43 years ago Ethiopia assassinated my husband, Berhane Tesfamariam

Search our site:

This free script provided by
JavaScript Kit

15/07/2021 00:10 AM

43 years ago

Ethiopia assassinated my husband
Berhane Tesfamariam.

by Kiki Tzeggai
15 July 2021

43 years ago Ethiopia assassinated my husband, Berhane Tesfamariam.
43 ዓመት ብሂወት ምፍልላይ፡ ንስለ ክቡር ዕላማ

Forty-three (43) years ago Ethiopia assassinated my husband, Berhane Tesfamariam!
by Kiki Tzeggai.

My dearest love! My heart will never bid goodbye to you.

Your life was cut short, but you lived it fully enough because you lived with honesty, principles and loyalty to our Eritrea. You broke the Ethiopian rules of slavery and gave us smiles!

On this day - you and I - will forget for a little while your Ethiopian assassins and I want to remind the world about your achievements and the sacrifices you took upon yourself.

You grew up and assumed responsibilities since you were that child born in Asmara. You asserted your personality, your real dreams you kept always secret. Your dreams for a free Eritrea, tempted by better horizons for your family and for your Eritrea. Always thinking!

How do I say what meeting you at the gates of Asmara university meant? How to explain that I was introduced to true love and the meaning of fear? How do I choose words to tell the world about the feelings of being the wife of an Eritrean hero? Ethiopia can tear away my wounded heart but cannot destroy the proud history you left behind!

Your assassination by the Ethiopian regime introduced me to the meaning of loss, but they miscalculated the Eritrea they were facing! Those years of occupation by Ethiopia, will always sully our nation’s history!

The mad minds of the occupier were abetted by all superpowers, but Eritreans’ minds such as yours, were above and your steps ahead of any dirty Ethiopian boots walking our land! You left the enemy with nothing but rubbles at their feet!

Forty-three years later, I am not sure when THAT dance you promised me in Babylon Street will happen.

Our house in Babylon Street Asmara-Eritrea
Our house in Babylon Street Asmara-Eritrea

Under these windows you and I hoped for a dance dedicated to freedom.

Those five windows and a balcony – Birhin, Vynak, Stefanos and many more - are witnesses to your meetings filled with so much courage. Some of your names were cover names when introduced to me. I can still picture you in our living room, watching from behind the curtains the movements of our enemy in Babylon Street, Asmara.

Telling me about your dreams for a free Eritrea, you led me to saunter among clouds. It was a race ahead of the world and of self-centered aged Eritrean leaders betraying our people by dividing fighters’ groups. You understood - way ahead - that they made Ethiopia’s game walk parallel with our struggle. You faced your fate without a fright, knowing that a bright tomorrow would belong to your people!

How often I asked you if it was real or to remain only a dream. You would pull me out of my questions and wake me up to be part of the Eritrean determination for freedom. Oh! how much the occupier feared you! We could tell by the number of soldiers that invaded our little house to arrest ONE Eritrean man!

You - and half a million Eritreans Martyrs – were constantly seeking alternatives to our growth, promoting our dreams for freedom from slavery of Ethiopian occupation! And you never dodged the subject of courage. بعد مضي أكثر من ثلاثة وأربعين 43 عاماً المجد والخلود لشهدائنا الأبرار...

An Eritrean is never alone - Berhane
"An Eritrean is never alone" Berhane

You ALL explained and promoted forgiveness among Eritreans; and asked us to put ourselves in others’ place. You asked us what we – your people – expected from you and never bothered to tell us what you expect from us. You believed we understood. Your perspectives on others were based on actions and wishes. Not expectations and frustrations.

You gave up greed and understood that selfishness unifies only the insignificant.

Berhane, you screamed to let the enemy take your blood in order to gift us freedom!

I wonder where Eritrea is heading now. Chewed by a dictatorship and by greedy so-called opposition groups. Now, we have plenty of useless political leaders and it is hard to tell enemies from friends.

They either transformed our youth into cannon fodders or raised tales of fake princes, paupers and muggles. In each of our cities, family dislocations - that started with Ethiopian occupation – steadily persist!

Nevertheless, I hold on to the dreams you died for. Surrounded by my people; we hope to soon feel our land beneath our feet! All this thanks to you Jigna/Eritrean hero!

You told me “Fikrey , let’s live a lifetime in every moment “ .

Forty-three (43) years after your murder, I am still a student trying to tell the world about the past we left behind and your hopes to weave freedom ahead of the fall of Asmara. That one inclusive future our Martyrs and our Veterans designed to accelerate the transition to a just leadership for ALL, that could create an equitable and sustainable society. Our unity and determination will make the perennial enemy to the south, back off for eternity and leave our borders!

Let Ethiopians of good-will hear our national anthem and know that Eritreans stand united, in protecting our land and in honoring our Martyrs.

Birhin, each morning I wake up, I lean on you and your dreams for a free Eritrea! Nevertheless, I am fearful as to where the independent Eritrea you gifted us is heading! Behind us lurks darkness, ahead lies a storm, but fear not my beloved! In unity we look up and soar high from ground to sky. We have been defamed, but Eritreans always take battles to the end and shorten distances among ourselves!

If anguish was my fate, I said so be it! With you by my side I would have accepted any further anguish if I were not left in the pathos of longing! We did not know that our life together would be so short. But neither did we know that we could love so unconditionally. In few years, we have lived a lifetime and that neither the enemy nor others can destroy.

However, I understand that then and now Eritrea has expectations from you to keep the flickering torch of hope alive! Like a traveler that goes from one era to another without any belongings, you wonder why we ask and what are we expecting more than the price you paid.

Every inch of us, every breath spells our loyalty to Eritrean sovereignty! The plethora of memories about our struggle for freedom, only leads our people towards unity.

In these restless times, the only image that dwells in our hearts is the courage of Eritrean Martyrs like yourself!

Kiki Tzeggai and husband martyr Berhane Tesfamariam
Kiki Tzeggai and husband martyr Berhane Tesfamariam

I share with the world the last words you told me - while several Ethiopian soldiers holding guns and Kalashnikovs were taking you away - when you saw me tearing up:

እንተ በኺኺ፡ ክነብዕ እየ!
ፍሽኽ እንተ ኢልኪ፡ ፍሽኽ ክብል እየ።

Your wife,
Kiki Tzeggai
July 15, 2021

"Peace is a wall we will all create by building it brick-by-brick together". Martyr Berhane Tesfamariam (Trade mark)

Share with friends:

ckdu Voice of Eritrea -
Naz Yemane (Sunday July 12, 2015 show)

Martyr Berhane Tesfamariam (Wedi Balilla), member of EPLF underground activists in Asmara, Eritrea, who was killed in the notorious Derg-prison "Gibi" (Asmara) in 1978; his story is told by his wife (Kiki Tsegai), his colleagues፡ fedayn Hidray Fesseha and others. What a sacrifice!

See also recent Articles by Kiki Tzeggai:

Share with friends: