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Tebreh Tesfuhuney a Musical Visionary

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  • 24 February, 2014
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Tebereh TesfahunegnMemories of the Legends, Tunes of Eritrea – QieNit TV Talk Show Tebreh Tesfahunegn, one of the most important artists to emerge from the vibrant East African music scene, Tebereh Tesfuhuney was a musical visionary who invented a sound and inspired a generation, the diva of the Eritrean music scene of thesixties and seventies! The stories of history of Teberh Tesfuhuney present the visual and lyrical audible artistic talent of the Eritrean people from before and during the time of war, as well as the determination by the Eritrean people to create an environment that would promote national pride, strength and willpower all things that drove and boosted the morale of the population in their fight for Freedom. Tebereh TesfahunegnAt the age of 16, Tebereh Tesfahunegn (sometimes spelled Tesfahuney) joined MaTA in 1963 as dancer and later a singer. Aside from her voice, she will always be remembered for “Tegezana abi hedmo” (‘Our lovely house” is infested with bedbugs and fleas – a criticism of the Ethiopian occupation), one of her famous songs censured in the mid-1960s. Having joined the Eritrean resistance in 1975, she was seriously wounded in 1978 in the battle of Adi-Hawsha. Until she passed away on March 1, 2007, she lived about 40 kilometres outside Asmara, where she runs a bar named “Ab Hedmo”, after her favorite song. Asres Tessema, co-founder of MaTA and His Group were backing Tebereh. The Legendary Eritrean singer and veteran fighter Tebereh Tesfahuney passed away on March 1st 2007. Funeral services was held on March 3, 2007 at Martyr’s Cemetery in Asmara. True Story “Tebereh Tesfuney” In her words… The theater was filled with lots of applause and cheers. As I was behind the curtain, the excitement became more than I could handle. I started shaking. “Don’t worry, it’s nothing. Once you get out there, you won’t feel nervous anymore,” someone said in encouragement. The person who gave me the advice was speaking from personal experience, and what they said was true. When I took the stage, the applause and cheers continued, and I sang with confidence. “Encore!” the audience cried when I had finished my singing. I sang an encore, and when I finished many people came up to the stage, giving me gifts. The theatre roared with cheers and applause. The following day, my picture appeared in all of the papers, along with reviews of the concert, in many different languages! And there were several reviews in {Italian} and {English}. I was getting lots of publicity. Tebereh TesfahunegnWhen my father, bought a copy of the {Zemen} paper and sat down to read it, he found my picture, along with my name in the captions. He was very close to losing it. He tried to think of where he could find me, and went to my mother. That evening, my mother confronted me. But I took my mother’s words with ease. As long as my father didn’t find me, I’d be fine! My father had no restraint when he was hitting you. I spent the next several days avoiding him in whatever way I could. About three weeks had passed when I was walking with three of my friends around through the Geza Banda district. As we were walking down past the Mai Jahjah fountain, I saw him. “Oh no! My father!” I was so scared that I almost peed myself. Even my friends were scared for me. There was no escaping; he was directly in front of us. I decided that I should hide any longer. “I’ve become a singer. I’ve been hiding from you so that you wouldn’t hit me, because I know you don’t want me to be a singer.”

 

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