Mustefa Omer | Professor Merara Gudina | Tsedale Lema | Eskinder Nega | Hiber News Analysis May 14,2019
However, what sets the children of Takeda apart is, which is rare, they have been totally abandoned, even as their mother moves with her life and starts a relationship with another man.
Neighbors still remember, Takeda, as a kind and considerate man, who loved his wife and built his family a two storey building uphill that became a symbol of wealth, painted blue. "Askal is young, she was selling wood on the street when he met her," a neighbor said.
Askal is grateful for that, but is quick to remind The Reporter that while he started the construction for them, she had to take a loan through a microloan program to finish it. Her building is now occupied with her new husband, a tour guide and extended family members, including her siblings and the rest is rented to supplement her income.
Now, Askal admits the shortcomings of her relationship with Takeda but wants to give her children the kind of education she did not have for herself.
"I quit school young, I made many mistakes as a teenager after I met Takeda but why are these children punished for my mistakes. Do they deserve that?" she asked.
Now 32, her former husband is 72 and is a grandfather, to his own biological grandchildren, fully Japanese she hardly met while she was in the country.
While she dated him, everybody in Lalibela saw her relationship for what is it was worth, she was seen as a gold digger and she was aware of that. Her friends mocked her, she saw it an escape out of poverty. Little did she know the burden that would fall on her.
The Reporter reached out to the Japanese Embassy in Addis Ababa for comments and received this email response.
“We sincerely hope that the issue will be resolved amicably between the husband and the wife and that everyone in the family will become happy, particularly the two young children. Unfortunately, the Embassy cannot intervene in private disputes between two individuals. We wish for an early resolution of the dispute,” the Embassy stated.