ETHIOPIA: LAUREATE TSEGAYE GEBREMEDHIN POEM COLLECTION. November 20 Next articleA Must-Listen: Ethiopian Poet Tigist Mamo’s Poem, “ Egna”. Esat Wey Abeba (Tsegaye ) እሣት ወይ አበባ ፀጋዬ ገብረመድህን. Uploaded by Gebeyehu Aragaw Tsegaw. Tsegaye Gebremedhin, Poems, laureat. 2 May The poet and dramatist Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin, who has died aged 69, They wrote poems and plays on the paper bags their food came in.

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He has explained that it is precisely because he started out as a child absorbing simultaneously Amharic, Oromifa and Geez that he has acquired the kind of language tsegye and proficiency.

Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin

To this day his life has been a half century of giving, toiling and struggling and yet not demanding, not expecting and not waiting for anything in return. He was one of the most important literary figures that country has produced in the last hundred years, and certainly the best known, both within and outside it; his s decision to write about the common man, rather than religion and royalty, marked the beginning of modern Ethiopian theatre. Remembering a Poet Laureate: Subsequently, we get better glimpses into the recesses of his complex persona and to try to decipher what the mindset of this genius is like and how he responds to queries concerning his works.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: One of the unique qualities or gifts of Tsegaye is his uncanny ability to successfully juggle so many activities and involvements simultaneously as no other Ethiopian artist or public figure has done.


When asked recently in a Tobia interview what he likes most and what he does not, Poet Laureate said. And generally their comments are accompanied by near tears; their stories are mostly melancholy; their memories are bitter and tragic.

I like to go out and communicate with the common folks of Ethiopia—the peasant, the patriot, the soldier, the traitor, the the housewife, the priest, the sheikh etc The s were an important decade.

His has been not just patriotism but heroism of the pen—for a change—in a country and culture wherein generally heroism issued from the gun.

Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin Remembered | Addis Journal

In the s he also wrote historical plays about Ethiopian kings, one of which, Tewodros, was performed at the Arts Theatre in London in He wrote in English and was a translator of Shakespeare, but his real gift and achievement was gebremwdhin harness the considerable lyrical powers of his own, Ethiopian, languages.

As such, his early childhood gestation period was molded by the trauma of that war of aggression against which his patriot father fought.


Indeed, as he was to relate later on, he considers himself as one who represented an Ethiopian amalgam or bridge between the two cultures. He produced historical plays based on the lives of Menelik BannedTewodros Bannedand on Zeray Deres as well as Gammo, a play on the Ethiopian Revolution which was also banned.


Tsegaye has no illusions about the nature of the cultural environment with regard to creative, artistic and products of independent thinking prevalent in Ethiopia within which literary personalities like himself operate in. With a sense of irony he relates that in Ethiopian Television in Addis Ababa was showing clips of how, in an earlier period, armed Derg operatives were beating and shooting at stage performers and even audiences to disrupt one of his plays from being performed while at that very moment in Awasa town armed gendarmes of TPLF were actively gebremfdhin the performance of his new play entitled Ha Hu Weyem Pe Pu ABC or XYZ —a clarion call for peace—by beating and harassing both performers and viewers.

Indeed, the young genius, Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, was barely a teen when in Eth. Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin, poet and dramatist, born August 17 ; died Posms 25 It was a situation that you had to experince. Despite this, “I like to go out and communicate with the common folk of Gebremeehin Tsegaye wrote in It tesgaye watched by, among others, Emperor Haile Sellassie himself.

Tadias Magazine Ethiopian Business and Lifestyle. One field of work or study only throws light on the hidden secrets of the other. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Foreign journalists have sometimes found him hard to interview; his public has sometimes found him hard to read, and his colleagues have sometimes found him hard to work with.

Born in the vicinity of Ambo and the environs of the source of Awash River in Shewa region, the young Tsegaye was also influenced and shaped by the subcultures, languages and the blending of his Oromo and Amhara heritages.

Because of his extraordinary love of freedom, the Ethiopian bears any burden and goes to any length without food, without shoes or enough clothes and supplies to fight and die for his freedom.

We have to do something about such negative aspects of our culture. Indeed, as he was to relate later on, he considers himself as one who represented an Ethiopian amalgam or bridge between the two cultures.

Conscious of world civilization, world culture, of equality, of world brotherhood. And so, he has done his best to make his fellow Ethiopians understand and appreciate foreign writers and dramatists. And he is a member of the United Poets Laureate International.

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It is from them that I learn about my country and people. If such was the reaction of officialdom to his plays and other writings what about the people at large about whom and for whom Tsegaye wrote his plays? It was mispronounced, and Tsegaye seized on the mispronunciation to argue they had the wrong man, thus saving Ayalneh’s life. He has explicated the legitimate place and value of mythology in the development of history. One way of gauging and determining what kind of reaction Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin has had is to summarize and highlight salient points from the foregoing profile of the man and his works.

Ayalneh, who remained friends with Tsegaye for the rest of his life, remembers a daily 11am roll call of men to be killed, and the day his own name came up. He was more unusual in beginning to write plays when at the local elementary school.

Likewise, it should also be noted that the present article is neither meant to be an exhaustive literary criticism in the professional or academic sense nor a deification of Tsegaye, the fallible human being. All three banned his plays; he once estimated that of 49 works, 36 had at one time or another been censored.

You are commenting using your Facebook account. His outstanding literary contributions as well as his advocacy of peace and human rights causes have been recognized and honored by peer groups and Human Rights bodies. His career spanned three regimes: As such his early childhood gestation period was molded by the trauma of that war of aggression against which his patriot father fought.

Hence, his popularity among the common people and his subjection to harassment and censorship by the ruling regimes for nearly half a century. With all this activity and being thrown in jail in added to the mixPoet Tsegaye persevered in his labor of love and continued to churn out plays that depicted and critiqued the onset of the Ethiopian Revolution.

In a recent January, issue of the Amharic paper, Kebrit, Tsegaye was asked why most of his plays were tragedies Playwright Tsegaye replied that he is only reflecting the predominant conditions of the Ethiopian people whom he portrays in his dramas.