Category: Obituary

  • Legesse Asfaw, Cohort of Complicated, Painful History

    Legesse Asfaw was not the type of man to worry friends and family with his personal problems. At least, as long as he hoped he could get past them. After experiencing pain last year, he began going to Korea Hospital, in the Gerji area of Addis Abeba, where he found out that he had liver […]

  • Girma: President, Environmentalist, Dance Lover

    The late Girma WoldeGiorgis might have been Ethiopia’s longest-serving president, with a political and military career that spanned almost eight decades. He was down to earth, loved nature and had a soft spot for music and dancing. Most uniquely, he cared very little for goats and Eucalyptus trees. Girma wanted to see a greener Ethiopia, […]

  • Obituary: Post-Capitalism Thinker Dies, Age 60

    In his own admission, one needs to be “nuts enough” to take the kind of job he was doing in Ethiopia, saving lives of millions of children. For 30 years that was what he did, first arriving in Africa in the mid-1980s. It was a time of youthful enthusiasm and idealism in social justice. He […]

  • Aviation Giant Comes to Rest

    On Araya Maru’s (Col.) first ever flight, to the United States, by way of Frankfurt, for military training, the captain in charge of the aeroplane had a distinctive face he would later come to remember, long before the two would become life-long friends. It was the early 1960s, and the captain was Alemayehu Abebe, who […]

  • Farewell Solomon Deressa: Acclaimed Poet, Writer, Thinker

    A volume of poetry titled, ‘Lijnet’ literally meaning childhood, published in 1963, grabbed the attention of the public. Many prominent writers and individuals at that time did not fail to criticise it for not adhering to traditional Amharic versification, which is stringently rhythmic and rhyming. Luckily, the art piece did not lose its admirers. In […]

  • Insurance Guru, Habtemariam Shumgizaw Dies at 87

    An officer working in one of the private insurance companies was suspected of theft. All his colleagues and immediate supervisors were angry at him. Surprisingly, the CEO of the firm preferred to differ. He was neither worried about the damage that the suspect caused to the Company nor how shallow the act was. The CEO […]

  • The Year of Loss, Grief

    The past year witnessed the loss of prominent Ethiopian visionaries, artists and athletes. They have left a significant impact on the country and its youth as a whole. Their works and contributions have inspired many in the past and will continue to inspire the future generations. The nation has been grieving the loss of artists such as Tesfaye Sahlu, Solomon Lulu and recently, visionaries like Wolday Amha. ABEL WABELLA, FORTUNE STAFF WRITER, takes a glance at their lives and achievements to commemorate them.

  • Habte-Selassie Taffesse; Thirteen Months of Sunshine Sets Off

    The economic liberalisation during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie I was what brought tourism to the fore. The Emperor gave the responsibility of establishing this new industry to the appointee with little experience. However, this did not forbid Habte-Selassie Taffesse from trying to overhaul the system. Habte-Selassie started by introducing duty-free shops with a […]

  • Assefa Chabo, Controversial Politician, Writer, Dies at 75

    He was a man of letters. Reading he did through tonnes of books, reflected primarily in his writings where he loved quoting the notables. But, no other notable may have a personal connection to the life and tribulations of Assefa Chabo, a renowned politician in his own right, as Douglas MacArthur, an American five-star general […]

  • Jagama Kello: Guerilla Without a Gun

    OBITUARY Jagama Kello (Liu. Gen.) passed away on April 7, 2017, in Addis Abeba. He was 96 years old. In an episode that illustrates a typical incident in his life, just after the Emperor’s return from exile in the United Kingdom, Jagama, then still a young man, was hit with a severe bout of malaria. […]

  • Richard Pankhurst, Renowned Scholar of Ethiopian Studies, Dies At 90

    Richard Pankhurst, whose name became synonymous with the study of Ethiopian history during a long and prodigiously productive life, died on February 16, 2017, at his home in Addis Abeba. He was 90. “He was a serious man, but kind,” said an attendee at his funeral. “He was so passionate about what he did. You […]

  • Richard Pankhurst: A Ruthless Taskmaster

    It was almost 20 years ago when I met Richard Pankhurst at the home of a Canadian diplomat. I was in awe of him and his energetic wife, Rita, the Emperor and Empress of the expatriate community in Ethiopia. When I later got to know him a lot better as fellow columnists for the Addis […]

  • Private Sector Innovator

    When Asfaw Tefera, a former teacher, diplomat, author, publisher, and entrepreneur opened Imperial Hotel in the 1990s, it was the culmination of an effort that began in the waning years of the Dergue regime, and was part of the turning point of Ethiopia’s economic transition. The last few years of the Dergue were a turbulent […]

  • Teshome Gebremariam: Titan of an Era, Dies at 86

    It is rare for Mengesha Seyoum (Ras), a nobility from the north and a great grandson of Emperor Yohannes IV, to stand before mourners to read an eulogy, inside the Holy Trinity Church. That was what he did in the afternoon of Wednesday, December 21, 2016, bidding a farewell to Teshome Gebremariam, a prominent corporate […]

  • Tesfaye Dinka: A Towering Figure in Turbulent Times

    Obituary   Tesfaye Dinka, former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, passed away on December 6, 2016, in the United States. He was 77. Tesfaye was best known as the Prime Minister who led the Ethiopian delegation to the London Conference, the US brokered platform which sought to end the civil war in Ethiopia. The conference eventually […]

  • Obituary: Hailu Shawel(Eng.), A Break From All Walks of Life

    Hailu Shawel (Eng), a public servant, notable for his active political engagement was laid to rest on October 11.2016, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Abeba. He passed away on October 6, 2016, after an undisclosed illness he was getting treatment for in Thailand. Though his political engagement declined after the infamous handshake with […]

  • Fitawrari Liben Gebre Ethiopia

    Gashie Liben died on April 4, 2015.