Placeholder Picture
Placeholder Picture
Forty Four (44) years ago, Ethiopia murdered my husband Berhane Tesfamariam.

15/07/2022 00:15 AM

44 years ago
Ethiopia murdered my husband
Berhane Tesfamariam.
God just watched it happen!

by Kiki Tzeggai
JULY 15, 2022

Forty Four (44) years ago, Ethiopia murdered my husband Berhane Tesfamariam.
“Birhin, the constant way you looked at me, I miss the most!”

On this date – 44 years ago – Ethiopia tortured to death my husband, Berhane Tesfamariam. Each murder by a power is a note of cowardice in the history of that country.
How many Eritreans like Berhane? To have an estimate of the mass graves filled with remains of innocent Eritreans in our land is hard!
The true toll has never been established.

The horror of the reality of death must have become even more profound as Berhane witnessed other Eritreans die in those dark underground jails ruled by occupying Ethiopia. Many Eritreans prisoners dying slowly, painfully and without the slightest bit of hope to survive such hell.

For Berhane – I know – his first encounter with death in such a massive scale must have had an impact in his mind. Those jails filled with piles of dead Eritreans, while he and others huddled for warmth supporting each other. He was a young man that had to struggle with death and despair.

Knowing the depth of his love for Eritrea, I can only hope that he faced his final hours with total trust in his fellow fighters. I hope such trust gave him comfort! Each time, the enemy broke my husband’s knees in a hidden torture room, his love for our family and for Eritrea made him stand up!

From that night at the gates of Asmara University to this very moment, he took my heart away and I want him to keep it! It was not the work of fate.
The first time we looked at each other, it had a zest of an ancient flavor, one we both tried to stop on the threshold of palpates! Our destiny one inch from each of our eyes, capturing the furtive smiles we sent to each other. Birhin brought up to light old wishes, whispering words we thought we had time to tell.
The agony he had to swallow them in that Ethiopian torture room. My agony is that I try to keep them in my throat while I still hold on to my tears!
So much of you and us the coward enemy to the south could never destroy! Above all, your loyalty to a promise you gave to your people!

There was no academy to train you. You taught yourself how to serve a nation.
You made it your duty to act without an eye on a medal. In every breath, in every moment and in your soul, you faced challenges! Your duty was to protect the dream of an independent Eritrea.
I asked you once: “What does it take to be a Tegadalay {Freedom Fighter}?” You gave me the perfect answer: “One cannot answer this question, you only live it! Each of our lives is the answer if we do not betray our people.”

Berhane inspired a nation to turn dreams into wings and soar to the sky; and if our determination becomes our breath, we could swim against any tide!
He told us that our unity would pave the way to a fulfillment of TRUE freedom for our Eritrea. He was not only a son to a mother, my lovely husband and a father to our kids. He was a true soldier to our nation.

There are two (2) days very important for each Eritrean. One is the privileged day we were born Eritreans and the other one is the day we realize why we were born Eritreans.

Nevertheless, many were wronged by this love for Eritrea and many never recovered. The dream Berhane once nurtured has become a nightmare in disguise in our present Eritrea! At times, I ask if we – Eritreans – are aggrieved by this uncontrollable love for country.
We seem tired, lost, and returning to debates and political misunderstandings, but there is no doubt in our minds that every turn around guides us to a principle called unity! Never will we hesitate to protect our sovereignty. Ethiopia and the world understood!

My beloved, each time I watch in slow motion that July 15/1978 - you surrounded by a powerful armed group of Ethiopian soldiers - turning around and telling me:” Do not let the children forget me and be strong! No one can stop a free Eritrea!”
I just cannot stop loving you more. The respect I have for you is unmeasurable!

I love Berhane so passionately that – at times – I resented Eritrea as passionately. I knew what our reality held, and fear was merciless! Our minds shrouded in a magical trance, he made me understand that our love for a free Eritrea can be so powerful and Ethiopia needs to understand that it can cut across heaven and earth, but as long as the planet earth keeps rotating and the moon and the stars adorn the night sky, our determination will bear testimony to this powerful love we - Eritreans – have for our country!

Birhin, I chose you because nobody else compared! You made my reality better than all my dreams. You were a supportive friend with a magnificent mind. The father I wished my kids could have, I found in you.

In the not-yet-discovered world of true freedom, your teachings are the versions of a reality Eritreans aim to achieve!
Eritreans’ hearts are filled with a mix of hope and despair. Without ever forgetting our promise to our Martyrs!

Questo amore al di la’ della vita!
Your wife, Kiki Tzeggai
July 15, 2022

"Of all the forces that make for a better world, none is so powerful as hope. With hope, one can think, one can work, one can dream. If you have hope, you have everything."
"Peace is a wall we will all create by building it brick-by-brick together". (Trade mark)

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:

ድለዩ/ያ | تقص

This free script provided by
JavaScript Kit

Also visit us at: