Beekan Guluma Erena.
Instructor, Researcher, Author, Editor and Translator.
Beekan Guluma Erena: A Short Biography
Beekan Guluma Erena is an Oromo writer and scholar. He taught Afaan Oromo and Oromo literature at Ambo University, Ethiopia from 2007 to 2014. He has published several literary works that make references to political, social, and economic issues facing the Oromo in Ethiopia. His recent publication Novel is in response to the new government policy that would take the land of thousands of poor Oromo farmers in the name of Addis Ababa Master Plan. Other topics of his works concern the revitalization and development of the Oromo culture and language, which have been under oppression for more than a century. His works also serve as sources for Afaan Oromo students at the secondary and tertiary levels of education. It is the content and use of his works that have placed Beekan at risk in Ethiopia. Beekan is also a well-known motivational speaker; he has motivated many young Oromo writers to write and publish literary works in Afaan Oromo, many of which he edited himself. He aspires to continue making a footprint on the sand of Oromo literature and scholarship. He has published 33 short literary pies in book forms and many articles. He has more than 2000 pieces of Oromo poem and five reference books yet to be published.
Beekan was born in April 24, 1984 in West Oromia, Wallaga, in a district called Nuunu Kumba. He was born into and grew up in an extended family. Most of Beekan’s siblings are engaged in farming because they did not get access to education. Because of the economic background of his family Beekan had to pass through many challenges, but was able to overcome them through his own relentless efforts. There were times he decided to drop from the university because of financial reasons but decided to face the problem. Beekan was medium student when he was in primary school. Though he had the potential to do much better, the economic situation he lived in restricted its release. Whatever his situation was, he firmly believed that the best tool to progress and better life is education. His belief had led him to rewarding results.
There are many records of what Beekan has contributed to his society. To mention one, when he was grade 9 student, he made a tent of about two meters width and began to teach uneducated people in his area. Because most of his students were farmers, the only conducive time for this activity was from 5:00am to 6:30am before they would go for farming. He taught 78 people who never got the opportunity to go to school. At last, 40 students could successfully be promoted to grade two. Now they are in the university. The local education office certified him for his innovative works. Beekan had a dream to be lecturer when he was a grade seven student. Fortunately, his childhood dream was realized and he became a lecturer at Ambo University as mentioned above. Having taught for one year in Ambo, he was sent to Addis Ababa University to pursue his MA degree. He received his M.ED in Oromo language teaching and literature and went back to Ambo University. Based on his successful performance as a lecturer and writer, Ambo University sent him again to Addis Ababa for his PhD education after teaching three years. He became one of the students enrolled in the department of Documentary Linguistics and Culture. Here he started conducting research on a title called ‘Documenting Oromo Oral Poetry and its Semantic Analysis’ as part of PhD work. The project focuses on socio-cultural and political oppression and resistance as reflected in Oromo oral literature. Oromo oral poetry is an under-studied area and it remains to be well documented, researched, and analyzed. It is this gap that he is focusing on and will fill through his PhD research. But he was unable to continue because the current Ethiopian government under the TPLF (Tigray People Liberation Front) suspended him from continuing his study. After attending his PhD program at Addis Ababa University for three years, he is unable to continue his education because of threat he faced from the Ethiopian security police for his literary contributions and publications.
Currently, Beekan is a recipient of the scholarship at risk and is at the Hutchins Center for African and African American Study Center of at Harvard University, USA. Hutchins center is very appropriate for Beekan because the center promotes scholarly engagement in African and African American studies both at Harvard and beyond. Beekan’s project while he is in Hutchins beside his writings is titled as
”The Oromo Students Demands for Justice and Democracy, and Violent Repression by the Ethiopian Government”.
Beekan believes that through this opportunity he can both preserve his life and continue his literary scholarship. He will also be able to continue peacefully pushing for cultural and political transformation to take place in Ethiopia. Currently, Beekan is Oromo language instructor and researcher at Harvard University.
All of his publications are available at all Oromia Book Shops, Borofa.com and www.beekanguluma.org, my personal website. Anybody interested to purchase can order online or any book shops in Ethiopia.
Beekan publications are the following.
- Abjuu Haamara’ee/ Baffled Dream
- Biiftuu / Cockcrow
- Dhaala/ Heritage
- Dhikkifannaa/Thorough feeling
- Dilbii/Alive folk life
- Dimdimoo /Stepping stone
- Du’a Gootaa/ Heroism Death
- EENYUMMEESSOO/ Distinctiveness
- Gachana Dhommoqe /Prejudice javelin
- Garaa Madaa’e/Broken Heart
- Guuboo Seenaa/Historicity
- Hamuummannaa / Yawning for Love
- Haqa Haqaaqame/ Crooked Fact
- Kattaa /Living Rock
- Kikiksa/Heartfelt jokes
- Koomtoo/Bee pollen
- Kooticha Kota’ame /De fertile life
- Maaddiikoo? /My Diet
- Mooticha/The Prince
- Naatoo/Peace in beauty
- Nadhii/Nectar Honey
- Nuti Eenyu?/Who we are?
- Oonnata-Geerarsa Oromo /Inspirational Song
- Qasaati/ chuckle
- Tuujuba / Cascade Ocean
- Wal’aansoo / Struggle for Success
- Waraabessa Leencome! (Lionized Hyena)
- Wareegama /Scarification
- Yandoo / Inundation Rain