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Jatani Ali Tandhu
From time to time, certain individuals who display courage and self-sacrifice for the greater good emerge to make a lasting impact on the lives of entire communities. The late Jatani Ali Tandhu (“Shaalaqa”) was such a figure, born into a Borana family in southern Ethiopia.
Jatani Ali Tandhu: Life & Legacy of a Borana Statesman is a biographical account of an outstanding and much-loved former governor of Borana Administrative Region of southern Ethiopia, from his birth to the fateful day of his assassination in Nairobi in 1992.
The biography gives readers a glimpse into the life and work of a distinguished Borana, Oromo and Ethiopian leader. It is hoped that many young people from these communities will be inspired to follow in his footsteps in aiming to lift their people out of demeaning poverty, years of misrule and hopelessness. An everlasting monument to Jatani is not a statue cast from a bronze but the legacy that lives on in people’s lives and minds, to inspire current and future generations to follow his example, in having the education, dedication and courage to serve their communities honourably.
Tadhi Liban – the author – is among the pioneers of Borana boys who accessed modern education by order of Emperor Haile Selassie I in 1947. Tadhi knew Jatani Ali from the time of the latter’s admission to Medhane Alem Boarding School in Addis Ababa in 1952. They became close friends as they grew up together and were concerned about the dire living conditions of people in their home region of Borana. Because of their close friendship, Tadhi knows a great deal about Jatani’s life and accomplishments. Tadhi graduated from universities in Ethiopia and USA. He worked as a high school principal for many years in Addis Ababa and later worked as a management consultant and with NGOs in Ethiopia.