Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin Remembered
The hall of Institute of Ethiopian Studies (IES) was filled to the brim as family, close friends and admirers gathered to remember and celebrate the life and works of Ethiopia’s poet and dramatist Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin last night.
The programme that lasted for more than two hours included a reading of his poems, tribute from fellow poets like Tesfaye Gessese and Nebiy Mekonnen and others.
Event chairwoman, Dr. Heran Sereke- Berhan,whom most of us remember for her role in restoring Gebre Kirstos Desta to his place as a great Ethiopia poet, spoke of the siginificance of this homage and the need to celebrate and promote other key literary figures like Daniachew Worku and Mengistu Lemma.
She expressed her appreciation to those who have contributed for the realization of this event and introduced some other commemorative plans for the laureate that are in store this Saturday at the Exbition Center.
Nebiy Mekonnen, Editor-in-chief of Addis Admass and a fellow poet, spoke of Tsegaye’s poetic abilities, the richness and colour in his poetry, his technical acumen and mastery at manipulating the languages.
Nebiy remarked that Tsegaye raised a wide range of topics in his poems, like social injustice, the loss of identity, love, historical facts and heroic actions, phiolsophy of life and tug-of-war between taditonal and modern values and many others.
Next veteran actors Fikadu Tekle Mariam, Getnet Enyew, Meaza Biru, Teferi Alemu, Haimanot Alemu, Menebere Tadesse, Getachew Debalke and Abebe Balcha recited Tsegaye’s poems, which everyone enjoyed immensely.The roar at the end of each recitals being indicative of how special it had been.
I can’t recall an IES audience responding so positively during a poetry recitals.It was a situation that you had to experince.
On the occasion, a reprint of the poet’s poetry book, ‘Esat Wey Abeba’, a new CD and a cassette entitled, ‘Abren Zem Enbel’ were made available for sale.
I feel this was a well deserved laudation and I hope other cultural icons would be considered too.
Let me leave you with one of Tsegaye’s English poem, that Nebiy had read the extract.
While the air no more refreshes
And the wind no more blows
Memories are still charming
And your love still glows.
My dreams stay as haunted
And my heart as you have tore
Though the skies are no more blue
And the seas do no more roar.
Yet your love is
And blossoms as a bine,
While the lilies cease blooming
And the sun does no more shine.
Though the cloud does no more rain,
Though the moon shall not be borne
Yet your love is not in vain
Though I bid fare-well to life
Where you too are included
Breaking the laws of nature
your loving has intruded.