Biography of Yemane Gebremichael Barya

Monday 12, November 2012, posted by Yohannes Zewde,


Yemane Baria

Birth name

Yemane Ghebremichael


c.1940 AsmaraEritrea


Asmara, Eritrea




Yemane Ghebremichael (commonly known as Yemane Baria), was a well-known Eritrean songwriter, composer and singer. Not confined to musical pursuits, he was also heavily involved in Eritrean politics. He died of natural causes in 1997.



Yemane's songwriting strove to reflect what he perceived to be Eritrean experience during the Eritrean War of Independence. His songs were dotted with stories of love, journey, hope, immigration, and liberation. In 1975, he was jailed for the perceived political interpretation of one of his songs.[2]

A few years after the declaration of the independence of Eritrea, Yemane moved to Asmara and continued to release albums that reflected the new era of hope and national prosperity, with a mixture of Eritrean and Latin melodies. He also sang about the people involved in the movement towards Eritrean independence, and the sacrifices of that movement.

Yemane was also known as the 'Eritrean caretaker',[3] due to his reputation as being of a generous, down-to-earth nature, and for sharing his place with newly arrived Eritreans. He is known for having helped many Eritreans adjust to diaspora life in Sudan and move to better places in the Middle East, America, Europe, etc. He was also reputed for his artistry and mastery of Tigrinya, the most widely used language in Eritrea.



  • Yemane's albums included:
  • Wedebat Adey
  • Asmera
  • Zemen,
  • Meskerem,
  • Nasenet,
  • Delay Selam,
  • Aykonen Oromay,
  • Wegihaya Meriet,
  • Mesob Ade.
  • Ab Kulu Gobotat
  • Nay Mekabir Bitsotey
  • Tezkoneley,
  • Anbibeyo Debdabeki,
  • Ab Sidet Zeleka,
  • Kemeleki Zefkireki,
  • Yikielo Eye Ane,
  • Gual Hagerey,
  • Bisirah Tegedide,
  • Chira Feres,
  • Mealtat Newihuni,



  1. Connell, Dan; Killion, Tom (2010). Historical Dictionary of Eritrea (2nd ed.). Scarecrow Press. p. 552. ISBN 0-8108-5952-1.
  2. Mussie Tesfagiorgis G (2011). Eritrea (Africa in Focus). ABC Clio. p. 255. ISBN 1-59884-231-5.