Do you believe Issias Afwerki?
The way I look at it every time Issias Afwerki of Eritrea gives an interview Eritreans divide roughly into half and half (and this is not political division at this point)… one half wants to listen to the interview and makes a point of making the necessary arrangements to be able to, and the other half couldn’t give a toss what he says… when he says it or where he says it… even when you allegedly support the guy there really is no need to hear it from the horses mouth when it comes to what he says… there will be many carefully packaged version for each constituency… Yemane Monkey will deliver the light and palatable version for foreign consumption… and cadres across the globe will present the foul-mouthed version for diaspora consumption and 03 will deliver the hafash version for the poor sods inside the country and the poorer sods who are blackmailed to follow pfdj dictat….
So those that don’t get it from the horse's mouth don’t really have much problem at this point… they will either ignore the event totally or they will hear each version and be immersed in the phenomenon soon enough (by the end of all the versions they will find themselves repeating meaningless disembodied terms and phrase almost involuntarily!)
Those who chose to listen to him have to choices… to believe what he says or do not believe what he says. Again not believing isn’t an indication of disagreement necessarily. In the surreal reality of Eritreans these days, it is perfectly possible to feel one thing and say the opposite… ( e.g. you can leave the country crossing a border illegally having paid thousands of dollars for the privilege… seek asylum detailing everything that has happened to you and to your kin and then come back and say you still stand with your ‘government’!)…. But anyway if you choose to not believe what IA says you only need to work out whether to be sensible, courageous or cowardly with your beliefs… if you are sensible you will stay silent for a bit and see who else is agreeing or disagreeing…. If you are courageous you will do something about it and if you are cowardly you will believe one thing and say the opposite (a silly ypfdj t-shirt in a selection of telly tubby colors is optional)….
If you choose to believe him you have far too many problems and endless questions will keep you up at night… so you have to work out whether you are going to blind-follow or intelligently follow that belief… if you choose to blind-follow then you have fewer problems just make sure you sit next to the drum machines when you are at a mekete meeting next time (that way you can blame your inability to hear yourself think on a physical impairment rather than a psychological one)… if there are no drum machines you can use the loud cheers of your fellow blind followers as a substitute deafener (just make sure she is loud enough… there is nothing worse than being partially deaf to IA when you are trying to blindly follow him!) … if you choose to try and be intelligent about your beliefs you will be in too many quagmires that you will probably wonder if listening to him was really worth it in the first place….
Take for instance the question of why so many Eritrean young people are leaving. According to IA, there is an internationally orchestrated conspiracy… you could have spared yourself hearing that but it is too late now…. You could have chosen to disregard it but you chose to believe him… you could have just blindly followed and repeated it but you want to be intelligent about it… so now you will be wondering how this sophisticated… the highly orchestrated international conspiracy was transmitted to thousands of Eritrean youth who are supposed to be doing their national service?… if you carry on listening IA would tell you that their mothers are to blame…. So you now have to ask how their mothers… our mothers in the villages… were able to tap into and be taken by this highly orchestrated international conspiracy? And if you don’t stop listening to him you might even end up wanting to ask one or two of your own questions… like: what has ‘our’ government done to counter the conspiracy and convince the mothers that their children are better off in their warm homes among their people being guided and supported as they develop into productive and well-adjusted adults who will build and develop their country into a proud and prosperous nation…. Why indeed! If you still believe the president by this point you might want to either blind-follow him (for various reasons) or maybe listening to him should remain an option that you abstain from….