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“A writer should live for a cause” Habtom Kidane

His name is Habtom Kidane. He was born in 1978. He graduated in commerce and economics from Asmara University in 2003. After graduation he was assigned at the Research and Documentation Center. He is the author of two books. He is our guest for today.
-When did you develop intention of becoming a writer?

I used to produce some poems while I was at my junior high school. I have documented all the poems I used to produce then. I have also produced articles and dramas for the radio and newspaper. 

-Your first book was a fiction titled “Salem”. Then later you shifted to writing political and historical books. What is the similarity and difference of your writings?

The advantage of writing fiction books is that you have the chance of expressing your observation in way you like it to be.  Fiction books have a wide room for the writer to express himself. With history book is that you are confined to strictly follow the events and the scars they live behind. You have no room for expressing it the way you like because the events are there and you have to tell exactly the way they happened.

-When did you write your first book “Salem”?

It was in 2010 when I was at my secondary school education. The book deals with the social challenges I have been facing at that time. It is intended to educate especially the youth on the need of identifying their talent and pursue that.

-What about the book “Eritrea and Eritrean Youth”?

I have the strong belief that a writer should live for a cause. They say “Don’t put your resources in a single pot”. I took this saying as a guide line in my life. History is, in my opinion, to write history book of exemplary men and women. The Eritrean youth have done tremendous heroic feat for this country, for its independence and sovereignty. That should be written and transferred to posterity.

-Go on!

The Eritrean youth movement starts from early 1950s to 1975 from Cairo. In 1957 there was a strong political movement by the Eritrean youth led by people like Tiku’e Yihdego. And my book deals with the situation back then, the cause of the movement its leaders and the achievements gained. Through out the Eritrean history, the youth have been the center of every movement.

-There are many hostile writers who try to misrepresent the Eritrean history. What do you say about these people?

I don’t think we should be worried about these people. We have to concentrate about ourselves, conduct good research and disseminate it in its entirety. The Eritrean people gained its independence through immense human and material sacrifice. We were not offered by silver plate. This heavy sacrifice is clear like the blue sky that the Eritrean people struggled for its independence and finally achieved it. This history can never be distorted and misrepresented by any one.

-What is the central message of the book?

The book “Eritrea and Eritrean Youth” deals with the Eritrean youth movement starting from the Italian colonialism and the later youth movements after 1962. It based on research.  I would not dare to say that my book is absolute and comprehensive. I need feed back from readers so that could help me in my future endeavor to write more history books.

-Good luck!

Thank you very much!

Source: Haddas Eritra

Translated by Yishak Yared

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