post About Haddis Alemayehu

December 21st, 2007

Filed under: Literature Corner — Getie Gelaye @ 14:05

Haddis Alemayehu was a true all-rounder who contributed to Ethiopia in many number of disciplines. First and foremost, he was arguably the single most talented Ethiopian novelist who wrote some of the most loved and admired novels to date in Ethiopia. He wrote from the heart and the stories in his novels have touched the hearts of many Ethiopians.

Haddis Alemayehu in his young years.

Among his great works, his 1968 novel - Love unto crypt - which is the Ethiopian equivalent of Romeo & Juliet is by far the most talked-about and admired Ethiopian novels ever. This masterpiece is now being read by English readers after its translation recently by Sisay Ayenew. The novel hit the shelves of numerous book stores worldwide in 2005. It was put at best book sections in New York Times’ August 14 issue.

The other Haddis Alemayehu was a true patriot who defended his country from the invasion of fascist Italy in the 1930s. After vigorously fighting the Italians, he was held in captivity for seven years in Italy. He went back to an independent Ethiopia in 1944, three years after Italy was decisively defeated at the Battle of Adwa. The young Haddis Alemayehu - prior to his fame as a novelist and a patriot – was a passionate teacher who believed in the power of education.

Mr. Haddis also served his country as a Foreign Minister from 1960 – 61 under the government of Emperor Haile Selassie. Haddis was a dignified selfless man that contributed to his country from defending Ethiopia at the frontline to protecting the country’s interests through remarkable diplomacy, and from educating Ethiopians to writing novels of highest standards.

He was awarded the Special and Gold Mercury Prizes of Emperor Haile Selassie Award Trust and also an Honorary Doctoral Degree by Addis Ababa University.

He died on 6th December 2003 at the age of 94 and was laid to rest on 7th December 2003 at the the Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa.


  1. I have been read some books of Haddis Alemayehu, I feel funny and confidence with Haddis. Stil I strongly need to know about him.

    Comment by Tesfa — 31. March 2009 @ 08:55

  2. he was the best novilist ethiopia ever have

    Comment by Yemisrach — 6. August 2010 @ 15:27

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