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Book Review: FIXEENSA – Afan Oromo Novel Based on a True Story by Boruu Barraaqaa

Posted: Adoolessa/July 11, 2010 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com | Comments (13)

Reviewed by Siiban Abbichuu*

Book: FIXEENSA by Boruu Barraaqaa
Afan Oromo Novel Based on a True Story
Pages: 382
Price: $20

Boruu Barraaqaa, the author of the bestselling Oromo novel, MUDAAMMUDDII, is now introducing his third well structured and timely book – FIXEENSA – to the public. FIXEENSA is a novel based on a true story of the Oromo politics of the recent times. It widely reflects the socio-political life of the Oromo society in the last couple of years, both at home and abroad.


Picture: Cover of FIXEENSA – the Afan Oromo Novel by Boruu Barraaqaa; Cover Design by Didi

FIXEENSA can be called as the most potential, investigative, entertaining and timely Oromo literature work that has ever been published, because:

1. It focuses on how the July 2008 OLF split had happened. The author explains well, through his characters, that the 2008 OLF split had happened for various reasons. The book thoroughly examines these reasons in different stages.

2. The author widely reflects in this book that he believes in the need for a real change in the Oromo struggle camp very soon. According to his will, the change that should take place in the Oromo struggle must be all. It should be convincing, troubleshooter, be far away from causing any kind of hostility among the Oromo.

3. This novel does not only talk about the problems that had happened. It also has marvelous proposals and solutions to prevent more socio-political dangers facing the vanguard organization. Further it warns that, unless some important and timely actions are taken by nationalists, the continuity of the current trend of disunity and splits will be endless, and sadly, the Oromo political society might face new splits and isolation every coming year. In the long run, such trend may even lead the Oromo nation to the endless Somalia-like disaster.

4. In his general view, the author of FIXEENSA rigorously proposes that the Oromo nation needs inter-marriages among its numerous regions. In this book, Barraaqaa shows us the way he sees the Oromo world from political, historical and social points of view. He never hides that the Oromo nation has remained unknown to each other for over a century due to the antagonist divide-and-rule policy of the Habesha oppressors and due to lack of modern means of communications. So, he strongly reflects his wishes to see the most united strong Oromo nation in the future through re-assimilating the Oromo people from far South to North, from West to East as well as to Central by encouraging inter-clan marriages. To make this dream come true, he advocates that the inter-regional marriages across the vast Oromia are important, so that the future generation emerges from fathers and mothers of different regions.

As he quotes in his introduction one of the best sayings of the Afro American rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur (2PAC), “I’m not saying I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world”, he proposes his ideas to his readers that he would like to see changes in the Oromo political process. The writer’s vivid descriptions in the novel clearly emphasizes that, not only the Oromo struggle, but also the nation’s social relations need some sorts of change. He observes so many weaknesses in the unity of Oromo politicians and Diaspora communities. His book calls for the need of strengthening the socio-political inter-relations of the nation as a whole. The imaginary social environment that his characters: Kitilaa Jootee, Saartuu Muummee, Furii Saaddoo, Kumalee Itichaa, Biyyaa Abbaa Garoo, Ziinet Addisuu Mohammed, Liiban Guyyoo, Birqee Gebeyehu Dhiinsaa, Tukkoo Haajii and Liidiyaa Gaanfuree, have created in this novel perfectly convinces us that the warmest love among mother, father, brother, sister, son and daughter-in-laws from different regions of Oromia shall truly emerge, no matter how long it may be.


The novel FIXEENSA is full of facts and artistic structures that can categorize the book into one of the best few Oromo literature works. All the 382 pages of the book are full of suspense. As he had done in his previous much acclaimed work, MUDAAMMUDDII, he again does another best and recommendable work, which has taken him more than two years to complete. Of course, his so far works confirm that he is the rising star in Oromo literature.

Boruu Barraaqaa began his literature career in the middle of 1990s, when he was very young, by contributing short stories to Oromia-based radio programs – though most of his short stories were not broadcast on the government-controlled radio due to their serious political contents. At the end of 1990s, he won a nationwide literature competition in Ethiopia that had been invited by a German NGO known as IIZ/DVV. With seven years of teaching and eight years of journalism experiences, he is now a well talented and successful Oromo novelist of our days.

FIXEENSA is a significant contribution to the development of Oromo literature. It is a must-read book by all those who can read Qubee Afaan Oromoo. It is a recommendable learning material for Diaspora Oromo youth that aspires to learn the language of its mother tongue. FIXEENSA is a must-read book by those who wish to see the strong united Oromo nation, and want to review the life of Diaspora Oromo and that of the home country side by side. It is a must-read book also by Oromo scholars who want to make researches on the general overview of Oromo issues.

The book will be available at the North American Oromo summer festivals. You can also order it by simply contacting Fixeensa@gmail.com

* The reviewer, Siiban Abbichuu, can be reached at abbichuuu@gmail.com


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  1. qero falmata

    Jul 11, 10 at 4:19 am

    thank you so much, for letting us know the wonderful work of oromo novelist.


  2. Jima

    Jul 11, 10 at 1:25 pm

    Hi Siban Abishuu,

    Please tell him to make ready the book for the coming OSA conference (July 31st and August 1, 2010). It will give an opportunity for those living in Washington DC to buy the book during the conference. I am interested to buy it, mainly for the recommendations which the youth should know ahead. We learn from it.

  3. Waqjiraa Gudataa

    Jul 11, 10 at 1:06 pm

    Thanks Obbo Siiban A. for your well Reviwed on”Fixeensa” of Oromo Novel which will be an educational Forum for our cause towards our common home- pan Oromummaa. Thanks indeed, for your every effort for our cause as I have already observed in opinion forum, you are one of Oromo talented young generation for what your people proud of you.
    We Oromos had / have the talented people but served/ serving the empire while the Oromo Nation is suffering under the cruel rule – always killing our innocent people & looting our nature & natural resources. Now it seems me that tend serve to the enemies is slowly changing to Oromos serve to our nation & our homeland- Oromia. This is an urgent and general call among Oromo Scholars and Societies as I personally observed during the 4th Oromo International Workshop successfully took place on 03/07/2010 in London at City University. It is a high time to stand for our cause in our Tokkummaa.
    Just I am ordering our be loved Novel!

  4. WA

    Jul 11, 10 at 11:02 pm

    i am proude of your work dedication of your time and energy to write this book.This is one responsiblity that expect from indiviual of oromo intellactual has to contribute to their generation to avoide the generaion gap between the diaspora and the oromo in the back home country(Oromia).i am living in U.S.A IN MINNESOTA STATE. PLEASE LATE ME KNOW how to get this book.I think Minnesota is the state in America that is the majority of the oromo diaspora livie if you distribute this book to this state several pepole can buy your book.thank you so much for your priceless contribution for your generation.

  5. Jima

    Jul 12, 10 at 12:09 am

    Hi friends,

    Please pass our message to others who wrote books on oromo issues. They need to translate into Afaan oromo as well if they wrote it in English and make it affordable. This is because millions of Oromo speak afaan oromo, not English. Hence, the Authors should translate it to Afaan oromo so that everybody from junior high school to higher level can read and take the message. Writing in English and putting in amazon for sell is part of the job. I am talking, mainly to people like Dr Asefa Jaleta who wrote number of books on Oromo issues over the last ten years. Their message should reach those at lower level as well.

  6. Booreessaa Xaliilcha

    Jul 12, 10 at 2:46 am

    People like Boruu Baraaqa transform Oromo literature and culture from survive to thrive. I don’t have word for you Baraaqaa to express my gratitude for your magnificient work that make alive oromoness. The unique talent and professioanl skill of Siiban Abiichuu in reviewing beautifully the book of Boruu Baraaqa and introducing it to us is a prove of his dedication and commitment to the cause of Oromo. Buulii horii Abiichuu

  7. WA

    Jul 12, 10 at 3:31 am

    Hi guys time isflying fast but the oromo political reconcilation is too late.The oromo people(oromo activists )are suffering in the wayene prison.I ask oromo political leaders in the name of the oromo those who suffered in the hand of wayene without justice only they are oromo, they didn’t commite any crime and the only they supported OLF.WHY our leaders rembere those millions oromo( students, intellectuals, teachers, artists and the like putting other differents away for the seek of those didecated their life, their properties, their kids and their loved to restored our identiy and sovernity. They paid their life. Please rembered all these painful dedication facilitate the reconncilation processe to bring back all the oromo political organizaions under one unberella to ashemed of our enemies as well as to split the wayene poliical camps and to speed up the failing of wayene reprsive regime. I know there is no oromo in one way or onther something lost because he or she is oromo. we only create simple to remebre those paid their life on the day of guyyaa gototaa if we don’t adressed their entended goal of struggle. I don’t blame any body else rather than our leaders for disentegration of powerful of OLF.If you don’t fixed this problem very soon the outcome will be more diffcultand more suffere to the oromo people wether they support or no support OLF.please save your people from the wayene (Mangagaa).If you rember last eight months those who surrendered to wayene regime with their armed struggle ,were the symptom of the division of OLF We don’t waite other sign to will be come I think this is great lesson to our leaders to facilitate reconcelation processe as soon as possible.RABIN OROMOO UU’ME SAMMUU ITTIIN YAADAN ISIN HADEEBISU.

  8. Mosisaa Sabaa

    Jul 12, 10 at 3:52 am

    Obbo Yahya Jamal,
    Gumaata guddaa kanaaf hedduu galatoomi siin jedha. Dirqama lammummaa akka dansaa akka bahaa jirtu hubbadha. Sabboonummaa hojiin cimsuu fi agarsiisuu jechan akkana. Horii buli.

  9. qero falmata

    Jul 12, 10 at 4:27 am

    Hi there,

    Basically Oromos need to write in their language and translate it in to other languages, but it is good writing any ways, and encouraging to devlope wirting cultures. Till now our parents and ancesters they pass our history and culture through mouth talk only. I think this is the area all of us needs to be strong and work hard. Apart from this I want to talk about accebilitty of the books to Oromo, first price has to be affordable for most oromos, diaspora may afford it but those back home may not be so it would be better to think its affordability, second distribution mechanism of it for people at home, how can they get it at the right time and right price. I think we have a lot to do.

    for now thanks,

  10. Gadoo

    Jul 12, 10 at 10:00 pm

    I would like to thank the author of Fixensaa/ Boruu Barraqaa for his contribution toward Tokkumaa Oromoo. This is high time for us and we have to follow the foot step of our dear author to contribute for our unity than contradicting it. Late alone a historical book like this, (though I haven’t read the detail) any book written by Oromo on Oromo issue need to be appreciated. But from what I learn from my little experience, most of we Oromo’s don’t like to appreciate each other but complain and don’t like to buy books but buy beer or chatti. Forgive me if I am wrong for saying so. What is passed has passed let’s focus on the future. Please buy this book and appreciate each other. More importantly please send us this book to Oromos in London.

    God bless Oromia and the people!

  11. qero falmata

    Jul 14, 10 at 4:10 am

    Hi There,

    I want to say some thing about the marriage aspect of the fixensaa book, when i am saying this it is not to discourage or something else, it is for development. People or individual criticize some thing because they love it ,if not they do not say anything.through criticizm and chalenge that we learn from each other. we should challenge each other. To get back to the main idea in my opinion marriage is one of the most important relationship of human being which is based on love. people marry from different race, people marry from different culture etc. so does the oromo too. i don’t think the oromo should fix them selves i should marry from here or there they should decide to marry whom they love so that they have good and loving life. what makes us unite is not the marriage we have, it is the cause we have, it is the challenge we have, it is the language we have etc. the rest is the divide and rule tactic of the enemy.(divide and rule has many strategies we need to be careful). I don’t see we will be like somalia, I see we will be a strong united oromo. thank you so much.

  12. Bultii G.

    Jul 16, 10 at 5:00 pm

    This is wonderful to read. I appreciate those who use their time to develop their language and culture and we have to encourage these oromo writers. ***
    Oromos like other writers have began to work on threir languege, and that is encouragin.


  13. Wake Oda

    Jul 20, 10 at 8:49 pm

    It makes me endlessly happy to hear this news. The least one can do as an Oromo is to buy and read this timely book AND make soul searching. It’s even too late to say this.

    Please, make it sure that people could buy it easily. I MISS the ISBN# to purchase it in the next book store.