Yohannes Tikabo


Yohannes Tikabo is better known for his metaphoric song lyrics through which he has inspired countless fans and proved how flexible the Tigrigna language can be. Yohannes was born in 1974 in Tesseney. His father, Tikabo Woldemariam, was one of the country’s legendary singers of the sixties.

From a young age Yohannes was so musically disposed to the extent that he sneaked out of his home at night even when there was a tight curfew enforced by the Derg regime and listened to music with his elderly neighbors. However, his father never allowed him to play music because he wanted him to focus on his education, which made him write songs and practice playing Kirar-a traditional string musical instrument- in secret.

His talent for writing music grew with him in every step of his life even though he never performed in public. He wrote a couple of group ballads for his school and won prizes for his efforts. But the real ground-breaking event, which even convinced his father that Yohannes could really sing, was in 1994 in Sawa while doing his national service.

From then onwards, he gradually grew to become one of the most talented Eritrean artists of all time. Yohannes has on various occasions written songs that reflect the true meaning of nationalism, culture and love. He also has quite a knack for doing lyrics quickly.

Having become among the young talented and loved artists of Eritrea, Yohannes won various local awards at different points in time and got the opportunity to travel around the world to perform for Eritreans in the Diaspora, further honing his skills along the way.

His power lies in the strength of his lyrics and uniqueness in the thickness of his voice. During his tour around the world, Yohannes came across various international music producers and received a number of requests to work with them in the future. Yohannes is also working on mastering writing his lyrics in English. Amazingly he only went as far as 10th grade in school but his reading habits and interaction with people helped him a lot.

Once an advocate of the national government, Yohannes emigrated from Eritrea in October, 2013, while on a tour in the United States sponsored by the People's Front for Democracy and Justice, Eritrea's ruling party. A song he subsequently released on YouTube, 'Hadnetna' denouncing the ruling party has since gone viral.

ERAsmara, Eritrea


Yohannes Tikabo
Profile added by Stanley Gazemba on 02 Sep 2015