BREAKING NEWS: Maitre Artiste Afewerk Tekle dies at 80 – Abugida

April 11th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopia’s renowned and acclaimed painter the most honorable Maitre Artiste World Laureate Afewerk Tekle has died late last night at the age of 80 at Kadisco Hospital, Abugida learnt. The country’s much-admired artist died due to a severe illness after receiving treatment in the capital Addis Ababa, a close family, who didn’t want to be named, told Capital on Wednesday morning. The artist’s passage and funeral plans are expected to be announced later in the day. (more…)

Ethiopia’s renowned and acclaimed painter the most honorable Maitre Artiste World Laureate Afewerk Tekle has died late last night at the age of 80 at Kadisco Hospital, Abugida learnt. The country’s much-admired artist died due to a severe illness after receiving treatment in the capital Addis Ababa, a close family, who didn’t want to be named, told Capital on Wednesday morning. The artist’s passage and funeral plans are expected to be announced later in the day.

The late Maitre Artiste World Laureate Afewerk Tekle was born on October 22, 1932 in the historic city of Ankober in Shoa Province, Ethiopia, according to the artist’s official web portal.

Sent to England in 1947 to become a mining engineer, Afewerk’s artistic talent was soon perceived. He was accepted at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London and later went to the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of London, the famous “Slade”. While studying in England he made several artistic pilgrimages to Europe. On the completion of his studies he returned to Addis Ababa where he held a one-man exhibition at the Municipality Hall in 1954. It was the first significant art exhibition of post-war Ethiopia.

Soon after his exhibition he left Ethiopia for a study tour in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and Greece. In addition to these countries, he carried out various studies in England. He also made a special study of the Ethiopian illustrated manuscripts in the British Library, the Biblioth?que Nationale in Paris and the Vatican Library, thereby gaining a deeper knowledge of his own artistic heritage.

After two years of this extensive study, Afewerk, by now a well–equipped artist, returned with full confidence to his native land, to tackle the task ahead.
On his arrival in Ethiopia, Afewerk opened his studio in the National Library of Ethiopia. Soon afterwards he was given his first challenging commission by the Ethiopian Government: The decoration of St. George’s Cathedral, one of the capital’s two most important religious edifices, where he worked on murals and mosaics for three and a half years.

Afewerk also designed his own house, studio and gallery, known as Villa “Alpha”. He was architecturally inspired by his own cultural heritage, especially by ancient Aksum, the mediaeval castles of Gondar and the old walled city of Harrar.

His paintings included titles such as “Backbones of African Civilization”, “African Movement”, “African Atmosphere” and “African Unity”, and for Expo 67 in Montreal, Canada, “Africa’s Heritage” which are now in the permanent collection of the National Museum of Ethiopia. After many studies he produced over ten designs for an African Unity emblem and flag. Afewerk’s internationally famous stained-glass windows confronting the visitor in the entrance of Africa Hall, the headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, is one of his greatest achievements.

In 1964 he became the first winner of the Haile Sellassie I Prize for Fine Arts. The citation described him as a “versatile and disciplined artist”. And the prize was awarded “for his outstanding drawings, paintings, landscapes, and portraits which eloquently express his particular world environment, and for his contribution in being among the first to introduce contemporary techniques to Ethiopian subject matter and content.”

He recently participated in an exhibition held at the Sheraton Addis with other renowned artists.


  1. ደርቤ ቀጀላ
    | #1

    My Condolence to his family.
    God bless his soul.

  2. low
    | #2

    I don’t understand why prominent Ethiopians such as Tilahun Gessese and Afewerk Tekle risk their lives getting treatment in Ethiopia. We know that TPLF will do anything to silently kill these people because they are the symbol of Ethiopia. Especially Afewerk Tekle, he should have gotten treatment outside of Ethiopia. I am sure TPLF injected something into him that killed him. Tilahun Gessese couldn’t get qucik treatment and he was ignored. These people are dying slowly.

  3. low
    | #3

    While TPLF is awarding Alamoudi to take our Ethiopia, this great guy, Afewerek tekle dies when he should have gotten proper treatment over seas. The news says it all. There is no information that he was even critically ill, the news above doesn’t have detail how he died, what was the cause of death.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    Hmmmmmm….What a mystery! Suddenly, the well known and loved artists and highly accomplished Ethiopians are dropping like leaves.

  5. arega
    | #5

    NEFS YIMAR.wE LOST GREAT ETHIOPIAN ARTIST.This is the time to mourn about the sudden death of our great artist.There are so many things to blame TPLF.Let us choose events and time.Do not politicize everything.

  6. tazabiw
    | #6


  7. Aba Guda
    | #7

    Words on the street say that The Artist was bitterly angry by Meles’s decision not to erect Hailesellasie’s monument in front of the new African Hall. That devil does not care a bit. Culture , history and religion are not his interestes.

  8. Abebe Tessema
    | #8


  9. Tegadalit Adeahoum
    | #9

    He is a real artiest in an unabused sense of that term whose life sprawls in many directions. He is the envy of any visual artiest in the whole of Africa. I remember the oil painting of Nukhurma done by him in oil painting. Afework,Abebe Bikila,Tewdors and Menilik II, among others are names that will live forver in the minds of true Ethiopian. Long live Afework Tekele.

  10. Belew!
    | #10

    what a sad news !yes he listened carefully what The emperor advised them
    when they left the country ” you must work hard,and when you come back do not tell us what tall buildings you saw in Europe, or what wide streets they have,but make sure you return equipped with a skills”
    he always remembers for his fine arts we will miss him.
    I pray that all his family have strength to bear this great sorrow.

  11. Anonymous
    | #11

    I am very very sad, Ethiopa Lost her beloved son.May God take his soul in his save hand

  12. SO SAD
    | #12

    እጅግ በጣም የሚያሳዝን ነገር ነው፡፡ኢትዮጵያ አንድ ትልቅ ሰው አጣች፡፡እሳቸው የሞቱት በእርግጥ አልተጎዱም ተጠቀሙ እንጂ፡፡ምክንያቱም ከደደቢት በረሃ የወጡ እንደ መለስና ወያኔ አይነት ዘረኛ ዘራፊ ወንበዴ ወሮበላ የተራቡ የቀን ጅቦች እየተቅበዘበዙ እየዘረፉ እየነጠቁ ቁንጣን እስኪይዛቸው እየበሉ በሚያቀረሹበት በሚያስታውኩበትና በሚቀዝኑበት ሀገር ውስጥ መኖር ለእንደነዚህ አይነት ሰዎች የመንፈስ የህሊናና የስሜት መረበሽና መታወክ የሚፈጥር ነገር ነው፡፡ስለዚህም 80 ዓመት ይበቃቸዋል ስንት ደግ ዘመን በክብርና በስኬት ያዩ ሰው በእንደዚህ አይነት የዘመነ የወያኔዎች ቅራሪና አተላ በሆነ ስርዓት ውስጥ መኖር በራሱ በሽታ ነው፡፡ስራቸው ህያው ስለሆነ እንደነዚህ አይነት ታሪክ የሰሩ ሰዎች ሞቱ አይባልም፡፡ስለዚህም እግዚአብሄር ነፍሳቸውን በአብርሃም በይስሃቅና በያእቆብ ጎን ያኑርልን፡፡ለእኛም ፈጣሪ ይህንን የዘመነ ወያኔ የጉድ ዘመን አስወግዶልን መልካም ዘመን ያምጣልን፡፡መጥኔ ለቀሪው ትውልድ ግን፡፡መለስና ወያኔም እንደነዚህ አይነት የታሪክ ሰዎችን ክፉኛ ስለሚጠሉ እንደዚህ ቀስ በቀስ ገለል ሲሉላቸው እንደፈለጋቸው መልካም ታሪክን እየደለዙ በምትኩ የራሳቸውን ዘመን አመጣሽ ቆሻሻና አተላ የሆነ ታሪካቸውን ለመፃፍ ይመቻቸዋል፡፡ያለፉትስ ስርዓቶች እንደነዚህ አይነቶቹን ድንቅ ሰዎች ቀርፀው አስቀመጡልን፡፡መለስና ወያኔስ ለኢትዮጵያ ምን አይነት ተተኪ ትውልድ ነው እየፈጠሉላት ነው ያለው?ምናልባት በራሳቸው አምሳል የተፈጠረ ትውልድን ይሆንን?ፈጣሪ ከእንደዚህ አይነትስ አሳፋሪና አሳዛኝ ነገር ይሰውረን፡፡
    እግዚአብሄር ኢትዮጵያን ይባርክ ይጠብቅ!!!

  13. Anonymous
    | #13

    አግዚአብሐር ነብሱን ይማረው:: ዘመዶቹንም ዽናቱን ይስጣቸው::
    May his sol rest in peace and wish his family and all Ethiopians overcome this bad time where all Ethiopian miss one of the great honer person of the world.

  14. low
    | #14

    I hope someone who know tells the story why and how he died. Yes, it is very easy to say he is old, but knowing the sinister of TPLF that brings the Ethiopian name is what they hate. Of course such stories like many stories of atrocities of TPLF will remain buried as we are the silent majority.

  15. Anonymous
    | #15

    My heart is filled with sadness! How I wish to hear the news that the evil and ugly monkey face is under 6′ than our beloved Ethiopians.

  16. ተንቤን
    | #16

    መለስ ትልልቅና ታዋቂ ሰዎች ሲያልቁ ትልቅና ታዋቂ እሱ የሚሆን ሥለሚመስለው የነሱን እድሜ ለማሳጠር ይሰራል::እንነዚህ ታዋቂና ብርቅዬ የኢትዮጵያ በቀላሉ መተኪያ የለላቸው ልጆች,ከበሺታ ባሻገር በብስጭትና በመናደድ ነው በሽተኛ የሆኑትና እድሚያቸው እያጠረ ያለው::ታላቁ ጽሀፊ የትግራይ ትወላጂ እራሱ በወያኔ ተግባር እንደተበሳጨ ወደማይቀርበት ሄደ::እርስንቱ

  17. Yinegal Belulign
    | #17


    Oh come on man! Don’t forget the age factor too. When we complained, let us complained in reasons, substantially. Donot be gilbily.

  18. dodo
    | #18

    long live . and rest in peace , you embody the glory of ethiopia. This is how ethiopia would have been if you bustards did not kill the very person that educated all the great men of ethiopia. What did ethiopia give tekle afework? nothing . what did he give you ? what you would have been . f ethiopia rot in hell. long live Tekle Afewerk.

  19. mohammed
    | #19

    can someone explain to me why I should care?? He is a talented artist but I have never seen him advocate for the rights of other Ethiopians. His work does not reflect any of the hopes, emotions, sadness, oppression of Ethiopians. I am sorry he died and my condolence to his family but his death is not different that the death of any Ethiopian.

  20. Gigi
    | #20

    What a voice, an intelligent and brave man Ethiopia lost? My prayers with him and and his family.
    May God bless his soul!

    Out of the shrouded history
    With his eyes testimony
    The covenant of his truth
    The truth that never lies.

    He Rowers like a storm
    With his paint and brash broom
    Steed fast, his hands
    Like fire of kingdom come
    With all the truth and truth
    He told me who I am.

    Thanks dear Afework

    God bless you! Until I see you again, good bye!!!!!

    | #21


  22. Anonymous
    | #22

    RIP. weyane must have something to do with it. they have already moved in into his house. his property and all his art work is under their control.

Comments are closed.