Reuters journalist Tsegaye Tadesse had front row seat to Ethiopian history

By Barry Malone and Tiksa Negeri – Sunday


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By Barry Malone and Tiksa Negeri

© Reuters/DANIEL WALLISTsegaye Tadesse attends his retirement party, in Nairobi

ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Tsegaye Tadesse, a former Reuters correspondent in Ethiopia who had a front row seat to history and a knack for being in the right place at the right time, has died at 92.

© Reuters/DANIEL WALLISTsegaye Tadesse attends his retirement party, in Nairobi

An avuncular presence, easily recognisable with his trademark pipes and fedora hats, Tsegaye covered every aspect of Ethiopian news: from the imperial splendour of Emperor Haile Selassie through the brutal rule of the communist Derg regime and the ruinous famine of the 1980s.

© Reuters/DANIEL WALLISTsegaye Tadesse attends his retirement party, in Nairobi

He later reported with pride on the country’s more recent economic transformation, relishing the chance to write about an Ethiopia reclaiming its place as an African powerhouse.

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He recently suffered a heart problem and died early in the morning of July 1, surrounded by loved ones, according to a family statement.

Tsegaye was born in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa in 1930 and after graduating high school, trained as a teacher.

But, though he enjoyed the classroom and dedicated himself to it, the voracious reader and news junkie harboured the ambition to become a journalist.

That dream came to pass when he joined the Ethiopian Herald as a fledgling reporter in 1961.

He built a name for himself as a writer with an enviable command of the English language, eventually becoming the state newspaper’s first ever parliamentary correspondent.

Tsegaye Tadesse attends his retirement party, in Nairobi

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