Skate is Life
By: Henok Elias
Megabi literally means feeder – one who feeds. It’s oft a religious title associated with Orthodox and Protestant Christianity in Eritrea and Ethiopia. In this context, the megabi feeds his congregation (sheep) the word of God. Synonyms for this context would be shepherd and pastor.* Context is revelatory. The angel in the emblem of Megabi Skate, drawn in ancient Habesha Orthodox style, is one of the sundry images displayed before the mind’s eye of anyone familiar with the word megabi. But, mixing the idea of skating with an angel is a mark of 21st Century food-truck fusion culture mating with existentialism. It’s pretty.
Other translations for megabi could be patron, benefactor, sponsor, or caretaker. Every polyglot, linguist, and philologist worth more than the snot in her nose knows that translation work is always and everywhere nit-picky, fussbudgety, and persnickety. Any way you spin it, Megabi Skate’s a life-giving narrative. Disadvantaged and underserved peoples in Ethiopia are being fed by skateboarding.
“Use what you have, and use it with love”. -Israel Dejene of Megabi Skate
*Some Orthodox ignorantly use pastor as a pejorative, but a minor holiday of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is called ኖላዊ (nolawee-shepherd-pastor). This holy day is part of what the Western world calls Advent..