Ethiopia desperately needs citizens like Tamagne Beyene who don’t chase shortcuts and immediate gratification

By Assegid Habtewold[1]

When I woke up this morning, I saw a warm welcoming organized for the popular artist and activist Tamagne Beyene. We all should be thankful to God, and the people who paid dire prices for this colorful event to happen in our motherland. Think about it for a moment. Tamagne left Ethiopia more than two decades ago unceremonially. A little more than two decades later, however, he returned back with a heroic welcome.

While I was admiring the people who came out honoring a man who showed an unwavering commitment to his cause, for a moment, I thought about other popular artists who took shortcuts and chose immediate gratification. I was wondering what they felt when they witnessed this historic reception to a man who has been loyal to his beliefs and values for more than twenty years. In this article, nonetheless, I’m not here to talk about this. Rather, let me use this special occasion to quickly draw some lessons any ordinary person may learn from the extraordinary lifestyle of Tamagne.

For more than two decades, I’ve studied human potential. I asked tough questions, spent hours and hours of reading, and paid some prices in search of the truth and to fully understand why a few attained greatness, did put a dent in their community, and left enduring legacies that impacted generations while others left without leaving any hint whether they ever lived in this life-sustaining universe. This sacred quest led me to review the lives of hundreds of great ones from diverse cultures. What is more, beginning last year, I began sharing my discoveries by writing books. So far, I wrote two books ‘The Highest Level of Greatness’, and ‘Unchain Your Greatness’.

By the way, in one of my books, I reviewed the greatness journeys of two outstanding individuals from our own culture, Ethiopia’s new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the all-time great singer Teddy Afro. If you’re interested to read these books, they’re available on Amazon. In this brief article, nevertheless, let me use Tamagne Beyene as a role model to inspire you to choose in serving your community with honor, dignity, and by paying your dues. This is my hope that, once you read this article, you would be convinced to despise shortcuts and immediate gratification.

I’m sure that there may be many individuals on the sidelines right now wanting to be like Tamagne, getting all the honors and spotlights he gets without paying their dues- without doing their homework. Some may think that he just got lucky and they too may want to try their luck. What such individuals don’t realize is that it took him more than two decades to get here. Worst, some may think that they can attain the level of honor Tamagne has got by choosing shortcuts.

In this article, I’d like to encourage the new generation to despise seeking shortcuts and immediate gratification. Ethiopia has numerous challenges. For the nation to restore her dignity, defeat poverty, and resume her leadership in Africa, she needs multitudes of individuals who are willing; first, to change themselves before they attempt to play their fair share in bringing a lasting change in Ethiopia. I like what Mahatma Gandhi- one of the great ones whose lifestyle I reviewed in my book said: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Decide today to change by learning from the lifestyles of our great ones such as Abiy, Teddy, Tamagne and many other similar great ones.

Let me quickly give you three things these three individuals share in common. They:
1. Know their passion and gave it all they got. They have been running in their unique lane without duplicating others. They carefully built their brands and focused on what matters the most. They went all in.
2. Have a vivid vision. For instance, Tamagne saw Ethiopia free from brutality. He envisioned the people of Ethiopia finally coming together to live in peace and harmony. This vision kept him going during those dark hours. It empowered him to endure and outlast continual setbacks. It carried him to this historic and colorful day!
3. Embraced values for which they demonstrated unwavering commitment. Persecution from a brutal government and constant threats didn’t stop Tamagne from singing for Ethiopiawinet. They couldn’t silence the man who was the voice for the voiceless.

Your passion maybe is different than theirs. It is also okay if you do have a different kind of vision than they do have. You may not share their values at all. Regardless, you can learn from their lifestyle, the way they have lived among us. Don’t forget. If your desire is to serve your country with your passion, tap into your full potential, and finally die empty, learn from these extraordinary Ethiopians. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Know who you really are and your passion. Envision yourself accomplishing your purpose. Discover your core values, and demonstrate a firm commitment to these values. Never go out seeking cheap popularity to enjoy immediate gratification that may come through shortcuts. Pay your dues and in due season you reap its fruits like Tamagne.

[1] Dr. Assegid Habtewold is the author of Unchain Your Greatness- the book dedicated to Dr. Abiy Ahmed. The book is available on Amazon. Assegid can be reached at


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