG: I used to have a cape on my head earlier than twenty years ago and continued to use it privately twenty years. That cape can be seen on the front page of Daniel Tefferra’s book, “Daandii Negaso – Ye Negaso Menged –“(Negaso’s Path). The cape does not look old, of course it is out fashion, and I still use it.
NG: I used to enjoy political party activities very much and meeting with colleagues very often. This is no more the case since December 2013. I have to get used to it since it is my own choice
NG: After performing some public state acts on national holidays such as Ginbot 20 (May 28) or party holidays such as founding anniversaries, we in the OPDO and in EPRDF did not actually have rest on holidays. We had unending meetings.
Now I free from public state acts and meetings. I am at home and celebrate holidays at home with my family, close relatives and very few friends.
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