Lucy’s People Book

Lucy’s People: An Ethiopian Memoir by Mesfin Tadesse

2nd edition cover

How to Get our Book




Balageru Television. Yekedimo Serawit=Former Veteran. Meto Alike=Lieutenant Mesfin Tadesse. Episode 13. Pt 1. Dec 23, 2020. YouTube video, 26.57. [Amharic & English. Mesfin speaks after the first 5 minutes of the program.]

Mesfin Tadesse was born in Ethiopia during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie I. In Addis Ababa, he thrived at Jubilee In Palace School. His mother was a nurse. Mama Teliqwa the patriot was his grandmother. His father was a colonel and military teacher. All were decorated war heroes.

During the communist revolution, the Derg murdered Mesfin’s father. The teenager supported the hungry family, surviving persecution. He accelerated through school. At the age when kids in the West start rock bands, he graduated from Building College. Military conscription followed. Mesfin trained for the elite Airborne force and fought in wars.

He won a United Nations Development Programme scholarship to study in Egypt. Mesfin qualified as a water development civil engineer. He worked in construction and water technology engineering in Ethiopia.

With the fall of the communist Derg, Mesfin and his wife fled chaos. He worked for UNHCR and UNICEF, supplying water to Africa’s refugees. Mesfin then emigrated to New Zealand and Australia. In Australia, he is a registered master builder.

Ianet Bastyan is an Australian-born teacher & librarian. Ethiopia’s Rift Valley was the cradle of civilisation. There, archaeologists unearthed the 3.2-million-year-old fossil of Lucy. Yet libraries stocked few Ethiopian books. 

Mesfin told her about Queen Saba. Ianet said, ‘What is it like to live in Ethiopia?’ In 2016, they visited, then wrote his inspirational memoir.

Her grandfathers were soldiers and farmers in Australia’s south west. They shared insights about war. Resourceful people, like Ethiopians, they faced the 1930s Depression – nothing compared to survival under the Derg. 

Photos: Author’s Mother © Imperial Ethiopian Government, 197-?, Airborne Master Parachutist’s Wing:bidorbuy; Seeker of Inspiration © Mesfin Tadesse, 2016, Oyster Harbour © Ianet, 2016

Forthcoming Sequel

Under the Pump: Water for Refugees by Mesfin Tadesse.

Series: Saba and Lucy’s People


Yerada Lij Australia

ABN: 16583696260


Location: Wilson, Western Australia 6107


Ingram Spark, self-publishing service

Book Details

  • Physical Description: 23 cm. ; xi, 286 pages ; 13 black and white portraits
  • Paperback price: 22.99 AUD + GST 2.30 AUD; total: 25.29 AUD
  • Ebook price: 11.99 AUD + GST or VAT
  • Kindle price: 7.99 AUD
  • ISBN: 9780648828723 (2nd edition paperback, 2021)
  • ISBN: 9780648828716 (2nd edition Epub, 2021)
  • ISBN: 9780648828709 (1st edition paperback, 2020 – out of print)
  • Series: Saba and Lucy’s People ; 1
  • Rating: 16 years+

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Featured image: Addis Ababa Bookshop © Ianet Bastyan, 2020