NAME ::: Gelaw Yemer COUNTRY ::: Ethiopia
My name is Gelaw Yemer. I live as a farmer and take care of the cattle. Beside that I get some payment from the committee of tourism as I work as a night guard for them. I will turn 83 in the next year.
I have three children and I also have grand children. I am married, but my first wife passed away. I married a new woman about twenty years ago.
The condition that I grew up in were very tough. I tried to be a farmer for a long time, focussing on planting many different crops. It became much better, when I focussed on single crops, like onion that I could then sell for good money what allowed me to buy cattle and goats. After my first wife passed away, I married again and we got children.
What is most important to you?
To be able to start the farm and to see my children grow up and even my grandchildren, that is very important to me. Beside that being able to get old.
What has influenced you the most in your life?
I lost the mother of my children. That hurter me a lot deeply. She was my first wife and I really loved her. That was more than twenty years ago, but I still think of her.
What has been an important turning point in your life?
I used to be a farmer, but I left that to become an onion producer. That allowed me to make a lot of money. I specialized instead of going for a lot of different crops, what at that time was very clever as I could earn the money that would allow me to buy a lot of other things. I felt that focussing on one thing and producing that in a large scale, would be great and it was true.
Now I can’t move around so much anymore. That was a second turning point, but now I work as a night guard, what is great. It’s another chance now, where I lost the ability to move around a lot.
What makes you happy?
I don’t have happiness inside me anymore after I lost my wife. She was everything for me. And then my one grandchildren died as well in Addis and also the wife of my son while she gave birth. So I don’t feel happiness.
What are you personally proud of?
I’m very proud of my two boys. Now where I’m old and can’t move around anymore, people see them and they now, he replaced himself and that makes me proud.
What have been the biggest struggles in your life?
That I lost my first wife was maybe the biggest struggle for me. And then I got imprisoned by the new government because I was part of the farmers association that supported the military government. When I came back from that I found out that my wife had died. For a long time I did not know what to do and I wanted to move away, but at the end I stayed and found a new wife, but I still miss my first wife, even when that is now a long time ago.
What would you change in your life, if you could change something?
I think there is nothing that I can change, because I have already replaced myself with my children and grandchildren. So there is nothing I should change. I think the only thing I wish for is to have a donkey to get around with. So that I can attend funerals, because it is so important that I come to the funerals of my friends, even when it is further away as I want that people come to my funeral as well one day.
What do you wish for your own future?
My future will be to live for myself, to pray, to give to those who don’t have and to pray for my children that they will have a good life.