Solomon Tessema (1933-1979)

Solomon Tessema was born on January 24, 1933 in Addis Ababa, the nation’s capital. He attended the Lazarist Mission school until the age of 15. He later joined the Imperial Body Guard as a radio operator where he worked for a few years. Solomon then joined the Imperial Telecommunication Board where he worked for the next 7 years.

Solomon felt at the time that he will have more opportunity to pursue his dream of sports and sports journalism if he moved to the press section of the ministry of information. Win his new position, Solomon was able to travel with the national team and do an exceptional job in informing the Ethiopian people about the success of the national teams. His part in covering the Mexico City Olympics and his tireless encouraging of Mamo Wolde in the marathon race is an event that Ethiopians will remember for ever.

For a very long time, Solomon was the sports journalists who covered the national soccer team’s matches abroad and inside the country. Solomon is also remembered for his column on "Sport Fana", a column on the country’s widely read daily, Addis Zemen.

Solomon was not only a talented and passionate sport journalist but a celebrated song-writer too. He had written the words for Tilahun Gessesse’s "Monalizaye nesh", "Le-Iwnet Imotalehu", Hirut Bekele’s "Bahl IndatTefa", "IChoGna-ye", Bizunesh Bekele’s "Ye-Inat Wiletawa", "Ye-miyasleks fikir" and "yesew neger bekagn". However, Solomon gained immortality for the song he wrote to honor Mamo Wolde after his victory in the Mexico City Olympics entitled "marathon Li-Iltwa" - "marathon the princess".

Solomon Tessema died at a very young age of 46 in 1979. He is buried right in front of the legendary Abebe Bikila.

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