We’ve all heard about the “Koshe” accident. It brought up such a sadness, so many have lost their lives and the survivors have lost so many of their loved ones. Our city is in such a loss, yet, the city is as lively as always, people still celebrate, drink, feast and dance to their days, either to ease their disappointment or to cheer for a good day. One thing, the city has moved on already. It’s just news, just like every other sad news that come and go every now and then.
What makes this different is that it shattered the partition that has been keeping the city life most people think is what life looks like these days from the life that we think don’t exist. It’s a whole other introduction, to the other side of life most of us aren’t even thankful for.
“Koshe”, is a place where the whole neighborhood is one large family. From our interview with Zemed, the girl who has lost her mother along seven other family members. We have come to learn about life we have never even thought of. Well, our movies, music videos, and TV shows are all busy writing stories with an image which we might as well call a fantasy, or an escape, sneak peak so far from home, basically lies to tell ourselves and others. We have been well brainwashed enough to think Addis Ababa along the people have come to a point where most people lead a decent life if not an accomplished one, and none of us ever bothered to stop and think if there might be a whole other part of the city life.
Growing up, most of us have had decent meals on the table, been sent to a good school well dressed, served, not worrying about what tomorrow may have in store for us. We have taken what we were fortunate to have for granted. But again, our interview with Zemed tells another childhood.
Here’s a bit about Zemed and the ones that have lost their lives.
Zemed is now a principal of a private school. She got her first degree from Kotebe University College in English Language now working on her Master’s degree in Journalism at Addis Ababa University. She said everyone is surprised with the fact she managed to get where she is now with all the struggles they had growing up. Back in the days, there were morning shifts and afternoon shifts, whenever they weren’t at school they spend their days at “koshe”. When she was in the 8th grade, there were times she went to school with bare feet because her mother couldn’t afford it. She had help from organizations where she gets school materials once in a year. Her mother she has lost now used to sell “Areqe” and “Injera” to support the family. She grew through that struggle to get where she is now, and by the time she had so many plans for her mother, she lost her.
Zemed has a sister in 12th grade now about to take the entrance exam, with all the situation she fears she might not be able to make it but she vows to help her sister in all ways she could.
The other one is Meselu; it has only been three days since she gave birth when the slide accident happened. Meselu was an Amharic teacher at Biruh Tesfa Primary school.
All her life she strived to make hers and other peoples’ lives better, she highly valued education. But growing up, even when she was at elementary school she used to sell vegetables for a lower price, and when she was in college, she used to work as a waitress. It’s through all that she succeeded. She didn’t stop with herself, though, as she believed in getting an education, she brought her sister Kidist from the countryside where she could get that education. Yet, her dreams were taken away from her way too soon.
Zemed walked us through the lost lives that’s hard to say they have lived at all to lose. Minayehu Beyene is another one. He sacrificed all his dreams so that he could give his brothers and sisters a life he can’t afford to live. Their mother died when they were only kids, and since their father was too weak to work, he quit school so he could work instead. He used to sell sticks traveling all way from Sebeta to Shiromeda. Through that, he helped his brothers and sisters get the right education and the youngest managed to get in RIES Engineering as a technician.
These are just a few of the many stories, some of the many people who have had it alike if not worse. They lost their dreams way too soon, and nothing has changed, everyone moved on, just like all the other sad news that come and go.
If death knocks on our doors today, most of us had lives worth living. And we would just be leaving all that behind. But they had nothing worth leaving behind; they were still on the run to build that life. A life well lived to lose.
Whatever happened, with all that’s lost is lost, what we can do take our blindfolds and help those who’re left behind. There are kids who could use a lot of support to at least get a decent meal, uniforms and to go to school. There are mothers who are killing themselves with hard work so their children could live. There are a lot of families out there who could use our help. None of us are too poor to share what we have. Yet we all are busy living our average if not the good life. There is a whole other part of life we know. Sometimes we should bother to look around.
We can’t bring the lost ones back, but we can give the rest a better life worth living while they are still alive.