Legendary Ethiopian Musician Tilahun Gessesse
(September 29, 1940 – April 19, 2009 (aged 68) )
Tilahun was born to Mrs. Gete Gurmu and Mr. Ayyaano Guddata (Woliso Awrajja), on 29 September 1940. His given name was thus Dandana Ayano Gudata. When his mother remarried Gessesse Negussie, Tilahun was baptized and took his stepfather’s name as his second name. As time went by, his interest in music became increasingly clear, although his grandfather urged him to concentrate on his academic studies. The Ras Gobena School Principal Mr. Shedad (who was from Sudan), encouraged Tilahun’s interest in music and urged him to go to Sudan to pursue his music career. Although Tilahun did not go to Sudan, he took Mr. Shedad’s advice very seriously. When Weyzero Negatwa Kelkai, Ato Eyoel Yohanes and other artists from the Hager Fikir Theatre came to his school to perform, Tilahun took the opportunity to discuss his interest in music with Ato Eyoel. He was told to go to Addis Ababa if he wanted to pursue a career in the field.