Artist Tesfaye Sahilu, a.k.a. Ababa Tesfaye has died today, July 31, 2017, at the age of 95. He died a week after he (through his daughter-in-law) received an honorary Doctoral Degree from Unity University.
Some lamented that the honorary was too late to be given by other Ethiopian universities.
Tesfaye was also famous Actor, Singer, Magician, and the act of mimicry.
Many of us know Ababa Tesfaye as children’s story teller on ETV, now EBC. Ababa (Father) Tesfaye has been known long as a national grandfather for Ethiopian children. Many grew up listening to his tales on television - and his stories are imprinted in everyone's heart. His tales are so original and Ethiopian that typically represent moral lessons and manner of presentation. From the establishment of Ethiopian Television (ETV) until June 2006 he has been an idol of children's TV-Show as "Yelijotch Gize" - "Children's Time."
After his father and mother had died, he raised with his guardian. He was believed to come up with different challenges.
Previously, Tesfaye also recognized by the Bego Sew, loosely translated a “Good Person” award headed by its founder Diakon Daniel
Tesfaye used to perform different kinds of music live for audiences like for instance “Alem Endet Senebetech, ” and he was also played different characters on Theatre. Playing female characters have been his favorite thing to do.
“Yearbegna Mist” is one of the several plays including Gonderew Gebremariam, Yedem Dimitse, Mekentoan Tifta, Arbegnoch, Ethiopia, and others. He has played such world famous characters such as Pontius Pilate, Iyago, Tiresias and many other heroes, kings, and clowns.
On Sheraton tribute organized by two young admirers who grew up listening to his tales, Getachew Debalke, veteran stage actor and biographer of Ababa Tesfaye said, “Gash Tesfaye is a talented person. Most of us are his students, directly or otherwise.
Even though it's difficult to chronicle his life and works in a single book, we are working on his biography, which would surely be such a guiding light for generations to come." Gash Tesfaye is not only a great actor, but he is also known for his solo comic performances on stage and is highly praised for his masterful mimicry of the legendary comedian Charlie Chaplin.
Tesfaye was born in 1923 to Egerssa Bedane, a conﬁdant of Ras Mekonnen, and his mother, Yewenzwork Belete. His birthplace is called Kedu, in Bale province, south—eastern Ethiopia. For the last four decades, Ababa Tesfaye has been a celebrated children storyteller on Ethiopian Television. He is renowned for his absorbing children stories that are accompanied by his characteristic fervor and unforgettable facial expressions.