30/03/2018 01:30 AM


by Kiki Tzeggai

Plan B


I always knew I was a planner in life, then I met a husband that simply planned happiness. Yes, happiness to own a free country; of restoring the smiles of all neighbors because the Ethiopian occupier would not force us anymore to whisper and fear for our lives. Berhane was my husband’s name. He was the first one to tell me “You always need to have a plan B in life”. A plan B!

I had none when the enemy took him. Plan B needs a daily training. He told me never to over schedule. He said a combined plan B was enough for both of us: a free Eritrea and eliminate poverty from Eritrea.

In my deepest pain, I forced myself to plan and have as many plans as possible: plan A, B, C, etc. Because the pain I went through and saw other Eritreans going through needed more than one plan. I told my husband that he had also to learn about random circumstances and achieve happiness that way. Berhane and our Martyrs had no plan B in their minds when they knew that Eritreans’ lives were on the line. They simply showed up and challenged a powerful enemy backed by the most powerful alliances.

But today, we Eritreans, need to have plans lined up because life is a challenge and a course of actions – at times- without a lot of options. For many of us is “jumping out of our secured nest” to reach others drowning in the Mediterranean or being trafficked in the Sinai desert. As painful as they might seem, these jumps to help fellow Eritreans allowed a re-birth of our lives and let us start a community based on humanity. Eritreans are known to be brave and courageous and make decision that are so big, our surroundings do not believe us. At times laugh about us. But we have proved all to be wrong and kept going. Many times life forces us to deviate from our plans, recognize our mistakes, learn from it and achieve. I was forced to tell my husband that many of my decisions were not planned. That many times over, life did not allow me to line up a plan B. Others told me that my plan B was a fantasy; that as a refugee I would never reach. I am still struggling to prove them wrong because of life’s consequences getting on my way make the road much longer and intense pain targets my brain along with a society that wants to silence me. In this instances, I turn to minimizing my plans like Berhane said and I make sense of my life.

A question that many ask me is what are the attributes to reach a set plan? I say that it’s about tenacity, it’s never giving up, and it’s having plans. Then I refrain from overwhelming the person and remember and I say “few plans are enough”. If plan A derails, there is always the plan B prepared in our minds.

Eritrean are courageous and were forced to take big decisions, planning in the midst of pain and fear. But planning we did and we are standing because of our steadfastness and no one else charity. If one of our missions fail, then we recognize that we should have pushed the eject button and we did not, and we learn from our mistakes. If the solution is to deviate from big risks and recognize mistakes early, we also are able to do so. I still tell Berhane that some of the most respected decisions are the ones that were not planned. I remind him that his walking into the belly of the enemy, take refuge there and direct our liberation war from that dark place, had no alternative plan. Berhane and all our Martyrs knew there was no plan B in such hell. No back-up plan at all!!!

What I realized later is that all his plans were simply summarized to a free and prosperous Eritrea. Too big of a plan to define it by one alphabetical letter.

I still learn from you my hero and from the many Eritrean Martyrs that told us to have a plan B. But went to war with one and only one plan: Freedom for our people.

Kiki Tzeggai
March 28/2018

"Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything."

" Peace is a wall we will all create by building it brick-by-brick together". (Trade mark)

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