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June 23, 2016
Right off the bat, it is important to say a few words why the title in the subject line is important. The title obviously refers to Commander Zeleke Bogale Jato and his son, whom most of you know, is Ato Neamin Zeleke. You may not know his father, but you sure know Neamin Zeleke.
There is no any hidden motive whatsoever to bolster Ato Neamin's image as some suspicious and cynical minds like to believe. Ato Neamin doesn't need a cane to lean on to bolster his persona. Ato Neamin is already in good standing and a heroic man on his own who has responded, just like his dad, to a call of duty fighting against the TPLF apartheid regime in Ethiopia. He has embarked in making his own destiny at the forefront of the struggle to free Ethiopia and bring about justice and democracy for the people of Ethiopia. Then why bring this title?
There are at least three reasons for picking this title.
1) Commander Zeleke's biography is a reflection of Ethiopia's glorious past. And it is very critical and useful to introduce this important part of our history to the new generation. And the best way to deliver this history to the young generation is not in an abstract narrative but through a concrete and prestigious biography that is both appealing and easily understood. Biographies are powerful means of passing information that motivate young people to action.
2) To demonstrate the power of influence in changing behavior. Like typhoid disease, both courage and cowardice are contagious. When you see what Neamin has been involved in for so many years, you can tell where he got that patriotism and the willingness to respond to the call of duty.
Like father, like son also works in the opposite direction too. Take for example, the TPLF leader who is now dead. He got his hatred for Ethiopia from his family who are known for selling out to fascist Italy. His grand father used to work for the Italians during the occupation. Parents can influence their children in all ways good and bad.
A patriotic family, friends, and neighbors have a tremendous influence on young people's behavior. But this does not mean you can't be patriotic if you are surrounded by a bunch of cowards and opportunists. You can, if you have the resolve and the persistence to shape your own history.
3) Last but not least, another reason for bringing up the title in the subject line is to blame and shame those kings and queens of rumor who have been spreading the "Neamin is Eritrean" rumor in recent years. There is nothing wrong being Eritrean if you are one. But manufacturing a rumor to score a political point is a cheap shot that will haunt the rumor mongers who claim to be anti-weyane in words but work for TPLF in action. These are shameless and clueless individuals and groups who are good at spreading rumors than doing anything worthwhile.
These do-nothing individuals and groups have been the bones that are stuck in the opposition's throat for years hiding behind "democracy" to create discord and division within the opposition. This is how they are pursing the mission of TPLF by being an opposition by day and a TPLF activists by night. These are the creators of the "Neamin is Eritrean" rumor. They should be ashamed and ostracized for spreading this bogus and baseless rumor about Neamin who is the son of a great patriotic Ethiopian of outstanding caliber and immense contributions like Commander Zeleke Bogale Jato.
Every Ethiopian, especially young Ethiopians, should be proud of the accomplishments of Commander Zeleke Bogale. They should follow his example of responding to the call of duty and serving their country in all ways they can.
Commander Zeleke Bogale Jato is a proud Ethiopian who not only had a great contribution to Ethiopia. But he also successfully passed on the baton to his patriotic son, Neamin Zeleke, who is as we speak is one among other brave Ethiopians who are at the forefront of leading the struggle to free Ethiopia from the grips of TPLF apartheid. This is a perfect example of "like father, like son."
Read below the short biography of Neamin's father-Commander Zeleke Bogale Jato.
Commander Zeleke Bogale (1934 - 2009) was a distinguished Ethiopian naval Officer who was trained in advanced naval warfare and Executive/Leadership at the San Diego United States Naval Academy, and at the British Naval Academy in Dartmouth, England
Commander Zeleke Bogale was born on September 22, 1934. The youngest of five children, he was raised in the city of Harar. His father, Ato Bogale Jato, was a businessman and a patriot who fought during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia, who instilled a strong sense of citizenship, honor, and duty in his children. Commander Zeleke attended Ras Mekonen High School in Harar before joining the Imperial Ethiopian Naval Academy’s first class of cadets.
Commander Zeleke joined the Imperial Ethiopian Naval Academy as a cadet and graduated first in his class as a Valedictorian, earning special awards from the Emperor Haileselassie. After graduating from the Naval Academy and completing various assignments as a young officer, Commander Zeleke received further Naval education and military training at the San Diego United States Naval Academy, and at the British Naval Academy in Dartmouth, England, where he completed advanced naval warfare and Executive/Leadership training. Later, he attended University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and received a post graduate diploma in the Social Sciences and Arts.
Since its inception, the Ethiopian navy was led and trained by retired British, and later Norwegian, Naval Officers. In 1958 the Navy became an independent branch of the Ethiopian armed forces. It also operated as a Coast Guard in the Red Sea waters off of Assab and Massawa. The first group of naval officers was tasked with the responsibility of eventually taking over the naval operations from the foreign officers. Among those to assume this responsibility was Commander Zeleke Bogale. He became the first Ethiopian Naval officer to command the flag ship of the Navy, HMS Ethiopia, when he earned the title of commanding officer of the warship. Commander Zeleke Bogale also held various other posts including Chief of Naval Operations of the Ethiopian Navy.
Click the you tube video below to watch a short biography of Commander Zeleke Bogale Jato produced by Tamagn Beyene.
After the fall of the Emperor Haileselassie, Commander Zeleke Bogale began his career as a civilian administrator of Ethiopian ports at Assab and Massawa. He was appointed as the administrator-in-chief of the Ethiopian Marine Department in 1967 by Lt. Gen. Aman Andom, who was then Head of State. The Department later became an independent authority and became known as The Ethiopian Marine Transport Authority. Commander Zeleke Bogale led the organization as a general manager for the following seventeen years until 1991.
In that position, he oversaw the administration and operation of the two sea ports as well as Inland Waterways at Lake Tana in Bahir Dar and Gorgora, Lakes Shala and Abaya in Arba Minch, and the Barro River in Gambella. He also spear-headed and oversaw grand projects such as the development of a third port at the island of Haleb off of Assab, a Maritime Academy, a state-of-the-art boat manufacturing center—one of a kind in eastern Africa—and a new ship maintenance yard.
The Maritime Academy envisioned under the leadership of Commander Zeleke Bogale was designed to provide degree and diploma level training to students in several Marine related fields.
Commander Zeleke’s administration style and achievements drew much praise from those who had the opportunity to visit the massive development and expansion of infrastructure of the ports and the modern housing and recreational facilities built for port employees. He was a recipient of many awards for distinguished service from the two administrations under which he served.
A self-effacing man, who avoided publicity and fan fair, Commander Zeleke Bogale has left a legacy that posterity will look to for an example of burning patriotism and love of country. He left his off-springs a legacy of dedication to country and fellow citizens through thick and thin. They hope our nation will continue to breed men of such integrity, dedication and good will who will sacrifice for the common good.
Commander Zeleke Bogale entered eternal peace on June 18, 2009 at 12:30 PM, after fighting a terminal illness over the past several months.
Source: ethiomedia.com (2009)