Popular Oromo Artist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa Fataly Shot Dead
34-year-old Artist Haacaaluu Hundeessaa has been shot dead in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa around Galan Condominium site.
The prominent Oromo singer and songwriter was shot dead on Monday evening at 9.30 pm.
He was rushed to Tirunesh Beijing General Hospital but died of injuries shortly after.
The news of his killing has brought shock, with many Ethiopians mourning his death and condemning the killing. The Addis Ababa police Commissioner said that several people had been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Apart from being a prominent singer, entertainer, master storyteller and songwriter, Haacaaluu was a bold voice of a revolting generation. He was a consummate man of the people. He carried the weight of his people and sang about their suffering and yearning. His people called him a warrior when it came to connecting with them, especially the youth.
As an artist, he was a leading agitator and provocative commentator who channeled the fears of the masses.
Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was awarded the OPride’s Oromo person of the year 2017.
He was loved for capturing and expressing frustration and hope of Oromo protestors through revolutionary lyrics.
He courageously defied forcible suppression of dissent and bravely proclaimed, “we are here and not going anywhere” in his songs.
Haacaaluu broke down fear and structural barriers through his music.
Although Haacaaluu was once arrested and imprisoned at the age of 17, in a local prison known for its notorious torture and mistreatment of Oromo dissidents, his young soul never gave up.
Instead of breaking his spirit and giving up in his music, the imprisonment deepened his understanding of the Oromo oppression. When he was set free, he continued giving voice through his music to the atrocities.
The Oromo singer was a provocateur, social critic, and an inspiration and outlet to a generation that was oppressed by the Federal Government.
Haacaaluu will be remembered for the power in his words and delivery. He had lived with the threat of arrest, being silenced, and intimidation that still did not make him quit.