The Media Blitz , A personal Battle by Nega Mezlekia, recent writings in 2009 can not leave me before I finished it few minutes ago after I started reading it on Good Friday/Ethiopian Sikelete. It was a human crucifixion of modern era mirroring the betrayal of Jesus Christ by Yheuda. The likes of Ann Stone and the National Post/Disgrace, Noah Richler indeed were failures who wanted to destroy Nega Mezlekia to compensate for their own literary career unrealized dream.
Ann Stone who could not succeed in being recognized as a coauthor of the award winning book of Nega's , "Notes from the Hyena's Belly" used the unpublished manuscript, " I can not Recognize Myself Anymore" he forwarded to her as a friend to get him when she knows that her case against him will not bring her any fortune. I can say the new plot to destroy Nega's name as a "violent man" planning to kill his former advisers and professors was taken as sensational matter to drive the National Post circulation by way of also satisfying the two failures who were feeding this frenzy for the media beyond Canada.
I have no word to describe what I felt when Nega's life after a promising book tour for "Notes from the Hyena's Belly" in 1999 to be colliding with the well organized army of destruction led by Ann Stone and the National Post that precipitated his prescription drug and alcohol abuse to deny us a promising African writer. I have no word to tell him how I am proud of him being his former classmate at Alemaya, residing across in dormitory with such a talent. This is a story I shared with my three children. My elder son will be reading all of Nega Mezlekia's books starting this summer with " Media Blitz "to help him learn how an Ethiopian refugee like his father who came two decades ago shook the Media Establishment/Oligarchy of Canada to keep his Good Name.
Did Nega Mezlekia make a mistake in being open to those who wanted to benefit from his writings ? Maybe not, because as a young writer that is the first step and there was nothing wrong in that. Where is that Ethiopian suspicion of foreigners ? Where is the Menelik and Taitu perception of keeping copies in case the enemy make up its own stories ?
That is what still angered me. Ann Stone keeping the unpublished manuscript of Nega Mezlekia and painting him relentlessly by her agents in the National post as a violent man could have started war between neighbors like "Ye Wichale Wele of Artilce 17". The war that led to the battle of Adwa.
However, I see one thing and many who will read this book, Media Blitz, will make Nega Mezlekia's amazing writings as one of their favorites and will read all his books. I myself read the "Unfortunate marriage of Azeb Yitadeg " including the Media Blitz. This is not structural engineering that Nega was trained for and pay his bills, but "structural writings" very few borne with, but only discovered it by accident.
The crucifixion is over and Nega Mezlekia gave a good fight to keep his Good Name and we should be all proud of him. "Someones good name is worth more than an expensive perfume", "Melekame Seme Keshote Yebeltal" .I do sincerely believe too a good film can come out of this "kill him by all means" suspense and thriller that goes on for more than seven years and cost Nega Mazlekia more than a quarter million of US dollars without including the health cost. Well done brother, many book lovers are behind you all the way.