Ethiopian Business Review

Once upon a time, in early 19th century, a baby was born in Southern Gondar...his parents called him Gebre-Hana and he was given the title Aleqa later in his adulthood. He then went to school (the very profound church education that was popular at the time) and became head of the priests in the church he was serving at the age of 26. He served as head of church, teacher and judge in different times. He was a jester in the palace even though he got into a fight constantly for his sarcastic mocks against the palace servants and delegates.

He is the comic character in the children stories, he is the most intelligent character in the adult parables, and he is the sarcastic satire comic in the Ethiopian folklores. And even a lead character in some universal folklores we adopted. Sometimes there are confusions as to his real existence; was he a real person or was he just a mythical character? The answer is, yes he did exist in the 19th century and he lived for over seven decades.

As much as he had a very smart and funny personality and he was known for his mockery jokes not all the tales and parables we are told as kids are his stories. Eventually, people just found it easy to link the stories to the easy-to-picture and an already existing character. Hence, rather than telling the stories of other countries’ folklore tales in bizarre names and places, they preferred to use Aleqa’s name and local places to tell the story in a more familiar way. However, there are still true stories that he actually did or said that are still funny and deep and there are also originally Ethiopian folklores claimed to be his tales.

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