Agitu Gudeta was a household name in the Trentino region of Northern Italy. An Ethiopian immigrant who came to Italy in 2010, she was quick to establish herself as a goatherd and built a successful cheese-making business she named La Capra Felice or “The Happy Goat” on a strip of abandoned lands. She was hailed all over Italy as well as some European countries as “a symbol of refugee success story” in Italy, especially at a time of fierce racism.
This lady was of course set to reach greater heights in her cheese-making business, having employed fellow migrants one of whom was to eventually murder her in broad daylight and in the most gruesome manner just this morning – 30 December, 2020 – a day to her birthday. The suspect: a Ghanaian named Adamu Suleimani (32) had in his confession to the police, said that he had bludgeoned the hardworking lady to death with a hammer after incessantly raping her.
I am completely disgusted at this horrendous murder and my heart bleeds. How could this happen to this angelic lady who showed by her dexterity that you can excel against all odds when the mind is made. Since this case is sub judice, I would want to pour out my grief guardedly, but the Italian criminal justice system must keep no stone unturned in giving to this heartless killer, the jail term that would serve as a deterrent. Also, the investigative officers should go the whole hog in establishing if there had been some accomplices to this cold-blooded murder. This is because Ms Gudeta had revealed earlier on that she had received death threats two years back. Even as early as this year, a man was reportedly jailed for injuring her. Could there have been some connection of sorts?
I urge the Italian law enforcement officers to use all within their powers to ensure that this angelic symbol of integration did not die in vain. Yes, she was an immigrant widely known for her industry – and that’s why her death should not be tied to politics of any kind. She came to Italy like any refugee fleeing violence, but showed through hard work and that positive mental attitude that not all immigrants are in the country to “steal Italian jobs” – and that if given the opportunity, immigrants can thrive and contribute positively towards the betterment of society.
I write with tears streaming down my cheeks at this great loss, but I wish to appeal with utmost humility to those investigating this senseless butchery of a fellow human being: This isn’t time to play games or aim at silly political points or exhibit crass Menofreghismo. This case must not be circumvented or pigeonholed as “black-on-black violence,” but the murder of a loving lady by one depraved individual who should face justice without delay.
Rest in Peace, Agitu! If this world did not deserve you, heaven does.
Martins Agbonlahor is an author and journalist. He lives in Greater Manchester.