Ethio Biography

Ethiopian Online Biography

Hiwot Teffera


Hiwot Teffera is an Ethiopian Author and a former member of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP). She is most known for her book ‘Tower in the Sky’ published by Addis Ababa University Press in 2012. The book is a personal account of her involvement in the student revolution in the late 1960s and early 70s, and her role at the EPRP party.

Hiwot was imprisoned and tortured by the DERG regime for eight years. In her book ‘Tower in the Sky’ she gives a very detail and personal that led for her arrest and torture by the military regime DERG. .

Early life

Hiwot was born and raised in the Eastern part of Ethiopia, in Harar City. After attending her primary and seconder school in Harar, she moved to Addis Ababa to Addis Ababa University.


Hiwot Teffera is an author of two books titled Tower in the Sky and Mine to Win. Both of them are translated in to Amharic

Her significant work is her first book, Tower in the Sky, which she details her experience as a young revolutionary university student at Addis Ababa University during the student revolution and EPRP era. The book, is an account of her awakening to the dejected socio economic and political reality of Ethiopia, her ideological evolution to the Marxist Leninists theories and her conviction to scarify herself, for what she and her friends believed will change the nation to the better. With her mentor and founder of EPRP party Getachew Maru, Hiwot took the journey of danger and insecurity, in one of the worst political eras in Ethiopian history known as the Red/White Terror. While her party EPRP was determined to fight the military regime on the streets of cities, the military was harshly killing, imprisoning and heavily torturing the young revolutionaries.

Hiwot was imprisoned and tortured for eight years by the military regimes.

Her book Tower in the sky is a fascinating personal account of the generation that perished on the face of ideological confusion, secrecy, and unripe political tactic. It is considered by many as one of the few authentic accounts of that era, and unlike many other writings on the history and downfall of EPRP, the book is acclaimed for showing the human side of the revolutionaries.  Hiwot goes in to detail from friendship to romance and betrayal that went on between the young and ambitious EPRP members.

The book is well received by the present generation.



Personal life

Following the success of her book ‘Tower in the Sky’ Hiwot moved back from Canada to Ethiopia. She currently lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

3 thoughts on “Hiwot Teffera

  1. My belonging words can’t express my impression and admiration for the author of ”Tower in the Sky”book, as I got significant insight about the then struggle strategy and students movement under EPRP. It clearly magnifies the steps through which Ethiopian politics has been passing through since the fall of Emperor H/Selassie. Thank you ”Hiwot” for your contribution.

  2. I have read your book entitled “Tower in the Sky”. My first impression comes from the title you choose for the book. Perfectly matches to the generation lost struggling for the prosperous Ethiopia. I do not have words to express my appreciation for your photographic memory of the events, your courage and dedication for the aim of the struggle in a situation where you were been. Let us hope that we will see a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Ethiopia. Wishes you a long life.

  3. What I had observed in your story in the book of tower in the sky is God really was with you throughout your life especially when you were both in the jail and in your clandestine work before that. God was communicating you with dreams and visions. Moreover He was indirectly communicating you with the dreams of other people around you. But you gave the credit for the messenger of God , Saint Gabriei
    , please give the credit to Lord Jesus christ and accept him as your saviour

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