Muse’e Tasamma

Muse’e Tasamma was born to his father Duubamo Handeeno and his mother Tambo’le Qure in Buquna in the Hadiyya speaking enclave Baadawwaachcho, former Southern Region, in 1951. His father died before Muse’e got to know him. Muse’e was raised by his mother and half-brother, Tasamma, after whom he was named. Muse’e dropped out of school due to health problems. His mother promised God that her son would serve Him for the rest of his life if he got healed from his two-year dumbness. After he could talk again, Muse’e taught reading and writing at a preschool and led the Kale Heywot congregation in antiphonal songs during Sunday worships and funerals. In 1975 he was called to Kashara town to serve as youth minister and choir leader.

As one of the first singers, Muse’e started to compose and sing Hadiyya solo songs around 1976. Next to his mother tongue, Hadiyya, Muse’e ministered also in the Wolaytta and Amharic languages, often accompanied by Tsegaye Gabore and Marqos Nuno. Muse’e discontinued his ministry as a solo singer in 1993 to focus on his ministry as a preacher in the local congregation and, from 1999 until his death in 2010, as an advisor in the Kale Heywot Koto Parish.

At the margins of his songbook, Muse’e’s wrote the many Bible passages that inspired the lyrics of his songs. The stanzas of his songs also bear to the fact that Muse’e was very aware of what was happening around him. Other singers soon adopted Muse’e’s innovation of composing and singing solo songs in the vernacular Hadiyya language. Muse’e’s help for the poor, education of the youth and concern for those who had left the church during the Ethiopian Revolution were also exemplary.

Manuscript

Muse’e has left a handwritten songbook.

» Read manuscript

» Read transcription of Hadiyyisa songs

Songs in hymn books

Waa’i Galaxxamona (2013)

The followings songs are from Muse’e: 461, 532, 560, 561, 563, 571, 574, 575, 578, 583, 594, 597, 599, 605, 607, 615

[lyrics mainly taken from Galaxxi Mazmuulluwwa, 1993].

Album

During his lifetime, Muse’e didn’t release a cassette with his songs. In 2019, a group of his friends and colleagues recorded 11 of his songs:

(Track 1, with lyrics)

Pictures

Muse’e, Marqos and Tsegaye
Muse’e Tasamma (Nov. 2009)

Stefan Ritter