The second HOHE Awards held on August 13, 2018 was a success. HOHE literary award is an annual award presented to an author of a distinguished book possessing notable literary merit and critical perspective and illuminating important contemporary issues. The HOHE Award highlights just some of the many good books with broad appeal published in Ethiopia. The award also recognizers those actors who have contributed much in advancing the reading culture in the country including media houses, book critique professionals, organizations creating reading access to disabled people, personalities in advancing education in the country plus a lifetime achievement award.


This year’s award recognizes Best Book of the Year in three categories namely, fiction, poetry and children books published (September 2017 to September 2018).


The Best Fiction book of the year, was awarded to Befikir Sim by Alemayehu Gelagay. The Best Poetry book of the year was awarded to Yemaleda Dibab by Beweketu Seyum and The Best Children’s book of the year went to Tewodros by Daniel Worku. A total of 20 books were submitted for this year’s fiction category, 24 for poetry and 17 for children books category.


HOHE also recognizes actors contributing for better reading culture. This year, one of the personalities we have recognized was Tesfaye Adal, who is in the business of book selling for over four decades at his small bookshop located in front of Gandhi Hospital in Addis. Ethiopian Women with Disability National Association (EWDNA) was also awarded for their work in creating access to reading for women with disabilities. EWDNA a local NGO established a resource center, which is equipped with different kinds of books in brail and ink to include members with different types of disabilities. EWDNA not only makes these centers available to members but also encourages members to read using different methods such as awarding those who read and regular book promotions at their coffee ceremony discussion twice a month.  EWDNA works to address women with 5 types of disabilities. These include visual impairment, hearing impairment, physical impairment, intellectual disability, and women affected with leprosy.


In order to encourage academic writing in Amharic making academic knowledge relevant to the local context, Negadras Gebrehiwot Baykedagn  (1886-1919) received honorary recognition. Baykedagn published two majors works in Amharic: Mengistna ye Hizb Astadadar, published in 1924 after his death and translated in to English in 1995 as “State and Economy of Early 20th Century Ethiopia” and in 1912 Atse Menilik na Ethiopia, which was translated in to French in 1993 as UEmpereur Menelik et VEthiopie.

The lifetime achievement award recognizes individuals and institutions that have contributed a lot in advancing writing and reading in the country. This years award went to the legend in Ethiopian literature, Amare Mamo.  Amare wrote, edited, and translated over 70 books. He played a prominent role in advancing literature in Ethiopia.


Hohe is named after the metonym ‘HOHE’ also known to be Geez Alphabet (Ethiopic Syllabary), primarily used for the then official language ‘Geez’ now turned to be used also for the working language, i.e Amharic. In addition to that Tigrigna, Guragigna, and most of the other language in Ethiopia also subscribed to use the ‘HOHE’.