Afan Oromo Academy named with Dr. Haile Fida Officially Established in Wollega University. @Nekemte, Wollega University


Dr. Haile Fida, the father of “Qube Afan Oromo”, we love and respect you for everlasting!

Afan Oromo Academy named with Dr. Haile Fida Officially Established in Wollega University.

A workshop organized by Wollega University’s Afan Oromo and Afro-Asiatic Studies center carried out today at Wollega University main campus(Nekemte) in the presence of Well known Historians, Researchers, Abba Gadas, Elders, Scholars, and Wollega University’s Higher officials.

The Workshop opened by the Blessings of Elders followed by Wollega University’s President Dr. Hassen Yusuf’s Welcoming speech. Dr. Hassen on his speech said, “this is the first step in making Wollega University Center of excellence, especially in Afan Oromo Studies “. His Excellency promised to provide any support needed to establish and strengthen the Academy. He also mentioned the contributions made by Dr. Haile Fida and Sheik Bekiri Saphalo for the Development of Afan Oromo Language.

Dr. Beshatu Ferede on her part said “this day is an exceptional day for her and for all Oromo people as the discussion will be going to Establish Afan Oromo Academy which is the first of its kind. “Her Excellency elaborated the usefulness of the Academy, especially in enhancing the use of Afan Oromo Language in research, Literature and Teaching -learning.

Dr. Asafa Tefera addressed how Afan Oromo language is used in the Media, in teaching -learning and Literature.

His Excellency Obo Bekele Gerba briefly addressed the participants in teaching Afan Oromo at Standardized level. He said, “each and every family has a duty to teach the children in speaking the language.”

Proffessor Ezkiel Gabbisa briefly described the good works done by Dr. Haile Fida for the development of Afan Oromo Language. Dr. Haile Fida Contributed a lot in developing Afan Oromo Language by starting to write Afan Oromo Language with Latin letters, properly spelling Afan Oromo Words (especially words with soft and Hard Pronunciation.) Dr. Haile Fida paid a lot of sacrifices while he was trying to develop and standardize Afan Oromo Language. Beyond his contributions in Afan Oromo Language development, Dr. Haile Fida was an active participant in leading students movement in the fight for freedom and human rights. Therefore, Professor Ezekiel Gebbisa Said “Dr. Haile Fida Deserves the Academy to be Named after his name for all the good contributions he made during the difficult times”

Dr. Alamu Hayilu, a Scholar from Addis Ababa University has presented a paper on the Ups and downs Afan Oromo Language passed through.

Apart from the above-mentioned scholar’s papers, plenty of other papers were presented and detailed discussions were carried out, and An Academy Named after the Well Known Scholar Dr. Haile Fida has been Officially established at Wollega University. The Academy will begin its work in September 2012 E. C.

At the closing stages of the workshops, scholars, and individuals who made great contributions in Establishing the Academy have been given certificates and recognition.

“Dream Big, Work Hard, Achieve

Source: Via Wollega University Corporate Communication


Haile Fida Kuma: the Father of Qubee Afaan Oromo

Dr Haile Fida Kuma has made an outstanding contribution to the development of Oromo national orthography. He was one of the pioneers who attempted to shade fresh on the history of the Oromo, the right of the Oromo people to speak, read and write in Afaan Oromo . He initiated Oromo studies in Europe and has made a major contribution both to our knowledge of Afaan Oromo grammar and to the discussion on how the language should be written 1968-1974. His first research paper was published in 1972, on Tatek, theoretical Journal of Ethiopian Studies in Europe entitled ‘Languages in Ethiopia: Latin or Geez for writing Afaan Oromo.’ He further published in 1973 Oromo Grammar book entitled ‘ Hirmaata Dubbi Afaan Oromo’: Haile Fida, et al. (1973). Hirmaata Dubbi Afaan Oromo, Paris and a literature book :‘Barra Birran Barie, Paris,’ using his adopted 35 Latin Qubee alphabets. The books were as a result of his long-time study of the Oromo language and problems of Oromo orthography.

In this groundbreaking Afaan Oromo grammar book, he adopted the Latin alphabet to the phonology of the Oromo language by modifying some of the shapes of the letters and adding subscript diacritics. He made distinctions between short and long vowels letters by using single vowels letters (i, e, a, o,u) for the former and double (ii, aa, oo, uu) ones for the latter. He presented the finding of his research to the conference of Ethiopian Student Union in Europe in 1972 and this brought a debate on language issues within the Ethiopian and Oromo students movement abroad (see, Dr. Fayisa Demie. 1996. Historical Challenges in the Development of the Oromo language and Some Agendas for Future Research, Journal of Oromo Studies, Vol.3, no.1 &2, pp. 18-27. Oromia Quarterly. Fayisa Demie. 1999.

The Father of Qubee Afaan Oromo: A tribute in Honour of Haile Fida’s Contributions to the development of Oromo Orthography, Oromia Quarterly, Vol.. II, no.3. Pp. 1-5.) His knowledge on Oromo language was so encyclopedic and his contribution to the Oromo studies in Europe was so well known at the time and his contribution was greatly acknowledged by the Oromians who know him very closely. Oromo national Organisations have started to use Qubee Afaan Oromo from the 1970s. Oromo national Convention in 1991 endorsed the use of Qubee all over Oromia.

Dr. Haile was assassinated by the Dergue Ethiopian regime before seeing this remarkable achievement in the use of Qubee in Oromia which is the greatest milestone in the history of the Oromo people. Dr. Haile Fida completed his initial primary education at Arjo primary school and junior grade 7-8 at then Haile Selassie I Secondary school in Naqamtee followed with secondary education at General Wingate school in Finfinnee and undergraduate at Finfinnee University (Science Faculty, Geology Department). Haile was an outstanding student while he was in General Wingate secondary school and the university. He completed his secondary education with 10A’s and 2B’s and his Undergraduate University with distinction with GPA 4. After graduation from the Department of Geology, he was employed as a graduate assistant and became a lecturer in the same department. He left to France to pursue postgraduate studies.

Haile studied MA in sociology and social anthropology and Ph.D. in philosophy at the Le Palais De L’ Academie Paris. While he was in Europe he was an active member of the Ethiopia students Union in Europe and an Honorary Secretary of the French Socialist Party. Dr. Haile was married to Mme Marie and survived with two children. Haile belonged to a group of a generation of Oromo nationalist who embarked on an arduous struggle to liberate the Oromo nation from Ethiopian oppression in two different strategies .

The first Oromo group were convinced the Oromo question is a colonial question and argued the solution to the Oromo question is the liberation of Oromia from Ethiopian Colonialism. Indeed to show the Oromo identity as a colonial people deprived their right to govern themselves democratically and oppressed by Amhara/ Tigrai colonial settlers, they have put forward historical evidence which supports the Oromo case.

The second group, in which Haile belonged, argued the Oromo question is national and it is possible to solve the problem through the democratization of the Ethiopian state. As part of their struggle against national oppression, this group of Oromos has attempted to take forward the national question high in the agenda of the Ethiopian student movement and other Ethiopian organizations that were mushroomed since the Ethiopian revolution in 1974. The first members of this generation were born in the early 1940s and the youngest in the early and mid-1950s. It was a generation of Oromo activists who came together to struggle against national oppression.

Most of them killed while struggling for the Oromo cause or while attempting to change Ethiopia. Indeed, Haile was one of the victims who died while attempting to change the environment of national oppression in Ethiopia. He was killed by Ethiopians while struggling against national oppression and for the right of the Oromo people to speak and write in their language. His early death robs Oromia an enthusiastic, hardworking and committed Oromo professional. The inspiration he provided throughout his life continues to influence Oromo scholars and new generations in the field of Oromo studies.

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