Tsegaye Habteyimer was born in Adama (formerly known as Nazareth), Oromia Region, in 1950. His parents were members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. After coming to Addis Ababa for the study of Mechanical Engineering in 1968, he befriended some Christian students and joined with them and became a member of Meserete Kristos Church.
Tsegaye joined the AAU Students’ Christian Fellowship Choir and started to write gospel songs and sing as a solo singer in 1969. Having learned from Solomon Araya how to play the guitar, the two accompanied the choir together instrumentally.
Tsegaye Habteyimer had a long government career as a senior official of Ethiopia. He worked as head of the planning department of the National Textile Company at Kombolcha, head of the planning department of the Ministry of Industry, and was appointed Minister of Industry before eventually joining Daylight Bulb (a company owned by Ethiopia’s richest person, Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Ali Al-‘Amoudi).
Mr Tsegaye was an active member of Addis Ababa Meserete Kristos Church until he passed away in 2015.
(1) Iyuut Iyesusin [እዩት ኢየሱስን, Look at Jesus]. Solo cassette with his old gospel songs; published and distributed by Addis Ababa Meserete Kristos Church. Addis Ababa, 2007.
Q: Picture of cassette?
Songs in Hymn Books
Mezmur LeWotatoch (1971)
Several of the songs included in this hymn book of the AAU Students’ Christian Fellowship Choir are from Mr Tsegaye.
Səbhat laʼamlak (1973)
No. 57, 102, 328.
Səbhat laʼamlak (2007)
No. 55, 134, 438 are English hymns translated by Mr. Tsegaye.
At that time, the AAU Students Christian Fellowship Choir mainly used the original English tunes. However, no. 55 is adapted from a Yaredic melody.
God is Here (1981)
Audio (commercial and freemium)
» Check Tsegaye Habteyimer’s tracks on
- YouTube Music
» Listen to vol. 1
An English version can be found in the above mentioned songbook “God is Here”.
Ethiopian University Students Christian Fellowship Choir:
Tsegaye Habteyimer can be found in the back row [behind two female singers].
— Solomon Araya Habte-Egzi / Yohannes Lala
(additional information from Temesgen Teklemariam [Facebook])