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If one speech can make a difference then Monday April 2 could be the dawning of a new era of hope. Lest anyone discount the power of a good orator remember that Obama was transformed from a little known and young senator to the Whitehouse after a hope filled speech electrified US audiences. Since Monday Prime Minister Abiy has been compared to that charismatic former US president, and other famous world change agents like Czech’s Vaklav Havel.
Abiy’s speech and reactions were being shared widely on all social media apps. His words echoed throughout the educated and Kana watchers, in the hearts of old and young, rich and poor and male and female, idealists and stoic realists.
“I must admit I got teary when he started talking about his mom and the vital role women must play in our country,” said one viewer.
Some had taken to quoting a different line of the speech each day on Facebook to support the new PM’s call for unity. Others felt inspired not only by the message but by the man. “If he can do so much at such a young age, it makes me want to work harder for my country as well,” a young professional said.
Maybe one speech or what has been known as the ‘Bully Pulpit,’ can’t change everything but it’s a start and here’s the thing. The new PM has inspired people to try. Perhaps the effect can be summed up in the words of a 20 something woman who recently returned from Kuwait and was reading the speech a day after most already had. “Maybe Ethiopia can be good again,” she said.