By Daandii Qajeelaa December 4, 2014
I have been closely following and chronicling the struggle of the Oromo students and youth for freedom, democracy, and justice in the English language since November 2009 (see articles from Daandii Qajeelaa on Gadaa.com for details). On my latest post, I have presented “A Chronological Summary of Oromian Students’ Movement Led by Qeerroo Bilisummaa: Nov. 2013 – Nov. 2014” on the eve of the commemoration of the 9th year anniversary of the 2005 Oromia-wide and bloody Oromo student movement commonly known as “Fincila Diddaa Gabrummaa” (Revolt Against Subjugation). In that latest report I have emphasized that the Oromian students’ struggle has obtained a central leadership from a vibrant group of Oromo youth organized under the name of Qeerroo Bilisummaa or simply Qeerroo.
In this brief follow up report, I will begin by introducing one of the most remarkable accomplishments of Qeerroo Bilisummaa, namely, the establishment of a young revolutionary Oromo artist group known as “Hawwisoo Qeerroo Bilisummaa”, roughly translated “Qeerroo Bilisumma Artists’ Group” (translation mine) and its profound contributions in inspiring and energizing the young Oromo generation in the ongoing struggle of the Oromo nation for freedom, democracy, and justice. In particular, I will briefly present the list of songs produced and released on YouTube by this young group of singers since January, 2014. Then I will examine whether the April/May, 2014 Oromo students protests were planned, guided and executed by Qeerroo Bilisummaa or were “spontaneous” and “didn’t have a central leadership” as some have claimed. I will end this note by offering some pieces of advice to Qeerroo Bilisummaa and its supporters.
Hawwisoo Qeerroo Bilisummaa: A Living Proof that “Qeerroo” is for Real
While all speakers of Afan Oromo, especially those of us in the Diaspora, have encountered the works of the Qeerroo Artists’ Group on social media, especially YouTube, to my knowledge, this report would be the first piece to introduce the existence and contributions of this group of artists in writing, in the English language. As a result, I am aware that some might question the very existence of “Hawwisoo Qeerroo Bilisummaa” and as a result might think that it is all made-up. In fact many have said in the past that even the so called “Qeerroo Bilisummaa” is just made-up “by people sitting behind their computers” in the Diaspora. Therefore, for the sake of clarity, before I present some of the works of “Qeerroo Bilisummaa Singers’ Group”, I would like to address the issue of its very existence as follows.
To those who might think that there is no such a thing “Hawwisoo Qeerroo Bilisummaa” and that all this is made-up, I would tell them to just type “Wallee Hawwisoo Qeerroo Bilisummaa” on their YouTube search engine and they will see dozens of songs of this group including the most recent song released on November 26, 2014, entitled “Ka’i Ka’i” meaning “stand up, stand up”. Oh yeah, again these people may now say, all that could be made-up too. They might say it could be cooked behind a computer screen, by making a clip of Oromo singers using the audio they released at home. Could all this be cooked behind a computer screen? Well, if we take that claim at its face value, how about the term “Qeerroo” and the abundant phrases containing this term that the singers use repeatedly in their songs? Those of us who listened to these songs know very well that almost all of these songs contain phrases such as “Qeerroo ka’i”, “Qeerroo falmadhu”, “Qeerroon faarsa”, “Qeerroon sitti marse”, “Qeerroon leenca goota”, and so on. For example: 1) a song released by the name of this group on January 7, 2014 says “Kaayyoo isaa qabatee, Qeerroon Bilisummaa”, 2) another song again released by the name of this group on May 14, 2014 has the title “Oromiyaa keessa Qeerroon sitti marse”, 3) yet another song released on July 19, 2014 says “Qeerroon faarsaa”, 4) another song released on July 8, 2014 has the title “Oh lolaa Qeerroo korri yoomi”, 5) another song released on August 6, 2014 has the title “Nuti Qeerroon Leenca Goota”, just to mention a few. Could those repeated words also be made up behind a computer screen? Could people sitting in the Diaspora tell that group of singers from Oromia to praise “Qeerroo” in the absence of an organized body by this name? Impossible! This line of argument doesn’t hold any water. Read More… Qeerroo Bilisummaa Singers Group