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Famous Writers from Ethiopia

List of famous writers from Ethiopia, listed alphabetically with photos when available. Ethiopia is home to many prolific writers, including those who write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, biographies and more. These are some of the best Ethiopian writers that have ever lived, so if you're a native of Ethiopia and an aspiring writer then use this list as inspiration to achieve your own writing goals.

List features writers like Mengistu Lemma, Nikos Papatakis and more!

This list answers the questions, "Who are popular Ethiopian writers?" and "Which writers are from Ethiopia?"

You can click on the names of these renowned writers of Ethiopia in order to get more information about each one. Some of these historic writers may no longer be living in Ethiopia, but they're all of Ethiopia descent.


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  1. 1
    Āfeworq Gebre Īyesūs was an Ethiopian writer, who wrote the first novel in Amharic, Libb Wolled Tarik. Bahru Zewde writes, "Few people before or after him have demonstrated such superb mastery of the Amharic language. Few have ventured with such ingenuity into the hidden recesses of that language to ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Nationality: Ethiopia
  2. 2
    Le'ul Dr. Asfa-Wossen Asserate, is a Consultant for African and Middle-Eastern Affairs, a political Analyst and a bestseller author writing in German. He is a member of the Imperial House of Ethiopia, the great nephew of the last Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I., a great-grandson of the Empress Menen ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Germany, Ethiopia
  3. 3

    Demese Tsege

    Demese Tesege is an Ethiopian author and journalist. He works for the Addis Zemen newspaper. He writes in the Amharic language. more on Wikipedia
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    • Nationality: Ethiopia
  4. 4
    Dinaw Mengestu is an Ethiopian-American novelist and writer. In addition to three novels, he has written for Rolling Stone on the war in Darfur, and for Jane Magazine on the conflict in northern Uganda. His writing has also appeared in Harper's, The Wall Street Journal, and numerous other publications. more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
    • Works: Children of the Revolution, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears
  5. 5

    Dirbdil Assefa Akriso

    Dirbdil Assefa Akriso is an Ethiopian film director and screenwriter. more on Wikipedia
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    • Nationality: Ethiopia
    • Works: Which Direction to Go?
  6. 6

    Eleni Zaude Gabre-Madhin

    Eleni Zaude Gabre-Madhin is an Ethiopian economist and a former Chief Executive Officer of the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange. She has had many years of experience working on agricultural markets - particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa – and has held senior positions in the World Bank, the International Food ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
    • Works: Transaction costs, institutions, and contractual choices in the Ethiopian grain market
  7. 7
    Haddis Alemayehu, also transliterated Hadis Alamayahu, was a Foreign Minister and novelist from Ethiopia. His Amharic novel Fəqər əskä Mäqabər is considered a classic of modern Ethiopian literature. He was born in the Endor Kidane Miheret section of the city of Debre Marqos, the son of an Orthodox ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Debre Marqos, Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
  8. 8
    Haile Gerima is an Ethiopian filmmaker who lives and works in the United States. He is a leading member of the L.A. Rebellion film movement, also known as the Los Angeles School of Black Filmmakers. His films have received wide international acclaim. Since 1975, Gerima has also been an influential film ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Gondar, Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
    • Works: Morning Dew, Bush Mama, Ashes and Embers, Imperfect Journey, After Winter: Sterling Brown
  9. 9
    Hama Tuma is an Ethiopian poet and writer in the Amharic and English languages. more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
    • Works: Democratic Cannibalism, Give Me a Dog's Life Any Day, The case of the socialist witchdoctor and other stories
  10. 10

    Kebede Bekere

    Kebede Bekere is an Ethiopian non-fiction writer. He was born in western part of Ethiopia from parents who did not have formal education. Though they were not educated, his parents sent him to school. His mother tongue is Afaan Oromoo. He currently lives in Akaki, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He has a BA ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
  11. 11
    more ABOUT
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
  12. 12
    Mammo Wudneh was a playwright, journalist and President of the Ethiopian Writers' Association. He was actively involved as a peacemaker between Ethiopia and Eritrea working on an interfaith committee chaired by Abune Paulos, the Patriarch of the Tewahedo Church. more on Wikipedia
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    • Nationality: Ethiopia
  13. 13
    Mengistu Haile Mariam is an Ethiopian politician who was the most prominent officer of the Derg, the Communist military junta that governed Ethiopia from 1974 to 1987, and the President of the People's Democratic Republic of Ethiopia from 1987 to 1991. Mengistu has ethnic Konso ancestry from his mother ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
    • Works: Shaping the constitution, Founding congress of the Workers' Party of Ethiopia
  14. 14

    Sahle Sellassie

    Berhane Mariam Sahle Sellassie is an Ethiopian author who has written in three languages: Gurage, English, and Amharic. He wrote the first novel in Chaha, a Gurage dialect, which was translated into English by Wolf Leslau for publication with the title Shinega's Village. This was followed by several ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Nationality: Ethiopia
    • Works: Shinega's village, The Afersata [an Ethiopian novel
  15. 15
    Mengistu Lemma was an Ethiopian playwright and poet. Mengistu was born in Harar, to Aleqa Lemma Hailu and Wro Abebech Yilma. After undertaking traditional religious studies at the Tiqo Mekane Selassie church where his father was Aleqa, he moved to the capital Addis Ababa due to the transfer of his ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Harar, Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
  16. 16
    Tāddasa Lībān is an Ethiopian writer known for the collection Maskaram from 1956. more on Wikipedia
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    • Nationality: Ethiopia
  17. 17

    Moges Kebede

    Moges Kebede, sometimes credited as Moges Kebede Damte or Moges Damte, is an Ethiopian author, essayist, and editor. He is the publisher of Mestawet Ethiopian Newspaper, a monthly magazine for the Ethiopian immigrant community in the United States. Moges Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa, the ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
    • Works: Damotra
  18. 18
    Nega Mezlekia is an Ethiopian writer who writes in English. His first language is the Amharic language, but since the 1980s he has lived in Canada so speaks and writes in English. Nega was born in Jijiga, the oldest son of Mezlekia, a bureaucrat in the Imperial government. Although initially supporting ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Jijiga, Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Canada, Ethiopia
    • Works: The god who begat a jackal, Notes from the Hyena's Belly, Dans le ventre d'une hyène
  19. 19
    Loret Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin was Poet Laureate of Ethiopia, as well as a poet, playwright, essayist, and art director. more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Ethiopia
    • Works: Collision of altars, Oda oak oracle
  20. 20
    Nikos Papatakis was a Greek-born naturalised French filmmaker, who lived in France. more on Wikipedia
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    • Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    • Nationality: Greece, Ethiopia
    • Works: The Photograph
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