Tadesse Eshete

Tadesse Eshete was born in Addis Ababa around 1965. He became an Evangelical Christian at the age of 14 [ _ _ _] Q: Any details known about his conversion?]. Around 1980 [1972 AM], Tadesse started to sing gospel songs of contemporary singers. He had memorized the songs published on the first four cassettes of Tesfaye Gabbiso that were released from 1977-79 as well as songs from Dereje Kebede.

Tadesse’s parents, however, opposed his new faith and expelled him from home. At the beginning of his singing ministry, the teenager used to spend the night in a bus station, for there was nobody to give him shelter. One of his famous songs reflects Tadesse’s early experience of being homeless. It says,

The place is dessert and wilderness,
Yet its inside is full of beauty and roses.
We will come to you with joy and happiness,
We will come before you with our songs.

[Song S1; audio recording below]

This song encouraged many Christians who experienced persecution and other hardships during the Ethiopian Revolution.

Tadesse’s voice and his playing of the traditional Ethiopian stringed instrument called kirar appealed to many listeners. They began to invite him to sing at their home worship services, whole night prayers, school fellowships and, if possible, congregational meetings. Sometimes he served at four or five places, spending the whole night singing. Tadesse sang not only in Addis Ababa, but received invitations from many other places in Ethiopia.

Tadesse began to sing because he loved his Lord. In his songs, he addresses Christ often as a Hero and points to God’s reconciling work with humanity through Jesus. The second coming of Christ will be glorious. God’s Holy Spirit strengthens the believers.

Tadesse’s melodies make it easy for his listeners to join him in singing. His songs became a catalyst for the worship services of the evangelical churches of his time in Ethiopia. He even made Kenya and Djibouti a second home as the Ethiopians who lived there often invited him. (Q: in which years? The 1990s?). Altogether, Tadesse served for about 20 years as a gospel singer.

Having stopped singing as a soloist in _ _ _ (in which year and why?), Tadesse became a business person importing goods from India. After two years of illness, he went to be with the Lord in _ _ _  (year ?)

Tadesse was known for his consistent humility, kindness and generosity. He loved people and showed respect to everybody. He is remembered as a person who led people to worship God.


» View discography and overview of songs

Audio (YouTube)

» Listen to albums


[S1] Bereha new derek; ‘It’s a dessert’:

[S2] Mesheshegiya washa, ‘Refuge cave’:

[S3] Abenezer (with lyrics), ‘Ebenezer’:

[S4] Igziabiherin tebik alaferihum (with lyrics); ‘I am not ashamed to wait for God’:

[S5] Mefetatēni āwijalehu (with lyrics), ‘I will declare that I am free’:

[S6] Egziabiher melkam new; ‘God is good’:


» Watch worship songs

Further reading

Daniel Teshome (2020). የታደሰ እሸቴ ግለ-ታሪክ (አጭር የሕይወትና የአገልግሎት ታሪክ) (‘Biography of Singer Taddese Eshete’). Kindle edition.

» Buy Kindle edition on Amazon.com

Daniel Teshome (2020). የታደሰ እሸቴ ዝማሬዎች (የዝማሬ ግጥሞች) (‘Songs of Singer Taddese Eshete’).

» Buy Kindle edition on Amazon.com

_ _ _ (Interview with Tadesse Eshete), Heywet Magazine, No. 46 (2000 [1992 A.M.]), _ _ _ (pages, …?

Daniel Teshome