The last Monday of August 2017 was a day of timid and cloudy night. A like of the atmospheric hurdle, invited congregants queued up who are exceeding a bit of 1,000. One can observe for sure that they were full of craving to see the kaleidoscope as to who would take the historic trophy of HoHE award. The organizers commissioned the renowned artist Taddesse Mesfin. Indeed, Tadesse is also known to design the Ethiopian birr to be minted in the current coin form three years ago. To one’s surprise, by virtue of money circulation we see the design of Coin on the hands of remote farmers. Hence, the artist’s design were made at voluntary basis, it can be underlined as a celebrated opportunity and a graceful offer to hand over the final laureates with a bronze of 3 kilogram weight statuette. Lastly, this long overdue HoHE trophy went for the novel authored by Adam Reta’s ‘Yesenebet kelemat’ (color of party). And the prize were handed for his youngest brother as he was his legal representative. The dignitary veteran author -Sahlesselassie Kidane Mariam notified ‘Yesenebet Kelemat’ in a slow and matured voice after reading the flipped award letter, to disclose the laureate in a ritual way of surprising notification. The dignitary did well as he announced the laureate. Anyone can guess what went next as the momentary silence were broken in pursuant to applause while handing-over the award. Although, any observer can imagine how tough was to reach the climatic stage of award, since the organizers initially received some twenty three novels were only shortlisted for the candidacy. To add an incessant to the story, Yalew Aklilu’s ‘Wesebsabe- to mean complexion ’ and Habtamu Alebachew’s ‘Yesuf Abeba ( to mean-‘ sunflower’ were among the top three outstanding finalists. Thus, anyone can see that the awarded ‘Yesenebet Kelemat’ won out of a very highly competitive short list.
Indeed the organizers has amplified how far the literary judges has down played rigorous techniques both in pre-event and post event undertakings. Critiques argued that Adam’s novel are disruptive in the narrative techniques, which caught exceptionality among the development of historical writing. His protagonists are known for ‘interior monologue’ and ‘stream of consciousness’ techniques. Perhaps, an MA thesis at Addis Ababa University by Hiwit Walelegn (2012) entitled ‘Narrative Techniques of Adam Reta’s Geracha Qacheloch: Stream of Consciousness in Focus has argued that he remarkably employed ‘Stream of Consciousness’ as reflected in the classic dime Adefris . Reader fan of Adam Reta agree that Yesenebet Kelemat also advanced this controversial technique of ‘stream of consciousness’.
Someone a friend of mine was sharing me his testimonials about how far he become ‘ fan of Adam Reta’. Hilariously, he shares his good read for his wife when they lose appetite to eat at dining table. And they dwell to read some paragraph from Adam Reta’s book. His testimonials goes even to the level of putting Adams books as the hyper marker of the 60 generation by saying ‘I saw none other than Adams book to be informed about the social interaction, mores, intellect and political struggle of the sixties as he embraced those real episodes in his fiction. I never saw even from autobiography and public historians of the 60’s generation who revealed the scene of those decades for the successive generation of mine.
In his opinion, the plot and episode of a protagonist ‘Mezgebu’ in “Geracha Qachiloch’, is a textual reminder for us what took place in the 60’s. The guy even argued that ‘Without further arguing, the novelist – Adam Reta narrated what was difficult to explain in 500 pages of public history in a very few pages of ‘Yesenebet kelemat’. Perhaps, it is unusual experience to relate books of different genre since biography and fiction built on different canon. Though such a readers perspective can’t be undermined so far as anyone at least gauges his own utility out of engaging himself on reading books.
In summary, though we acclaim the book- ‘Yesenebet kelemat’ in its literary excellence, the popular opinion snowballed in post- award ceremony also echoed a similar affirmation. Arguably, Adam’s disruptive technique of writing helped ‘Yesenebet Kelemat’ to worth an award.
Contributed by HoHE award