He was the oldest son of Negus Sahel Selassie an important Amhara noblemen and his wife Woizero Bezabish Wolde.
Haile Melekot had 5 full siblings, 4 sisters and one brother Saugus Sahle Selassie who is three or four years younger. He had numerous half-siblings as his father sired other children by his numerous concubines, among them his half-brothers Haile Melekot and Darge. Darge’s mother was Wezero Wurgi, Seltie by ethnic trait.
Menelik was the son of the Shewan Negus Haile Melekot and probably of the palace servant girl Ejigayehu Lemma Adyamo. He was born in Ankober and baptized to the name Sahle Maryam. His father, at the age of 18 before inheriting the throne, impregnated house servant, Ejigayehu, then left her; he did not recognize that Sahle Maryam was born.
He divorced Ejigayehu in less than a year, and in May 1845 he married his second wife, Woizero Tideneqialesh, who was a former wife of a court official. He bore no child from Tideneqialesh.
Menelik was born 17 August 1844
Died 12 December 1913
In 1855 the Emperor of Ethiopia, Tewdros 2nd invaded the then semi-independent kingdom of Shewa. Early in the subsequent campaigns, Haile Malakot died, and Sahle Miriam was captured and taken to the emperor’s mountain stronghold, Amba Mengdella. Still, Tewodros treated the young prince well, even offering him marriage to his daughter Altash Tewodros, which Menelik accepted.
Upon Menelik’s imprisonment, his uncle, Haile Mikeal, was appointed as Shum of Shewa by Emperor Tewodros II with the title of Meridazmach.
However, Meridazmach Haile Mikael rebelled against Tewodros, resulting in his being replaced by the non-royal Ato BeZabeh as Shum. Ato Bezabeh in turn rebelled against the Emperor and proclaimed himself as an angel Negus of Shewa. Although the Shewan royals imprisoned at Magdela had been largely complacent as long as a member of their family ruled over Shewa, this usurpation by a commoner was not acceptable to them. They plotted Menelik’s escape from Magdela; with the help of Mohammed Ali and Queen Worquito of Wollo he escaped from Magdala on the night of 1 July 1865, abandoning his wife, and returned to Shewa. Enraged, Emperor Tewodros slaughtered 29 Oromo hostages then had 12 Amhara notables beaten to death with bamboo rods.
Upon leaving his first wife for 10 years, whom he had married at the age of 11, Altash Tewodros (1855–1865) then returned to Showa and he married Bafena Wolde Mikeal (1865–1882) for 17 years when he turned 21 years old. Bafena was 31 years old when she married Menelik. She had sons from her previous marriage.
Bafena was disliked by the Showan Amhara nobility for her cunning desire to enthrone her Oromo sons. Because of the sense of mistrust the Amharas devised Menelik to divorce his second wife. They concocted that Menelik had begotten first Wossen Sagad, then Shewaregad followed by Zewditu from other concubines. One was too many, outraged Bafena finally divorced Menelik.
Finally following the divorce he married Taytu Betul (1882–1913). Taytu was born (1851 – 11 February 1918).
She was again 31 years old when she married Menelik. She had gone through four other marriages and divorces before Menelik.
She was married to Menelik for 31 years.
Holus bolus Menelik was married for 60 years of his life, short of his boyhood.
If for 60 years he was unable to produce an offspring shagging day in day out, from three different fecund wives how was it possible that he did manage to produce three on stand alone nights?
The Amhara nobility were desperate to have one of their own when the time came when Menelik was no longer there to promote their ethnic dominance.
The Amhara elites dominated the state apparatus for so long and muzzled the voice of other nationalities to be heard for the truth to come out.
Even Zewditu who was groomed to take-over shared a gloomy fate in the end. Zewditu married four times(Araya Selassie Yohannes, Gungel Zegeye, Wube Atnaf Saged and Welle Gugsa). Walking out of steps neither did she escape the wrath of Amhara nobility when she married an Oromo, Welle Gugsa, who claimed the throne being the husband of the Queen. Following Welle’s death at a battle, two days later on 2nd April 1930 she too was killed but covered up as a natural death.
No only our humane rights denied, our lands confiscated, but our voices, crying for help, were buried deep. Let the truth come out aggressors are aggressors in all shapes and forms in the Tundra or Sub-Sahara desert!