Tag Archives: Poverty in Ethiopia

Ethiopia: Double-digit Growth? Quadruple-digit Propaganda!

Behind Ethiopia’s “double-digit growth” crock of statistical horse manure lies nothing but triple-digit nonsense and quadruple-digit propaganda.

Behind the “double-digit” growth crock of statistical horse manure, Ethiopia is nothing but the third poorest country on the planet with 87% of its population are designated as poor, 71% living in severe poverty, and 58% destitute.


I took all of the photographs on this page in 2016 and 2017. They are a handful of hundreds of photographs I took there during my four years in Ethiopia as a professor.

Don’t get me wrong, though. Ethiopia is a beautiful country, with amazing natural beauty and historical and archaeological sites, and so many wonderful people. I will share my photos of some of these on a happier post. Continue reading Ethiopia: Double-digit Growth? Quadruple-digit Propaganda!

Photographing the Sweet Crazies of Addis Ababa-Ethiopia

According to the World Health Organization, 15 percent of Ethiopian adults (12 million people) suffer from mental illness. Yet there is only one psychiatric clinic in the whole country.

By Jan Hoek,

15 percent out of the 12 million Ethiopian Adults suffer from mental illness: WHO

The first metally ill person I saw in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, was having an animated chat with the sky in the middle of a roundabout. He had cigarettes in both of his nostrils, wore aviator sunglasses, and his outfit was a hodgepodge of frayed, worn-out, wonderfully matching pieces of clothing. He looked like a mythical figure, and when I approached him he threw a rock at my head.

During the rest of my trip I saw hundreds of others like him, all dressed better than any model on any catwalk. They wore bottles, homemade hats, or entirely leatherette outfits.

The phenomenon is so widespread in Ethiopia they even have a name for this group of people: Sweet Crazies. It doesn’t sound very PC, but it is a very affectionate term. Continue reading Photographing the Sweet Crazies of Addis Ababa-Ethiopia