A Story of Love and Sacrifice: Hidray and Kiki Berhane share story of martyr Berhane Tesfamariam aka Wedi Balillaa

A Story of Love and Sacrifice of an Unsung Hero: Berhane Tesfamariam (Wedi Balilla)

Hidray and Kiki Berhane share story of martyr Berhane Tesfamariam aka Wedi Balilla.

Here is a story of an unsung hero, who was martyred at the torture chambers of an Ethiopian prison in Asmera. His story has the familiarity of courage under fire but it speaks to us in a deep and poignant way because it is fundamentally a story of love of a woman, love of family and love of country.  The story of Martyr Berhane and his other half is the embodiment of what is beautiful, good and decent about Eritrea in particular and humanity in general. Berhane was a devoted husband and father who was equally committed to the cause of his country and the freedom of his people. An Eritrean who courageously and steadfastly stood up to his enemies and refused to give up the names of his friends and comrades till his last breath and with his last breath he wrote the story of his generation. It is an Eritrean story narrated and immortalized by his true love, his wife, who had made it her mission to love, cherish and obey him even when death did them apart.

It is the story of an Eritrean woman who never gave up on her loving husband; who made it her mission to keep his memory alive, and by extension the memory of the nation and the agony and suffering it went through.

Thanks to Hidray and Naz Yemane, please listen to this important story:


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1 Comment

  1. Dear Erimedrek,
    My answer to this beautiful tribute might seem unconventional. After I was told that Berhane and many Eritreans like him are not considered Tegadeltys of Eritrea, I decided to tell about the wonderful person Berhane was and the brave fighter that happened to be my husband.
    We were so young and maybe love might have seemed an enigmatic unwavering motivation in storybooks or movies. However, the war around us was real! Moreover, our love was genuine! The Freedom Fighter I married was more than real and decided to give his life to clear all landmines from our land, so his own kids and all Eritrean kids could walk freely and run towards our mountains and down to our beaches. It drove my mind to the end of earth listening to all his hopes for Eritrea and his people.
    Berhane and his comrades fought the real war! They took residence inside the belly of the enemy and then walked home as if nothing! How many like Berhane? Millions!! Their names and courage, we are not told. I would like – please – for this esteemed website to encourage women, men, children, friends, neighbors to give the names and stories of Eritreans that silently paid he utmost prize.
    I conclude telling my husband:”Hey dear you! They are talking about our story…and my heart still melts for you my hero”
    Thank you Erimedrek and thank you Semere, the journalist that penned this beautiful article.
    Kiki Tzeggai

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