Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin Memorial Prize launched

Above: Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gebremedhin. Photo by Chester Higgins, Jr. (© chesterhiggins.com)

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Updated: Monday, September 14, 2009

New York (Tadias) – A new prize named after Ethiopia’s Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gebremedhin has been established by the Institute of Language Studies at Addis Ababa University, Addis Journal reports.

The annual prize for students of literature and theater is intended to encourage academic excellence in the arts. The first prize was awarded to Berhanu Asfaw from the Department of Ethiopian Languages and Literature and to Tegegnto Sinshaw from the Theaters Arts Department.

The journal also notes volunteer efforts, spearheaded by Dr. Heran Serke-Berhan, to create a permanent annual stage production as a way to honor the late writer.

Tsegaye Gebremedhin, founder of the Department of Theatrical Arts at Addis Ababa University, was one of the most widely published African playwrights and poets. He is the recipient of the 1997 Honorable Poets Laureate Golden Laurel Award given by the Congress of World Poets and United Poets Laureate International. A prolific writer, both in Amharic and English, one of his best known poems “Proud to be African” has been adopted as an anthem by the African Union. He also translated the works of Shakespeare and Moliere into Amharic – including Macbeth, King Lear and Tartuffe.


Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gebremedhin reading an article
about him on the 10th issue of Tadias Magazine.
Photo by Chester Higgins, Jr. (© chesterhiggins.com)

Mr. Gebremedhin was born in Boda, a small village near Ambo, Ethiopia, on August 17, 1936. As a child, he received traditional church education and as a teenager attended Wingate High school in Addis Ababa. He later earned a degree from the Blackstone School of Law in Chicago (1959), followed by an educational tour to the Royal Court Theatre in London and the Comédie Française in Paris. He died on February 25, 2006, in New York, where he was receiving medical attention.


Related
Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin: Ethiopia’s poet and playwright of the common people (The Guardian)

Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gebremedhin of Ethiopia: A Short Walk Through His Literary Park
By Professor Negussay Ayele

5 Responses to “Tsegaye Gebre-Medhin Memorial Prize launched”


  1. 1 Alefe Sep 14th, 2009 at 7:39 am

    I am a great admirer of the Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gebremedhin and I am happy about the news.

  2. 2 mimi Sep 19th, 2009 at 8:36 am

    he is like a grandfather to me, i knew him as a baby and him and my grandfather grew up together so it kind of makes me proud to see someone you know being honored.

  3. 3 Anibal Sep 23rd, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    Laureate Tsegaye was indeed “Ethiopia’s biblical sage”. The world has come to know him much better after his death. Kudos for the organizers.

  4. 4 Ashenafi May 1st, 2012 at 10:40 am

    He is my soul and spirits!!!!!!!!

  5. 5 Birhanu Jun 5th, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    He is one of the best for Ethiopia.

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