Time is worth its weight in gold

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Alem Hailu G/Kristos



While I was in haste to arrive on time at a book inauguration ceremony in which I was invited to present a speech, it was the conversant Mulu Solomon I first met by the door of the auditorium with scanty guests. Through the influencing power of her speeches in different forums Mulu has managed to cut a cherished corner in the heart of hearts of many Ethiopians. After we exchanged greetings, it was about the little attention most Ethiopians attach to punctuality this public figure lamented. “I second you!” I said capitalizing on the attention-begging issue she raised.


Had it not been to the great respect she had for the author and her being one of the guest speakers, she was about to go as she is one of the finger-counted Ethiopians awakened to the preciousness of time. Gradually, the number of attendees began snowballing necessitating rearranging the schedule.


Soon, I learnt she herself was due to inaugurate her book. “Is it a collection of poems?” I posed, as I knew her as being a poet. She was also president of the Ethiopian Women Author’s Association. “Wait and see!” she created suspense.


Days later, I was invited to attend the inauguration of her book entitled “Kebre Gezie Kebre Sew” which literally means “Preciousness of time and value of human beings.” It expounds the shortfall of most Ethiopians in respecting appointments and the exigency to unshackle citizens from this harmful traditional practice.


The book deals with the urgency to fight diehard and outmoded cultural practices of conducting self-harm inflicting mourning ceremonies. Accordingly, playing host to innumerable guests that expect accommodations the grief-smote ones are forced to incur financial losses on top of inconveniences.


The newly wed also do not arrive in time while celebrants, the company of which the former sought, eagerly await them. At times the latter are forced to stay put more than two hours.


To put attention-begging tasks on the backburner, some civil servants use the pretext of slow internet connectivity discouraging clients that queue up to get services. Sad as it may sound, indulging in bureaucracy they put off electrical meters to create artificial blackouts. Her book also explains to readers how she checked the veracity of this complaint. It is not hard to surmise how this could pose hurdle on the country’s development.


The author also relates how once she reprimanded a physician who arrived late to browbeat patients, while she and her sick mother, along with other patients, were awaiting his arrival with patience. By way of deflecting attention for his laxity he was giving vent to his tension. Here she reflects how the situation could dampen the physician’s mood.


The author recalls how she advised the medical director to be strict on punctuality and furnish the hospital with the amenities dictated by a modern life. She also drew his attention to giving service fixing appointments and observing punctuality. “You could give service to patients registered in advance either giving a call or reporting in person. Lots of patients must not queue up wasting time,” she emphasized.


In the same vein, it is not an uncommon thing to see for lovers to come hours late when their would-be partners are waiting for them. She also relates how guests of honor unfairly take the privilege of being late an hour or two driving participants to the end of their patience.


While she was an instructor at A.A.U and private colleges it was with traditional dance or telling a tale punitive measures late comers were meted out as per the agreement they used to reach earlier.


Time does not glitch to a halt but our life does so. Hence, we have to learn to use time preciously.


The conversant and glamorous lady gifted with the power of influencing others is a sought-after social advocate. Mulu, who was also president of Chamber of Commerce, is chosen to be an ambassador of tax to sweet talk citizens to be forthcoming in paying taxes.


The embroidered white costumes Mulu often puts on accentuate her beauty as many put it. This makes her an ambassador of culture too.


It was putting their hands together congregates, who attended the launching of her book, embraced her urge to be ambassadors of punctuality. She calls upon religious leaders and the elderly to sweet talk citizens to grow out of the traditional practice of not arriving on time forcing many to squander precious time.


Former colleagues attested Mulu’s integrity even in the face of danger during the Derg Regime.


In her speech at the wrapping up of the ceremony, the guest of honor and minister of culture of tourism Dr.Hirut Kassaw also backed the aforementioned attributes.


Kebre Gezie Kebre Sew” has two parts. The first part capitalizes on the preciousness of time. The second part bears the collection of her palatable Amharic poems.


As an internationally-published-author-poet, I was asked to hunt for Ethiopian poets who could contribute English poems to an African Anthology of Poems. I was trying in vain to trace down this lady whom I once saw reading her English poem on the inauguration ceremony of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).


Informing her, I had played the role of a go-between.


Back to the gist, the theme of her first poem goes as follows. Human beings are mortals. Their wealth and money are left behind when they are buried but not their hard-won knowledge. Hence, while they are still kicking they must make a point of sharing their knowledge and experience to others. According to literary critics she never shy away from fighting all social malice with her pen. Mulu, who is author of more than four books, is marked for writing out loud for the cause of the marginalized like women and children. True to this, her pen name is “Power to your pen!” I envy all who read her toothsome poems.


Mulu attributes her zeal and passion for work to her hard working mother, who brought her children tilling family’s land after their breadwinner passed away.


She has won innumerable certificates of appreciation from several organizations. Mulu who had earned BA in accounting and MA in Environment and Development is currently a PHD candidate.


Conferred the title of Ethiopian Ambassador in Germany, Mulu Solomon is due to go there. No doubt she could catalyze the diplomatic relations parallel to promoting investment, trade and tourism.




Book title: Kebre Gezie Kebre Sew

Author: Mulu Solomon

Printed by CTM PP





Alem Hailu G/Kristos

A published poet, novelist, editor, translator of masterpieces, literary critic, playwright and journalist from Ethiopia. M.A holder in literature, Addis Ababa University.

Looking for a traditional publisher of a collection of poems. My novel: ‘Hope from the debris of hopelessness’.

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