I’m Steven Donovan Lewis. I am from Kingston, the capital of Jamaica. I came to Ethiopia a decade ago.One of the main reasons I came here is my faith. I see something in King Haile Selassie, one of the chosen sons of Abraham. Haile Selassie is among the descendants of Abraham. It is like the sons of God.
We, The Ethiopians are all children of Abraham. We, The Jamaicans are the children of Abraham. So, when Haile Selassie came to Jamaica and said, ‘I am from the tribe of Judah.’ we accepted him. We do not worship Haile Selassie as our Creator. God is a Spirit. The Creator chose David to be the true king. This means that Christ is on the scene of a king. This is what David meant.
In addition to my faith, what brought me to Ethiopia is my deep desire to learn the Amharic language. I had a great expectation that when I came to Ethiopia I would have the opportunity to learn the language. I’m making a lot of effort to speak the language fluently. First, I studied Amharic in Addis Ababa and then Bahir Dar.
I feel that the Ras Teferian in Ethiopia should learn Amharic. To support this effort I am teaching the Amharic language for those who want to learn the language. So far I have taught fifteen students. Amharic is the close to human than English. For example, when you talk to a man, the sentence is specifically for a male. You also know when you talk to a woman. It also enables us to honor our elders. For these reasons, I feel that Amharic is a clever language. If a man and a woman are standing together and if one wants to greet one of them only, that can be done. If one wants to greet both of them, it can also be done.
English is not like that. In English when you say ‘hello’ it just means hello. that is it.
The official language of my country is English but I do not think English is my language. For me, English is not the language of my ancestors. My ancestors were Africans. I had lived a long time in a country where English is the spoken language, and I had lost my true identity. But now I came back to my ancestors land and learned Amharic. I’m very happy to learn the language because it helps me to understand my religion better.
For me, Learning Amharic is getting closer to the human heart and it’s almost like appearing in the presence of God. I know that Geez is very important too, therefore I am hoping to learn it in the near future. As an Ethiopian, if I want to go to Jamaica, I won’t be worried about work, just being an Amharic teacher is good enough. There are so many people who want to learn Amharic in Jamaica.
In addition to teaching Amharic Alphabet, I use various fabrics to make various ornaments. I make clothes, dresses, and necklaces for women. I’m not interested in going back to Jamaica anymore. Instead, I want more Jamaica to come here.