The renowned controversial author and journalist Tesfaye Gebreab passed away. He had been under medical treatment for months and is reported to die on Dec 24 in Nairobi.
Tesfaye was a trained soldier during the Derg regime and joined the EPRDF lately as the rebels were marching to take power. He served as a journalist during the early rule of the EPRDF in different positions in the Ethiopian Press Agency and the party-affiliated Efoyita magazine.
Tesfaye Gebreab, who had a literary inclination and talent since his school days contributed remarkable books and publications personally and at an institutional level. During his stay at Efoyita, he organized the publication of five volumes of literary anthology books called Efita which comprise various works from renowned authors. The Efita volumes are considered a remarkable initiative with regard to motivating authors and producing quality literature to youth enthusiasts. He has also managed the publication of the book series Terarochin Yanketekete Tiwulid (The generation that shook the mountains) which features the history of the TPLF/EPRDF’s struggle during this time
In his personal career as an author, he published eight books in Amharic that achieved him wide acceptance, though controversial. As he’s applauded with many as a prolific author with vigorous literary acumen voicing the pain and oppression of suppressed societies, he is also criticized as a hate-mongering and divisive author through the subject of his writings.
Tesfaye is well introduced with his book Yeburka Zimta (Silence of the Burka River), a critical historical novel that incited rebuke among Amharic readers. He also published various prominent controversial books after he fled the country due to the case he claims is his serious disagreement with the then key politicians. Among these, Yegazetegnaw Mastawesha (Memoir of the Journalist) and Yesidetegnaw Mastawesha (Memoir of the Exiled) are the notable ones that are denouncing impartations of classified information in the EPRDF and individual politicians.
Tesfaye has lived in Kenya, South Africa, the Netherlands, Eritrea, and other countries in exile until he died. Tesfaye Gebreab was born in 1968 in the city of Debre Zeit, 47 km from Addis Ababa.