Photo Essay - March 25, 2003 -  MediaETHIOPIA

       Morning at Legehar

So, what is a typical day like in Legehar - one of Addis Ababa's crowded neighborhoods? Our photo team was looking for some unique themes when the idea came up during a Saturday morning meeting at Peacock on Bole Road. 

Legehar-Meshwalekiya is in many ways much like some of Addis Ababa's established neighborhoods like Shola, Kebena, qera, Asco, Ayertena, Lideta, Kolfe, etc. It is a highly commercial area but has been one of Addis' most neglected neighborhoods . The municipality doesn't seem to know what to do with it, either. Starting from the Emperor's time right to the EPRDF era, the city administration is yet to initiate a single development project in this neighborhood. Even the headquarters of the former 4th Division where the fateful meeting of junior officers in 1974 served as the starting point to the long, bloody and restless period of the Dergue Era seems run down with neglect apparent everywhere. The new Gym (Golden Gym), the Exhibition center, and Tilahun Gesesse's Shell Gas Station seem to be the only new and modern establishments that we saw. We were disappointed that even with the last cleaning of the city for the Africa Union meeting, Legehar's and Meshwalekiya's back roads were spared any face-lift. However, none of this takes anything away from the sheer liveliness, vitality and color of this neighborhood.  

We visited many of the small businesses of this area to bring you a glimpse of a morning at Legehar. On the left going from top to bottom are: a beautiful Gojame lady in her souk, a typical chicken market (live chicken!), selling wood in meter Kubs (cubic meter), a farmer from Legadadi after he had sold his bag of grains and a shoe shine. On the right going from top to bottom are: a souk attendant high on chat at 11:00 AM!! (This chat is destroying our youth and making our men lazy), a small construction of new shops, mobile vendor of "metregiya &mewelweya" , a shoe repairman under his shack, spices and pepper vendor under a shade. At center are shown women buying Mitad and a selen vendor.


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