He is shy, introvert yet very expressive. He might look timid but his intensity accompanied by inbuilt poetic temperament has got him anchored in the reality of life. He thinks more from heart then mind, thus his angst and agony for those at the receiving end find its way through poems.

Zemenu Haddis Desalew, 24, the overall topper for this academic year 2012-13, from College of Social Science and Humanities hails from Amhara region in Debayitilatgin district. He has great penchant for Amharic language; and the results is evident as he has secured GPA 4, leaving 34 of them trailing behind.


His life has been checkered one, he has lost his father when he was 8, and his mother left him and his elder brother to fend for themselves as she joined Orthodox monastery.

The tempest of life has made him philosophical. He believes in Darwin’s philosophy not in religion; for him religion was to civilize human beings, now it’s no longer needed. Only Scientific approaches can solve the conflicts mankind is facing.

When asked as to why he has chosen Amharic language, he said, ‘‘When I was in school, I had started writing poems and over the years, I came quite close to it. Therefore, to hone my poetic skills I joined Amharic literature.’’

Having being orphaned by father’s early demise and deserted by mother he and his brother were nurtured in Orthodox and Catholic environment, where he had learnt Ethiopian ancient language Geez and some spiritual teachings.

On his future plans and ambition, he said, ‘‘I would first prefer to go for Masters in Amharic Language from Arba Minch University. If, I would fail to get the chance, then I would go for Master in Geez Philology from Addis Ababa University.

I see my future as a poet, because when I see poor people, my heart bleeds; therefore, I hate poverty. Every day, I would write two to three poems and so far I have written 600 in Amharic of which 50 devoted to poverty.’’

The subject matters of his poems are generally drawn from poverty, political situation, love, philosophy and social issues. Laureate Poet Tsegayae Gebebredihin has great influence on him.

Attributing his success to all those who taught him, he said, ‘‘I am grateful to Arba Minch University for giving me an opportunity to visit Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which for me was a life-time opportunity.

He urged his fellow students to concentrate on study rather getting indulge into harmful and useless enterprises.


By Philips Joseph