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Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin

Born: Ethiopia

Biography

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 receiving a degree from the Blackstone School of Law in Chicago in 1959, he used the following year a Unesco scholarship to undertake an educational tour that included visits to the Royal Court Theatre in London and the Comédie 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 Molière’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.

Publications

Collision of Altars

Year: 1977

Publisher: Rex Collings Ltd

Oda-oak Oracle

Year: 1965

Publisher: Oxford University Press

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