Menagesha, ETHIOPIA - Farm employee
Interview made by Cyril Bruyelle in December 2017
When I met her, Kokobe was an employee in a flower farm a few kilometres away from Addis Abeba. This farm, managed by a very kind French couple, employs a lot of people from the closest small village. Ethiopia is very poor and uneducated country where religion plays a big role. Kokobe seemed to be a very religious person and I guess that’s what led us to say that Homosexuality is a sin. Please don’t judge of blame her for what she is saying. We should rather try to understand where her words come from. Why is she thinking like this? Many political leaders in Africa say that homosexuality comes from foreign countries, and then use it as a political tool against foreign influence. Unfortunately, one can make uneducated believe in a lot of things in the name of God or any other superior force.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
When I was a child, I wanted to be educated and be able to reach a great state in life. But I won't share my other dream.
With whom would you like to have a coffee?
We Ethiopians love coffee and we're also very welcoming to others. That is our culture.
If you could choose something that could be taught in every school in the world, what would it be?
I'm not really sure. Science maybe? Yes, I would like kids to learn science. It is through science that we learn everything, and it's connected with what we all do, right?
To you, what’s the main characteristic that all human being have in common?
The common thing that we human beings have in common would be this world, I think.
To you, who is the happiest person on earth?
To me the happiest person is the one that believes in God. Without God, I don't believe there is happiness.
If you were President of the US, what would your first reform be?
The first thing that I would do is...but I'm about to say something unpleasant. There are some things I don't like about America, for instance homosexuality. I would stop that. Stop it everywhere, because I believe that America is influential.
What do you need ?
I want to have one more child...and I would like to be rich.
What would you do if we gave you 1 million dollars now ?
To be truthful, I want to help others that are in need. If I could, I would do that.
What’s the news that affect you the most in your country these days?
I don't feel good whenever I hear some bad news about my country. It makes me sad.
Do you think your life is easier or more complicated than the life of your parents?
I wouldn't say their lives were better but at the same time, I wouldn't say easier either. There are many things going on in my life but I would rather not say.
If you had to create a company, what would it be?
To be truthful, I would do something for kids that have lost their parents and don't have anything.
What are you afraid of?
I'm not scared of humans so I would have to choose from animals. I'm scared of Hyenas. People here are also scared of dogs, stray dogs.
What is your dream?
I want to be a mother. I want to also raise my kids in a good way.
Close your eyes, you are in 2100, what do you see?
In a hundred years, I see that our country has changed, and it is very beautiful. Something like... America. That's my hope.
What is the most beautiful thing that you’ve seen in your life?
What does religion mean to you?
Religion for me is the belief in Christ and knowing that Christ is the right way. It is knowing that anyone can be saved by Jesus Christ. We are leaving this world, but I believe there is another one. So that is faith. It is believing in Christ.
Which of your country's cultural specificities are you the proudest of?
I love the holidays, especially Easter and Christmas. Easter is my favorite.
If you could do any job regardless of money, what would you do?
I think I would like to work with great people, renowned people, even without pay.
If you had to explain our planet to an alien what would you say?
It's hard...I would say something nice about it though. Our earth is beautiful with amazing landscapes. I don't know.
And you, which question would you like to ask to the world ?
I don't know really know, I haven't thought about it. I would say “Selam” [Greetings] to the world.