Profile: Tribute to Ethiopian journalists we lost in the month of August

Profile: Tribute to Ethiopian journalists we lost in the month of August

By Etenesh Abera @EteneshAb &

Bileh Jelan @Bilejelan

Addis Abeba, September 23/2020 – The month of August 2020 has left behind a dark shade to the Ethiopian journalists community and to the media family as we lost four Ethiopian journalists: Mohammed Tola of Al Jazeera; Getachew Tedela of Deutsche Welle Amharic; Fikru Weldu of Dimtsi Woyane; and Adenew Tsegaye, writer and poet better known by his pen name Adonis. Tributes have been given to these professionals at separate instances and places of their rest by family members and workmates and admirers of the men.

The following is Addis Standard’s tribute in memories of the colleagues we lost.

Mohammed Tola

Mohammed Tola (Picture: Social Media)

“He saw journalism as a means to serve humanity. He strongly argued
against propaganda journalism and stressed that a journalist should always be a
voice of the voiceless. He didn’t believe in propaganda media and fought
against all temptations to slide into it,” said Nurddin Abda, a writer and a
former colleague of Mohammed Tola.

On August 20, 2020 the journalism in Ethiopia lost one of its most
influential members on the international scene, Mohammed Tola. Mohammed, who
rose to prominence after his coverage of the disputed 2005 general elections in
Ethiopia for Al Jazeera Arabic, was considered by many the first Arabic voice
to bring Ethiopia to the Arabic speaking population in the Middle East and

Mohammed was born in the city of Taif (85 kilometers southeast of the
Holy City of Mecca), Saudi Arabia in 1978. He soon moved back to his family’s
hometown of Agarfa, Bale Zone, in the Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia at the
age of 5 where he spent his childhood studying the Holy Quran. His family then
moved to the capital Addis Abeba where he subsequently joined Al-Ansar Primary
School. At age 15 he joined the Islamic Institute in Djibouti to finish his
secondary education. He was offered a full ride scholarship to the University
of Qatar upon his graduation. He used this opportunity to study and explore his
passion for Media. He finished his B.A. in Mass Communication and went to work
for Dr. Jassim Sultan, a prominent Qatari author but left shortly to join the
offices of Al-Jazeera Arabic.

In his capacity as a reporter, he reported on the 2005 Ethiopian
General Elections, the 2011 Ethio-Muslims protests and the 2012 US Election
that saw the re-election of Barack Obama for a 2nd term. In his capacity as an
editor that specialized in the Horn of Africa affairs, he edited and worked on
reports that involved sensitive issues of the region. In 2011, he founded
Ethiopian-Arabic, an online platform that offered Arabic speaking Ethiopian
journos, the platform to write about current issues.

Not long after his coverage of the 2012 US Election, Mohammed left
Al-Jazeera and joined Middle Eastern Broadcasting Network (MBN), a US
government owned network that operates both Arabic language platforms of
Al-Hurra TV and Sawa Radio. “We called him the golden voice,” said Abdulshakur
Abdulsamad, a close friend of Mohammed, he continues, “He was a Pan-African
Humanist, he practiced journalism for its core values and we shall never see
his likes for a long time.”

In a statement
released by Ethiopian-Arabic, “Mohammed went to Almighty after a long battle
with illness; he fought bravely until his last moments. He introduced Ethiopia
to the Arabic speaking population in all its might. He stood by the values of
speaking only the truth, coming to the aid of those who were wronged and being
a voice of the voiceless.” Mohammed is survived by two daughters and his wife.

Getachew Tedela

Getachew Tedela (Picture: Deutsche Welle)

On August, 18 2020, at age of 73 the Ethiopian journalism scene lost Getachew
Tedela a radio journalist for Deutsche Welle Amharic. Born in Addis Ababa 1943,
to father Tedela HaileGiorgis and mother Akelile Neged, he was the fifth child
from the eleven children. Getachew finished his primary and secondary schools
in Leciye GebreMariam by graduating with excellence. And later on he then went
to France to pursue his college education.

First, in 1963, Getachew served as translator for the Ethiopia Peace
Corps in Democratic Republic of Congo during its civil war. Getachew while in
France pursued studies in leather technology courses, a passion that proved
useful later in his life, Getachew advocated and participated in modern farming
until the 1974 revolution took place and lost everything he had.

Getachew who undertook different journalism courses both in France and
German, worked for the European Union News room after he undertook training in
Brussels. He also worked for Radio France International, Radio Netherlands,
Channel Africa, BBC/French, VOA/French and Radio Canada International among
others. However he was most recognized as a correspondent for Deutsche Welle
becoming a familiar voice for 28 years featuring on the Amharic and French
Service until he left the field due to severe health problems. Getachew is
survived by his only child and wife.  

Fikru Weldu

Fikru Weldu (Picture: at the consent of family)

On August 23, 2020 at the age of 33, the Ethiopian journalism lost
journalist Fikru Weldu. He was born in Woldia, North Wollo zone in 1987. Fikru
studied Journalism and Communication at Mekelle University and began his
journey as a journalist on “Weyin” Newspaper, he then made his career joining
Tigray Television for some time and later joined Fana Broadcasting Corporate.
At the end of his final years he was working for  Demtsi Weyane. Following the assassination of
Hachalu Hundessa, the Addis Ababa office of Demsti Weyne was closed,
subsequently he left for Mekelle. Fikru was receiving treatment for Leukemia at
both Ayder Referral Hospital in Mekelle and Tikur Anbesa Referral Hospital in
Addis Ababa; he was survived by his only son and wife.

Adenew Tsegaye

Adenew was shy. On the closing event of “Gemena” Television drama held
in Sheraton Addis, the master of Ceremony calling his name repeatedly but he
was media shy to come out and finally his wife takes the prize on his behalf.
Author and poet Adenew Tsegaye in his pen name Adonis [also his son’s name],
has never appeared on any media platforms. He was author of two television
series with a power of creating a pathway for Ethiopia TV series.
Professionally an Architect, Adenew was also translator and children’s
songwriter albeit unpublished. He translated the Diary of the young girl by
Anne Frank to the popular Amharic version “Ye Anna Mastawesha”, the book by
Adolfe Heckaman. His elder brother Author Hailu Tsegaye, in his testimony for ETV said
“Adenew was a very good self-taught guitar player. He also taught himself his
exceptional writing skills.

Adenew passed away at Minillik II hospital while getting treatment for Pneumonia. He was married and father to two children. In honor of his living intent for privacy of photo-op, Addis Standard is reserved to publish his picture. 

Addis Standard wishes their family, loved ones, the media community and their admirers to have comfort, courage and strength in the days ahead. AS

The post Profile: Tribute to Ethiopian journalists we lost in the month of August appeared first on Addis Standard.

Source: Link to the Post

Leave a Reply