October 13, 2014
Tsehay Tolessa, 84, the widow of Rev. Gudina Tumsa, passed away on October 12, 2014. Addee Tsehay was a person of faith, courage and great perseverance. The government of Ethiopia, during the 1980s, never tolerated Oromo people’s aspiration for freedom and justice, but forced them to submit to harsh treatment. They grabbed Tolessa and forced her hands under her knees and tied them there, right after her husband, whom she married to in 1951, was abducted on July 28, 1979 and subsequently got killed. They filled her mouth with dirty rags and they beat her breaking bones and causing the skin to peel off. Then they threw her in a cell with 60 other people. There was standing room only and she remembered that she could only feel broken bones and blood as she had to stand. There was only one toilet but since nobody could move in the cell they could not use the facilities properly. No doubt disease was rampant and they were already under an immense famine. There was no light that came in this cell. She could not even hold a cup to drink water as others had to help her.
She stayed in that cell A FULL YEAR!!!! With her broken bones, rotting flesh and dilapidating condition she stayed in that mess of a cell for a whole year! When they let her out of the cell they put her in another jail for 10 years!! She was morally strong, even though she lost a husband, Rev. Gudina Tumsa, and brother-in-law, Baaroo Tumsa, to the Oromo cause.
Addee Tsehay was a tower of her family, a shining light of courage to her people and a woman of deep faith in God. She survived by four children (Kulani, Lensa, Aster and Boruu) and many more grand children. May God bless her!! Rest in peace!!
The funeral arrangement is in process.