Second Issue

Editorial and Letters to The Editor

Where are Oromo Hip-Hop and Spoken Word Poetry Going? by Maya Tessema

"... we came across a performer that I could not forget: he was a small, kind of katchacha, red-yellow-green-and-odaa clad man, and he was definitely rapping.  Before that, my friend I had never seen or heard Oromo hip-hop before.  Our initial reaction was to make fun of his total lack of awareness ..."

Hip hop and Spoken Word Poetry

Heart of the Horn by Boonaa Mohammed

Oromiya by Epidemic the Virus

I am Oromo by Meymuna Hussein


Boonaa Mohammed, Epidemic the Virus, and Maya Tessema


My Piece of the American Pie by Ayantu Gemeda

Visual Art



Cyber Hip Hop and the Transnational Oromo Public Sphere by Qeerransoo Biyyaa

"When I did a YouTube search, I found dozens of results of Oromo hip hop stars broadcasting themselves.  In their YouTube broadcasts, the artists recount the history of the Oromo people, their culture and hardships under successive, tyrannical Ethiopian regimes and so on. One rap video by a group of Oromo youth from Georgia in the United States has 11,259..."


Pictures of the OromoFest 2008 in Minneapolis by Steven W. Thomas



Who are the Contributors?

Contributors to Ogina volume 1, issue 2

Ayantu Gemeda was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and shortly after moved to the United States. She was raised in Minneapolis, MN and is still residing there. Ayantu began contributing to Ogina in late 2008.

Boonaa Mohammed is the son of Oromo refuges and an award winning spoken word artist (2007 CBC poetry face-off.) Currently he is the front man of an Afro-beat hip hop fusion group called "Kings of Kush." You can find out more about him at 

Epidemic the Virus is the founder of an artist on the O’z Up recording label. Along with fellow artist Iskander Harun, they are motivated to write music with the hope of uniting Oromo people world wide. They hope the bridge the gap between Oromo elders and youths.

Lenssa Yadata currently lives in Silver Spring, Maryland and attends Paint Branch High School. Her first OYLC in 2008 sparked the urge to create art work that would express the world in America, as well as back home in Oromiya. Although she enjoys the field of art she aspires to have a career in child psychology.

Maya Tessema is a legal assistant working and living in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.  She began participating in the creation of Ogina zine through work in the Arts and Culture Committee of the International Oromo Youth Association.

Meymuna Hussein lives in Long Beach, California. Currently she is a graduate student at the University of California at Irvine and plans on becoming a teacher.

Qeerransoo Biyyaa is an independent Oromo journalist currently living in the United States.

Steven W. Thomas is an assistant professor of English literature at The College of St. Benedict and St. John's University in Minnesota. He has published scholarly articles on eighteenth-century literature and on twenty-first century globalization.

Zakia Posey is a graduate student in anthropology at Michigan State University and is writing her dissertation on Oromo transnationalism. She hopes to get her Ph.D. in 2009.