“Ali is a teacher of Oromumma” – Lemma Megersa’s tribute to the late Ali Birra


Lemma Megerssa

Addis Abeba – Lemma Megersa (PhD), former minister of defence and president of the Oromia Region of Ethiopia expressed his sadness over the death of Artist Ali Mohammed Birra, in a tribute sent to Addis Standard.

Breaking his utter silence since he was sacked as defense minister in August, 2020 due to disagreements with PM Abiy Ahmed, the ones most influential Ethiopian politician Lemma Megersa says he is deeply saddened to hear the death of the “respected and loved Ali Birraa”.

He said that “Ali is a teacher of Oromumma, a teacher of justice and brotherhood”.

Full Tribute verbatim (Translated from Afaan Oromoo)

I would like to express my deep sadness hearing the death of the respected and loved honorary doctor Ali Birra. Ali is the eldest among intellectuals who pioneered the establishment of modern Oromo struggle through music. In Addition he is an intellect who earned love by becoming a voice for all oppressed people of the Horn of Africa. His lyrics and melodies decorated with his mesmerising voice served Oromia for over half a century as a wind of freedom and love. He painted Oromia and patriotism into the imaginations of his people. Ali is a teacher of Oromumma. He is a teacher of justice and brotherhood. He was one of the intellects who used to advice, support and correct me during my tenure in the Oromia regional government.

Oromo and all brotherly nations have lost an intellect and a great historian. But there is great hope in Oromo sons that Ali raised and enabled. The seed he sowed has sprouted and bore fruits. Even though he is gone today, all of his works will remain with us. His name will be written, sung, and remembered forever at the beginning the list of our heroes. Ali Birra will be sung forever as one family alongside the likes of Hacaaluu Hundeessaa, Nuhoo Goobanaa, Daadhii Galaan, Usmayyoo Musaa, Eebbisaa Addunyaa and many others. will be praised as a family forever.

Finally, my brother Ali, may you rest in peace, and may God grant you paradise. I wish condolences to his family and relatives as well as the entire Oromo and brotherly nations.


Lemma Magarsa Wako


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Seenaa Gabaabaa Doktara kabajaa Artist Alii Birraa (1948-2022) – OMN

Biyya Awustiraaliyaatti Hawaasni Oromoo magaalaa Meelboorn boqachuu Artist Alii Biraatiin gadda itti dhagahame ibsan. – OMN