A visionary, a restorer of order and unity, a bloody tyrant, a nation builder and modernizer, a mad-king, a Shifta, a tragic hero: Emperor Tewodros II has been many things to many people and the first book of the Adowa Trilogy examines his complex life from womb to tomb. He was one of the most influential emperors in African history who saw the technological gap between Africa and Europe as the greatest threat his nation, and by extention, the entire African continent faced. His fight for the equality and dignity of black leaders; has elevated him to an iconic status in the Ethiopian history and beyond.
An Emperor characterized by unparalleled discipline, both in his personal life and in his political life, his indefatigable patriotism are on display against enormous challenges facing the Ethiopian kingdom after Emperor Tewodro's death. His reign was embroiled in military struggles – First with the Egyptians, then Mahdists from Sudan, and finally the Italians. At home, after accomplishing reunification, he would attempt to force the conversions of pagans and Muslims into Christianity, while budding up to the Europeans who he considered to be his friends - Both misguided policies had grave repercussions for his nation as the Scramble for Africa got going in his time to threaten the very existence of the Ethiopian empire.
A prisoner of Emperor Tewodros as a boy and a defiant rebel to Emperor Yohannes, the Negus of Shoa would embody both their qualities and more. His consolidation of internal power before moving on to confront colonists will lead him to great international prestige after he shocked the world by defeating the Italians at the Battle of Adowa. A visionary just as the two previous emperors – politically savvy both at home and internationally, Menelik fulfilled their dreams by expanding the Ethiopian empire to its modern-day boundaries, but his incursion to the territories of the Oromo in the south will not only transform the ancient nation but also reignite and redefine the regional politics of current day Ethiopia.
Ben began writing after attending a program for Harlem Screenwriters at Columbia University in New York City. The Adowa Series is a passion project that has taken years of research as he attempts to teach himself about black and African history on his own. His mission to uncover the lost history of his ancestors and champion the cause of black unity and dignity around the world is a lifetime commitment.