“How reconnecting with my roots gave me a greater sense of purpose,” writes English-Ethiopian singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu for the Huffington Post.

By Izzy Bizu (HuffPost) |

Ethiopia, my beautiful chaos. Walking through colourful markets, I smell leather, brilliant white cotton, coffee and a sea of vibrant beads inspired by tribes that made our country what it is today. There is nothing like the gift of the human touch, derived from a history that boasts pure workmanship and artistry made on the side of our cobbled streets. I smile to myself when I see that our coffee has made it half way around the world, but sometimes I wonder how much our farmers are really appreciated. Do they know how much it is all worth? And do their living standards correspond to that?

I find it interesting how we can enjoy such things as we were lucky enough to be born in the right place at the right time. We reap and thrive off the labor of others. It’s not because we are bad people but because for some of us, our eyes can be clouded when we have been canoodled in such a warm fuzzy womb. This is why it is important to me to go back and ask questions and find out what it really means to live in Ethiopia. I’m delighted to say that I have been corresponding with the Samuel Trust, I’ve been incredibly impressed with some of the jewelry the girls have been making and I look forward to meeting them all when I go to Ethiopia next month.

I have heard many stories passed down from my mother; some of them are beautifully comical and some are painful. She grew up in the revolution, where her innocence was stolen and she experienced loss and trauma at the same time. She worked incredibly hard, as her brothers and sisters did, and has become one of the strongest women I know. Later in life, my father signed up for the “save the children” trust. After a month or so, he came across a souvenir shop where my mother had been working and could not stop visiting her. They became good friends and would comfort one another in their struggles. She was due an arranged marriage but as an determined adolescent, had no plan to follow through once she met my father.

Continue reading this story (by Izzy Bizu) at HuffPost
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