The renown late Ethiopian singer Tilahun Gessesse's childhood friends and others who knew him in the military before he became famous for his National Theater performances remembered him as gifted and passinate singer from outset.
Jalene of the Afan Oromo service talked to Bekele Wolde, schoolmate of Tilahun at Ras Gobana Dachi Elementary School, remembers his extraordinary voice and good memory. Tilahun’s 3rd grade classmate, Gaddisa Gebre-Giorgis,attended says the turning point for Tilahun was the day the Sudanese school director asked him to sing on stage with the Hager Fikir Music Band in Waliso town.
Colonel Sahile Dagago, who wrote lyrics for some of Tilahun's songs, said "Tilahun was like my son." Another renowned Oromo singer, Ali Birra, worked with him in the Imperial Body Guard band. "Tilahun had been the foundation for the modern music in Ethiopia," he said.