First Lady, Azeb Mesfin, Speaks at the Funeral Service of Meles Zenawi, the Late PM of Ethiopia (Video 5:36 with English Translation)

First Lady, Azeb Mesfin, Speaks at the Funeral Service of Meles Zenawi, the Late PM of Ethiopia, on September 2, 2012 in Addis Ababa Mesqal Square.

The first lady said (translation by

Dear distinguished guests, esteemed people of Ethiopian: Today, I would like to thank you all on behalf of my children and myself for the chance to gather together at Masqal Square to say goodbye to Meles. Today — for all Ethiopian peoples, and to me as my husband, and the mother of his children — is a day we experience the utmost sorrow and devastating loss. Today is the day we say good bye to Meles for the very last time. To me, today is a dark day, and to my children, today is a very sad and sorrow day. I met Meles when I was a little girl. Meles was my teacher, my mentor. He was the love of my life. I knew him as the man in charge of me [in the fields]. Meles had a special feelings for me and for our children; however, he did not have a special time set aside for me and for his children.

As his special focus and dream, even as far as from his childhood time, has always been to fight only for Ethiopian democracy, peace, and poverty — the worst enemy of Ethiopia, we as a family did not hesitate, and fully supported him. We did not ask for his time and did not stand on his way as he spent hours doing his job.

Today, at this moment, I would like to thank my children who have supported their father and understood his mission. Our children did not get enough time from their father. Meles loved, respected, his children; he would hug, kiss, and advise them. But, today is the day they lost their father. And for me, today is a new chapter in my life, a life without Meles, as a widow, as a single mother, it will be a day of reckoning for me that I will try my best to fulfill my duty as a mother, I will be tested. However, I believe that I will be able to get over this test with the people of Ethiopia.

As the previous speaker mentioned, regarding Meles: Meles would not like to see his own images mounted all over the city as you see in front of us at the moment. Meles did not want to see his statues erected anywhere. Meles never wanted to talk about himself; and also did not like anyone talk about him. However, after his death was announced a couple of weeks ago, the people of Ethiopia have started asking “who is Meles?”, “What has Meles contributed to every household in the country?”, “What kind of leader was Meles?”

Meles was not just speaking about democracy, nor was he talking to make humans or the world happy, but rather Meles has always spoken with dignity and integrity from within his deep inner soul, pointing the equality of peoples and nationalities of the Ethiopia people; never accepting one to be superior that the other. He has always worked day and night to build Ethiopia – for all people of Ethiopia to co-exist with peace and love. The people of Ethiopia have confirmed these facts.

As long as the the plans, visions, strategies, and policies started by Meles have not been tampered with and poisoned, all projects Meles planned projecting the capabilities of the resources we have in Ethiopia, will become fruitful. I myself undoubtedly believe that these projects will be fully completed, as our vast assets in Ethiopia are our people. To this end, I am very much committed to do my part and contribute, along with the people of Ethiopia, to the fulfillment of all projects.

I can not continue to talk much about Meles on this very sorrowful and sad day; however, as Meles said, “at the end of the day, people are the judge”. The people of Ethiopia are the judge that Meles has stood for democracy, Meles was committed for justice, Meles fought against poverty, Meles preached for peace.

I would like to thank the people of Ethiopia — the judges– who have proved the love Meles had for the people with their solidarity.