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Tesfamariam Woldemariam Kiflu

12 December 1950 - 27 March 2015
 

Yes in deed what a loss to the country and people of Eritrea.

Rahiwa 3 June, 2015

what a loss. RIP my dear friend

shikor 15 May, 2015

I am deeply saddened by the loss of Tesfamariam woldemariam, a student leader, a revolutionary and a talented writer. we deeply miss him as a brother and friend. Tesfamriam will always be remembered for his valuable contribution in the Eritrean revolution for independence. A selfless and committed fighter. My heartfelt condolence to his family and old frinds in struggle. Rest in Peace Haileab

Haileab Andu 12 April, 2015

By Ghirmai Negash (4/5/15 translation added and edited for names on 4/7/15) In Memoriam: Tesfamariam Woldemariam (December 12, 1950 – March 27, 2015) Time has come. Today, we mourn our loss as we celebrate his life and honor his legacy. With deep sadness, we say farewell to Tesfamariam Woldemariam. Tesfamariam has been a good son of the nation, and a loving person to his family. He was a good brother, friend, and mentor to many of us. He will be dearly missed and will always remain in our hearts. Today, we grieve our loss. But we should also celebrate our brother’s life, for he lived his life to the fullest, and more importantly, he lived his life the way he wanted it. Tesfamariam was a profound thinker, and a person of great courage. Self-assured, he lived his life with dignity yet with modesty he often chose a path less traveled and yet persisted as he walked it, and sometimes simply opted for the risky and the unknown while treading with poise and bravery—traits that stayed with him until the last minute he succumbed to that terrible illness. The American philosopher and writer Elbert Hubbard once wrote that in order to live a free, full, and meaningful life, one must be brave enough to stand social censure and other risks of disapproval. Hubbard put it this way: “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, and be nothing.” He was right, and Tesfamariam is the proof. Tesfamariam lived his life the way he wanted to live it, doing everything he saw necessary, and standing for what he believed without any sense of fear or regret. Tesfamariam’s life was marked by a mix of politics and aesthetics. And I particularly would like to celebrate and memorialize (with you) Tesfamariam the thinker, Tesfamariam the writer, Tesfamariam the poet. During his time as President of the Student Union at the University of Asmara, he developed strong leadership and debating skills. Those qualities served him well when he joined the Eritrean nationalist movement for independence in 1974 in 1975, barely a year later, Tesfamariam was elected as the Head of ELF’s Information Office, and he quickly established himself as one of the main intellectuals and thinkers of the revolution. In Eritrean history, Tesfamariam will be most remembered, in addition to his other contributions, for creating some of the most powerful African-language journals produced by a resistance movement on the continent during the 1970s and 80s. Two of these journals were Gedli Hizbi Ertra, addressed to the general audience, and Gesgis, mainly targeted at the learned, political elite of the movement. Not surprisingly, Tesfamariam wrote many historical pieces, essays, and political commentary for the periodicals and, in so doing, shaped the political discourse of the movement. Strongly influenced by leftist European thinkers and writers, like Karl Marx and Jean-Paul Sartre, Tesfamariam was also the movement’s chief figure to develop the genre of the “political essay” in Tigrinya. His essay embodied the values of the revolution mixed with personal insight, and he fashioned a new style of Tigrinya writing characterized by complex sentences and many newly fangled words which he consciously and successfully coined in order to enrich the language so that it can carry the weight of the then evolving modernist ideals of the revolution and emergent Eritrea. The emergence of the modern “essay” form in the Tigrinya language was closely associated with the establishment of Nay Ertra Semunawi Gazetta and the formation of the “Tigrinya Language Council” in 1944 in Asmara. The editor of Nay Ertra Semunawi Gazetta, abona Weldeab Woldemariam, and other prominent political figures of the time like Abraha Tessema, Zerai Seqwar, Girmu Zeberakit, Tesfazion Deres, and Gebremeskel Weldu contributed hugely to the modernization of the Tigrinya language, and particularly to the emergence of the political essay. Tesfamariam Woldemariam can be grouped in that category for his impact on Tigrinya. Tesfamariam also wrote poetry. His poems, especially those he wrote from exile in the United States, portray a man who wrote for survival. The poems depict a man who loved life, nature, and art they also depict a vulnerable solitary man subject to what William Shakespeare called the “grunt and sweat” under which life wears us down. One of the poems he wrote in 2001 is titled “A Dialog with Loneliness.” The loneliness of the poet, as he sits by himself in his room, is vividly described, in both disquieting and tender language. But the climax draws to a close—and this is characteristic of the man and his poetic persona—by decidedly defeating, in fact mocking, the solitude troubling his soul. Humorously he writes, ‘come solitude, come don’t be shy let me make you tea made of words and poetry.’ In this memorable verse the feeling of “loneliness” is personified, made human, and thus becomes a friend rather than an enemy of the poet but the originality of the idea of

Dr. Ghirmai Negash 8 April, 2015

He was my father, I loved him I cherished him and I respected him.Yes we had our disagreements but I still loved him.What I remember about my father was his kindness.One day late evening my father and I were walking it was very cold my father saw a young lady without a coat on. He took his coat off and gave it to her a complete stranger what a man! My father was very disciplined in terms of studying and educating himself. He love to read he love to always challenge himself mentally.

Faitom Tesformriam 7 April, 2015

He was my father, I loved him I cherished him and I respected him.Yes we had our disagreements but I still loved him.What I remember about my father was his kindness.One day late evening my father and I were walking it was very cold my father saw a young lady without a coat on. He took his coat off and give it to her a complete stranger what a man! My father was very disciplined in terms of studying and educating himself. He love to read he love to always challenge himself mentally.

Faitom Tesformriam 7 April, 2015

I am writing to say may his soul rest in peace and pay my respect.

Goitom Mebrahtu 5 April, 2015

I am writing to say may his soul rest in peace and pay my respect.

Goitom Mebrahtu 5 April, 2015

TW was widely known and admired for his theoretical knowledge and writing genius. Some time, in mid summer of 1976 I had the opportunity to visit the ELF Information bureau head quarter at lower Barka region. We sat for lunch that included TW and Misgina Bahta. We all were silent and just eating. TW broke the silence by accusing Misgina “ you tilted the dish towards you inorder to get more of the juice.” Misgina responded “yes” and the rest joined the laughter. Knowing him in person for the first time, I also learned that he had sense of humor. The second time was after the liberation of Tesenney, he had to give us an orientation on forming revolutionary committees to administer the liberated towns. I asked him “whose experience are we copying to adopt it here”. He didn’t hesitate and answered “we are not copying any one, we are doing this based on our reality and organizational principles.” I never expected to hear TW passed away that got me shocked. May his soul rest in peace, and my condolence to his family. Fessehaye Hagos

Fessehaye Hagos 5 April, 2015

I am writing to express my deepest sorrow for the loss.Throughout the years of my childhood schooling and more,I had the chance to get to know TW well and I have come to value his friendship, kindness and thoughtfulness.One of our high school teacher used to call him "where is the king of the kings"? He was no doubt a genies man. Heartfelt condolence to the family. Laine Kahsu

Laine Kahsu 4 April, 2015

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Zehaie Keleta 3 April, 2015

In Memory of a Mentor: We lost a brave and brilliant man. We never thought this moment will come this soon. It is time to honor a student leader, a freedom fighter and the architect of Eritrean politics of his time. He was a great mentor, my mentor and source of wisdom for so many people. We will miss him

Dr. Anghesom Atsbaha 2 April, 2015

Fisrt I want to express my condolence to TW family. We knew him i many years through monthly ELFs pamphlets as Hade- meskrem, Gedli Hezbi, Gesges and others inside Asmara and in the field. In the meeting of Tahday which was ELF conclisive seminar to stay united and get back Gebha to the field. Tesfamariam Woldemariam with his ELF Executive committee colleagues Ahmed Nasser, Melake Tekle, Tesfay W/micheal Degiga, Hussien Kelifa and Dr.H Tesfamariam was there. That was the first time to met the man behind ELFs information bureau. RIP Tsfamarima Woldemariam.

Antonio Tesfay 1 April, 2015

Our beloved Tesfamariam was one of our country's best minds. Those who knew him close are witnesses to his farsighted and visionary qualities. He was also a renowned, talented writer. His calm demeanor, analytic mind, good listening skill and deep understanding of reality makes him a genuine leader. From leading the student movement in the university of Asmara to guiding the political study circles in the university and high schools in Asmara he helped to create a mature and well equipped student movement. He was instrumental in connecting the movement to the ELF and its national democractic program which is second to none in the Eritrean Revolution. He struggled in meda to implement this program by playing an executive leading role in the ELF information dept until the collapse of ELF. Saddly, the collective failure of ELF took toll on him and left a deep scar in his heart as he has been suffering and bleeding through out his life until his harmed heart and wounded lungs gave up. But his deep love for Eritrea and strong patriotic aspirations never gave up and will stay with us. Rest in peace our great leader Tesfamariam. One day your vision and dream for free, peaceful and prosperous Eritrea will come true.

Mesghina Bahta 1 April, 2015

Tesfamariam, you are the icon of ELF, you made us proud will never forget your commitment for Eritrean independence and I would like to express my heartfelt condolence to the family of Tesfamariam W/Mariam Kiflu

Woldeselassie Gebremedhin 1 April, 2015

I don't know the deceased, Tesfamariam, in person. I just attended two of his meetings in 1977. But I admired his genius and talent when he was Head of information department of ELF. Under his leadership, ELF's department of information excelled on its art of mobilization and campaign against the colonial power. RIP Tesamariam!

Laine Kahessay 31 March, 2015

Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about Tesfamariam's death. However, we share comfort in knowing he is no longer suffering and his memories will be forever in our hearts. Rest in Peace

Tsega woldemariam 30 March, 2015

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