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Before the days of sitcoms, Arab sat, Edna Mall or any of the things kids and teenagers consider to be entertainment currently, there was a story teller who came on TV once a week. That man was Tesfaye Sahlu or as most know him Ababa Tesfaye. He celebrated his 91st birthday yesterday at Taitu Hotel in the presence of invited guests and friends.
At an early age he was fortunate enough to see many parts of the country, giving him the opportunity to learn about many ethnic groups, their culture and folklore. Because he was exposed to diverse cultures, his vast knowledge has helped him with his career on TV.
This man’s life story has been written a few times, but many say not nearly enough. Among Ababa Tesfaye’s many stories was that when he was a young boy he got sick and was admitted to a hospital.
Although he got better from his illness, instead of leaving the hospital, he decided to stay and work there. He observed what the doctors did and eventually, after learning from them, he started treating patients.
He developed his talent for acting through doing imitations of people on how they acted and spoke. After sometime, he decided to pursue acting and singing as a career. He worked at the National Theater before going to TV.
Ababa Tesfaye became one of the most loved TV characters by almost all age groups. His way of telling folk-tales was filled with passion and animation. Through his presence in many people’s homes, he was able to teach children valuable lessons from the stories he told, he taught kids how to have manners, respect for others and kindness. With his presence through screens everywhere, watching his shows became part of happy memories for many.