What do people have to say about Kiros

What do people have to say about Kiros

Bahlee Tigrai Bokkilla….
GiMeley Gimeley (aha, aha)
GiMeL NaBerahle…

were lines from his earliest songs that fueled patriotic sentiments of the Tigrian youth when the stocky, handsome Kiros Alemayehu played in different towns as head of a touring bus-load of artists. From Shirre Endasellassie to the remote villages in Raya, Kiros became an icon of indigenous Tigrian music, though much to the dismay of the Dergists.

Kiros Alemayohu

Born into a farmer’s family near Adi Teka Tesfai (close to Negash?), Kiros was the only child to his parents and hence the name “Kiros”. But Kiros was the equivalent of an army, a bold, fearless patriot who sent even his timid admirers dashing onto the dancing floor all intact with a lion’s heart.

But with the rise of Woyane Tigrai, the Derg started to focus on the rebel singer’s growing popularity. When the Derg launched the infamous Red Terror in Tigrai, Kiros was among the favorite picks. He was jailed at Hezb DehNiNet along with other hundreds of Tigrian school teachers, workers and students.

Mekelle was shivering from the brutality of Motaleka Desta, who made a habit of sending his attack-dogs at night and torture the political inmates until they became comatose from too much beatings. Every night, Hizb Dehninet would be filled with the wailings and cries of the tortured souls. Indeed, it was the worst of all times.

And one night, the cadres came drunk, and asked loudly if there was anyone who was not “investigated”. Kiros was among the few, and he whispered to a few of his friends if it was better for him to say “he was one of the uninvestigated.”

“Ezuy Tksha Ezuy…” Kiros said, pointing to his well-built shoulders, “Libetree Eyoo FeteeRuwo” He quipped in whispers, and said, “Here I am one”. They (the human wolves) took Kiros to the torture chamber upstairs, and after a long session of beatings, the audience was hushed into an eerie silence upon hearing the cries of agony. It was known they were somewhat mutilating him. When the men of the time changed Kiros into a blood-drenched swollen balloon of a fellow human being, they dragged the “body” of their prey down the stairs and threw him onto the ground down below.

The air was filled with a pungent smell…but everybody was used to it …and Kiros spent the night in a coma, sprawled on the icy ground of the compound. At dawn, a swollen Kiros woke up from his what he called “peaceful sleep”, and people were amazed when Kiros smiled and said: “HaLeefoo Eko Dro”. With eyes completely covered with blood, and his body totally bruised and thrashed, it was the beginning to a long period of Recuperation through KIRAR playing.

“As you have used your music to send multitudes of the youth to the fold of TPLF, use your music now to bring them back,” was the warning Motaleka Desta gave to Kiros. Kiros, a prolific song-writer and singer with a clear but earshot distance, picked up the “elixir of life – kirar” and the first public singing he played at Enda MedhaneeAlem Mekelle was watched by thousands of Atse Yohannes Comprehensive High School students. His music…such as Woredatat Tigrai, was so popular that instead of condemning the TPLF (as the Dergists had wished) it enobled the young liberation front but Kiros was out of the harm’s way as an overnight celebrity playing in the fold of a disgruntled Derg.

As a star musician in Tigrai, Addis-based newspapers raced to interview him and the TV and Radio made it routine playing his evocative songs nationwide.At that time, it was not uncommon non-Tigrinya speaking Ethiopians see playing Kiros Alemayehu on their recorders, from which “AnguAy Fississ” emerged as a favorite of Addis Ababans and other southerners.Despite the seemingly Love Songs, Kiros was actually a Tigrian patriot who fought artistically against the downfall of the Derg. When Woyane “launched Operation Selam BkaLssna” and liberated areas from Raya upto Woldia in 1989/90, the Rebel Singer Kirros Alemayehu also produced a hit titled “Selam BkaLssna”.

When EPRDF started forming regional states along ethnic lines, the populist singer Kiros Alemayehu was once again expressing his opposition by emphasizing “Amharai Orom KaYteBahalna…” we can live in harmony without ethnic identification…

To the shock of Tigrai and his millions of fans, Kirros succumbed to death from a reportedly intestinal complications in 1994.

If the late Arab music princess Uma Quooltu is to Egypt, Kiros Alemayehu remains the immortal prince of music to Tigrai.


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