May 25, 2024
Hachalu, the Voice of the Oromo people

Hachalu, the voice of the Oromo people

Who is Hachalu Hundessa?

Hachalu Hundessa was born on June 10, 1985, in Ambo, Oromia, Ethiopia. He grew up in a family of nine siblings and began his music career at a young age. Hachalu was a prominent Ethiopian singer, songwriter, and activist. Accordingly, he was a voice for the Oromo people.

How did he start songwriting?

Hachalu, the Voice of the Oromo people

Hachalu’s (the voice of Oromo people) music career started when he was a teenager. He frequently began his songs with an introduction, then added a verse and a chorus while performing traditional Ethiopian instruments like the krar and masinko. Later on, he joined the Oromo Music Band. He was imprisoned for five years in Karchalle Ambo for organizing protests against struggles and injustices faced by the Oromo people. During his stay there, he wrote most of the songs for his first album. Hachalu released his first album, “Sanyii Mootii” in 2009, which quickly became popular among the Oromo people.

Hachalu gained more popularity with his second album, “Waa’ee Keenya,” released in 2015. The album’s title track emphasized the struggles and injustices faced by the Oromo people. Additionally the song became an anthem for the Oromo people in their fight for their rights and became a symbol of their struggle.


Here are some of the awards he received:

1. Oromia Broadcasting Network’s 2013 Best Song Award. In 2013, Hachalu won the Best Song Award at the Oromia Broadcasting Network’s award ceremony for his song “Maalan Jiraa.” The song talks about the importance of preserving the environment.

2. Africa Music Magazine Award for Best Songwriter. In 2017, Hachalu won the Africa Music Magazine award for Best Songwriter for his contribution to Oromo music.

3. All Africa Music Award for Best Male Artist in East Africa: Hachalu won the All Africa Music Award for Best Male Artist in East Africa in 2018.

4. Oromia Excellent Music and Art Award. The Oromia Cultural and Tourism Bureau honoured Hachalu with an Excellent Music and Art Award in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development and preservation of Oromo heritage and culture.

5.Hachalu was also the recipient of the Human Rights Watch’s Alison Des Forges Award for Extraordinary Activism (2018) for his contribution to promoting human rights, justice, and freedoms through his music.

6. Honorary Doctorate Degree from Ambo University: In 2019, Hachalu was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by Ambo University in recognition of his contribution to Oromo music and activism.

What was he known for?

Hachalu was not only a musician but also an activist. Besides his music, Hachalu was known for his outspoken criticism of the Ethiopian government and its treatment of the Oromo people. His music was a call to action for the Oromo people to unite and fight for their rights. Furthermore Hachalu Hundessa is known for his passion for music and for delivering powerful messages through his lyrics. It is believed that he drew inspiration from his personal experiences. furthermore the political situation in Ethiopia to create his music. Many of his songs were focused on social and political issues that resonated with many Ethiopians. This is why many call him the Voice of Oromo people.

His Death

Unknown assailants fatally shot Hachalu on June 29, 2020, in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. Widespread protests and unrest were sparked in the country by this incident. The Oromo people and the entire Ethiopian music industry suffered a great loss due to his death. Hachalu’s legacy will continue to inspire and unite the Oromo people in their quest for justice and equality.

Hachalu, the Voice of the Oromo people

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