Ras Hailu in Geneva
Narrated by Worku Mersha
There was somebody called RasAn Ethiopian title that could loosely be equated with the rank of duke. Other than king or emperor it was the highest Ethiopian title. HailuRas Hailu (1868-1959) was the ruler of the province of Gojjam in north-west Ethiopia. who was the governor of Gojjam. He went to Geneva with Emperor Haile Selassie to get Ethiopia enrolled as a member of the League of Nations.
And, later on, while visiting Rome, on his way back to Ethiopia, he went to a certain shop and said, “For how much will you sell this shaver?”
“We sell this type of shaver for a very high price. After all, what are you going to do with this kind of expensive shaver in your poor country?” the man said scornfully.
“That’s not your business,” replied Ras Hailu, “Just tell me your price and sell it to me, and I know what to do with it. The hair of my people is very soft.”
So he bought it and went home. And he established a barber’s shop in Addis Ababa.
While he was in Rome, someone called him, “You black people are like monkeys,” and Ras Hailu replied, “Yes, we both look like monkeys. I look like her face and you look like her bottom.”
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