Addis Welcomes Activist Tamagne Beyene and Journalist Fisseha Tegegn

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Tamagn Beyene, known for his profound performance in Theatrical arts and later on for his involvement in Human Rights Activist finally arrived in his hometown along the very valued Journalist Fisseha Tegene.

Tamagn was known for his way delivering different performances at the National theaters. His colleagues and other artists also pay their admiration for his originality and lively acts on stage. 26 years ago, Tamagn thought he would spend the rest of his life in theatrical arts, the profession he loved the most before he became one of the most influencing activists. Not only was he a great comedian, he also played the drum and saxophone very well, no one even though he would leave that part of him aside.

When asked when he decided to leave the arts and join the activism that was going on, this is how he explains his journey;

“There is no specific day that I got up and said I want to leave this and be an activist. But this is how it started. With all the conflict that has been taking place, in 1983 etc, TPLF being on the North and so, I didn’t like what I was seeing around. Yet, I used to follow up on the news, I used to listen to the radio and all that. Before that, 26 years ago that is, all I ever wanted was to be in theatrical arts, I wasn’t that conscious about politics. But I know of our history from school, from what I hear people say, about the flag and all that. So the things I heard on the radio conflicted with what I grew up with. So this one time, we were at the theater with some friends and I said “where is this country going, it sounds wrong, why don’t we organize a show?” and then we agreed on that and started talking to other artists to organize a show  that would encourage the military and show the people what is to come. So we organized an event titled “የኢትዮጵያ አርቲስቶች ለ ኢትዮጵያ፣ ሹም ካዘዘው፤ ስሜት የነቀነቀው” to be performed at the national theaters. What was going on was sad at that moment, I heard that they were disrespecting the flag, so to pay respect for the flag, we decided that all the artists should tie it around their necks, and when one artist finishes performing and the next one comes, the first would hand the flag respectfully along the mic to the next one and that the next one would bow and accept. I took care of preparing the flags, I personally went to Senga Tera to buy it on my own. I am not saying this to take credit, but to say that I would take the responsibility for that action. The whole thing was confrontational where a lot of artists were involved, the show was intended to address the problems that were seen amongst the society and the government. But it didn’t reach out to the people as we wanted as it wasn’t aired right away. So we went to the advertising agency and we talked to them and they agreed to air it. Later on, we asked to do another show at the stadium and they allowed to do so. Following that, we performed it again at the stadium. And then this Government took over after 28 days. The respect I have for the flag was big, I remember after the takeover, they came to our house to take down the flag and my father took it off their hands and it remained there until recently.”

Society of Ethiopians Established in Diaspora (SEED) held its 23rd Annual Awards Gala at Georgetown University Hotel Conference Center in Washington, D.C. on May 24th, 2015, honored Artist and Activist Tamagn Beyene and other dignitaries. SEED honored Mr.Tamagn Beyene as a distinguished artist and as an activist for social justice, in appreciation of his dedication and courage in defending the freedom and civil rights of the people.

Fisseha Tegene is well known for his unique reporting way of sports news on 97.1 FM Radio Station. Fisseha started reporting sports news at an early age when he was in elementary school. After he graduated from University in Business Education, he was accepted to FM Addis Radio Station as a sports newscaster.

Following the 2005 parliamentary elections mass protest in the country, Fisseha got fired from his job because he refused to read news about the killing of 30 civilians in an alleged robbery that went down. He also refused to play music and read sports news at this trying time which led to his dismissal. Companies were intimidated and bullied not to hire him which made him decide to leave his country for London the same year. And yet he did not stop there, Fisseha continued to be the voice of many from London up to this moment.