Ethiopia mourns death of Maitre Artiste world laureate


Last Updated on Friday, 31 August 2012 14:39 Written by Administrator Monday, 25 January 2010 17:44

x12Ethiopia mourns death of Maitre Artiste world laureate - Afewerk Tekle

Tekle, 80, died from severe stomach ulcer complications after receiving treatment at a private hospital in Addis Ababa.

The artist's death has received wide media coverage in the Horn of Africa country, with a national committee being set up to arrange funeral arrangements.

Tekle was born on October 22, 1932 in the historic city of Ankober in Shoa Province. Sent to England in 1947 to become a mining engineer, Afewerk's artistic talent was soon discovered and 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 continental 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.




Body of the late Maitre Artiste World Laureate Afewerk Tekle laid to rest

The funeral ceremony of the renowned Ethiopian painter, the Most Honorable Maitre Artiste World Laureate Afewerk Tekle was conducted at the cemetery of the Holy Trinity Cathedral on Saturday.

Prior to the funeral ceremony, his family members, friends, senior government officials, diplomats and hundred thousands of fans accompanied his body from his resident Villa Alpha to the cemetery of the Holy Trinity Cathedral.

The farewell ceremony was also accompanied with a military march.


President Girma Woldegiorigs, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the House of People’s Representatives, ministries, African Union and embassies laid wreaths at the artiste's grave through their representatives.

In a message sent to the artiste's family, Prime Minster Meles Zenawi, on behalf of the people of Ethiopia and on his own behalf, expressed deep sorrow over the death of the artiste.

He said efforts of the late Afewerk to promote Ethiopia to the rest of the world were matchless, adding the late artiste is among the most prominent Ethiopian personalities the nation is proud of.

President Girma Woldegiorgis for his part said artiste Afewerk was one of the leading personalities who have been working relentlessly to realize the renaissance of Ethiopia.

The President in his message called on the present-day generation to follow the examples of the matchless artiste. He also wished comfort to the artiste's family.

Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Abuse Paulos said: “Today is a very sad day for Ethiopia. Yet, Afewerk remains with us through his unforgettable works which continue to inspire others to follow suit.”

Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives Abadulla Gemeda, Mayor of Addis Ababa City, Kuma Demekessa, ministers, ambassadors, renowned personalities as well as hundreds of thousands of the late artiste’s funs attended the funeral procession.

According to an obituary read out at the funeral ceremony, the late Afewerk was born on 22 October 1932 E.C. in the town of Ankober from his mother Felekech Yematawerk and his father Tekle Mano.

The Ethiopian Radio and Television broadcast the funeral procession live from the cemetery of the Holy Trinity Cathedral.