Yohannes Ishi by Nabse Bamato


Would you be prepared to risk everything to get to know the past? Is an attempt to keep casual promise made under difficult circumstances worth a lifetime of uncertainty?

Every now and then a book comes along that transforms your preconceived ideas and perceptions about what what it would be like to explore your identity and belonging. Yohannes Ishi is a coming of age story of a boy who was adopted from Ethiopia during one of its most turbulent times and, having grown up in the UK, returns to find himself thrust  into the perplexing social structure that is contemporary Ethiopia. He meets a whole raft of unique and entertaining characters who will be recognised by Ethiopians and non-Ethiopians (farenges) alike.

Built on my personal experiences of living both in Ethiopia and abroad, this book explores our similarities in the broad context of humanity while attempting to highlight our unique cultural and religious identities. Although the themes are serious, it entertains with a light humour as well as providing an insight into life at all levels of Ethiopian society.

Highly readable, for Ethiopians - whether living at home or abroad - Yohannes Ishi will serve as a mirror to look at the ways and customs of this fabulous country and, for those who are not familiar with the culture and history of Ethiopia, it will act as an inspiring introduction.