Born in the highland village of Boda, near the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, poet and dramatist Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin was considered Ethiopia's poet laureate. While still at elementary school he wrote a play called "King Dionysus and the Two Brothers" and saw it staged in the presence, among others, of Emperor Haile Selassie. After being receiving a degree from the Blackstone School of Law in Chicago in 1959 the following year he used a Unesco scholarship undertake an educational tour that included visits to the Royal Court Theatre in London and the Comdie Française, Paris. He returned to Ethiopia in 1960 to run the Municipality Company at the National Theatre and establish a school which produced a number of leading Ethiopian actors. Gabre-Medhin also translated Molire's Tartuffe, and wrote a play in English called Oda Oak Oracle, which was performed in theatres in Ethiopia, Britain, Denmark, Italy, Romania, Nigeria, Tanzania and the US. In 1966, aged 29, he became the youngest person ever to receive the Haile Selassie I Prize for Amharic Literature.


Production Date Theatre
Tewodros 1987 Arts Theatre


Title Date Publisher
Collision of Altars 1977 Rex Collings Ltd
Oda-oak Oracle 1965 Oxford University Press

Critical sources

Title Date Publisher