Friday, December 22, 2006

"Ethiopia" by Dereje Kebede

By Fikru Helebo

In the spirit of the holiday season, I would like to share with you a song by one of my all time favorite singers/song writers -- Dereje Kebede. I grew up listening to Dereje. I do believe that he is one of the best singers/song writers that Ethiopia has ever produced. This song of Dereje's that I am sharing with you, titled "Ethiopia", comes to you courtesy of
Ethiocross and it is from Dereje's last known recording (Dereje Kebede #8) from the mid 90s. In this song Dereje sings prayerfully, in that mesmerizing voice of his, for peace and harmony in Ethiopia and for God to have mercy on her.

Dereje has touched the lives of many Ethiopian Christian believers and some non-believers through his songs, especially in the late 70s and early 80s when persecution of protestant Christians was a common practice of the Ethiopian government. Dereje was a member of the Meserete Kristos Church (affiliated with the
Mennonites) Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (EECMY), and he was forced to flee from Ethiopia in the early 80s to escape certain imprisonment. His crime was his religious beliefs and the prominent role he had in the larger Ethiopian protestant community. A contemporary of Dereje's and another terrific Christian singer/song writer by the name of Tesfaye Gabisso was not as lucky as him to escape imprisonment. Tesfaye was incarcerated for about a decade by the Dergue regime simply because of his faith.

I am told that Dereje now lives in the State of Minnesota in the United States and he has not published any new material after his #8 recording. I hope he is doing well and I would love to see him sing his old songs and write new songs again. Click on the link below to listen to the song (all you need is a computer with a speaker or a headphone) and read the lyrics while you listen. Enjoy and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

"Ethiopia" by Dereje Kebede

"Ethiopia" by Dereje Kebede (Video)


Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting Dereje's song on Enset. You hzve done a wonderful job. Like you I enjoy listening Dereje's and Tesfaye's songs. I encougage you to do more of this type of vidoes in the near future. Thank you again for a job that was done very thoughtfully.

enset said...

Thanks for the feedback. The number of views that this video got on YouTube in the last two weeks confirms to me of Dereje's greatness as a writer and a singer. I hope some one who knows him will bring the video to his attention. I would love to do a video of at least one more of Dereje's songs, "Dinq Siraa YeAmlak Sirra Aayiworra" off of his #4 album. But I will have to wait until I find the song in an mp3 format.

yes said...

Glory be to God for giving us a singer like Dereje Kebede. Is there any way of getting his songs on Video(where he can show up himself)? I love to listen his songs very much.
May God bless him.

Anonymous said...

I live in USA and have written three books in Amharic while residing here. In the fourth book that I am working on currently I will mention in passing about the impact that the protestant songs have in Ethiopia. The first person who came to mind was Dereje Kebede whom I consider as one of the greatest Ethiopians that the country had ever produced. It was a miracle to find a well written article about him in ENSET.
Girma Damte, P O Box 600, Angwin, CA 94508

Anonymous said...

God bless you .This is really good gob.I well pray for you to do again and again. His song is not only his generation.I like to now about is life if you can put on enset derege e-mail address i well like to say for him jest God bless you.

Anonymous said...

I read about the complement abpout Dereje but I will like to say a few words what has been said to Tesfaye Gabisso.It is not a mattre of luck to escape imprisionment it is a matter of God's will.I know personally brother Tesfaye Gabisso even if he gets the oppurtunity to escape he will not do it.
That is what is meant to be a christian.The Bible tells us that we will be persecuted for Christs name. All your complement for Dereje is good but I would like to add this.

Thank you

from The USA

Anonymous said...

My prayer is that God will return all of us, including Dereje,back to Ethiopia where we belong. Every christian, even Dereje, must follow the teaching and the example of Christ. I think that is what Dreje did. There is neither poltical contation nor any hidden meaning in his songs. When Christ was on earth he spoke clearly to those who where eager to hear him. I think Dereje simply prayed for our beloved country Ethiopia through the song that God the Holy Spirit gave him. So, instead of playing with words let us pray for our country so God can heal our land,our people, and those of us who are in diaspora. Dear Enset, please try to put at least one of Tesfaye Gabisso's song.Thank you, anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Thank you again&again we all love

chaka said...

May God bless you my brother the ones that try to talk on Dereje some evil words they don't now who he is; whom he is serving and also who God is. I personally thank God for saving our beloved singer and messenger of God Dereje in the USA. You now the easiest thing to do is to complain. Can any one who complains can give as only one healing song like dereje's. If he is right I also love the great singer and God's messenger Tesfaye Gabiso but I can't replace them as God sees them differently. In case if Dereje dyes and we miss at least one of the 8 or collection song albums imagine what it costs. God bless Ethiopia!
Birhanu, Johannesburg

Anonymous said...

I was not a generation of Derege Kebede but I have all his cassetes & living here in the US life 4 a teenager is very hard to live in the will of God but I could honestly say that everytime I listen to this wonderful man's songs I kneel down to talk with my God no matter where I am, wether in my dorm or library! God bless this person, I hope he knows God put in him what is still working in this generation & hopefully one day I'll get to meet him...

Anonymous said...

the person who talked about Derege shouldn't have left Ethiopia maybe that person should listen 2 Derege's song
tseleyulet ledekeme
mengedu letetameme
gudefum atanysa yebalengerahen
Teteh yerasehen!
ekele dekeme ekele bereta....

God Bless U whoever u r but trust me its better to stay off men of God no matter the reason (dont be like Aaron on Mosses & and be like that one son of Noah...I love u with love of Christ hope u dont take this in a negative way

Anonymous said...

I love to listen & sing Dere's songs than any other song.He is really talented with gift from God.May God almight bless him & give us the opportunity to see him singing again.

God is Love,

Abel L.

Anonymous said...

First I would like to thanks God, and also Enset, thanks to give Us chance to express our deep love and missing bloved brother Dr. Dereje Kebede.
Yes Brother Dereje Kebede, God using Him as big toll to inspire our spirit. Every time when I think about him I weep, and I love him too.
Dereje we miss you, and we love you with respect. God Bless YOU!!!



Pathology Web said...

I am thinking of Dereje Kebede the Almighty man of God his songs are passionate,trying to deal with the lives of many of those who are far away of God .

Let God Bless Dereje for what he has paid innfron og the people of God .

Dr.Tadesse A.A.

Anonymous said...

I have singer Dr. Dereje Kebede's website for those of you who would like to communicate with him.

The website address is

God Bless

Unknown said...

Oh God, Bless and Keep your wonderful son Dereje Kebede and anoint him a fresh even more mightily so that he will continue to be a blessing for your people. Continue using him for the extension of your kingdom. Like what happened to Joseph, archers may attack him, shoot at him and oppose him, but let his bow remain steady and his hands skillful because of you; the Mighty One of Jacob and the shepherd of Israel. I pray in Jesus Name!

I Like Dr. Dereje So Dearly
Kebeki Bonny

WikiMezmur said...

Dear Enset, I've been reading some of your blog posts regarding Dereje Kebede and other Ethiopian singers. I really appreciate the depth of your knowledge of Dereje's works and thank you for sharing your thoughts. As a person living outside of Ethiopia, it is very difficult to connect with people who have grown listening to some of the timeless artists.

In any case, I was wondering if you have more information regarding Dereje's older albums, mainly the album names and the song/track titles. I work at, a website that compiles Amharic song lyrics and makes them available for free. If you do, can you please share? All of us here will appreciate it. Thanks and God bless!

enset said...

WikiMezmur: Contact me offline at enset at yahoo dot com.

WikiMezmur said...

Enset, I've sent you an email. Let me know if you haven't received it. Thanks.