Mekey Yetashawork
Mekey Yetashawork
Birth: 13 April 1909
Addis Abeba, Ethiopia
Death: fl. 2 April 2013
Colorado, USA
Age: 103 years, 354+ days
Country: EthiopiaETHUnited StatesUSA

Mekey Yetashawork (13 April 1909 – fl. 2 April 2013) was an Ethiopian-born American centenarian.


Mekey Yetashawork was born in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia on 13 April 1909. He attended the only university in Addis Ababa at that time in the capital of Ethiopia, to become a pharmacist. When Benito Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1935, Yetashawork taught himself Italian. He thought it would be beneficial to know what the “fuh-denchies” (or foreigners) in his country were saying. During his life he has working on the railroad in Addis Abeba, becoming a musician of many instruments including the piano, violin, mandolin, guitar and tenor saxophone, and teaching himself to speak more than 10 different languages including French, Spanish, English, Italian and different African languages. Yetashawork left Addis Abeba in 1978 during the revolution in Ethiopia as a refugee. After he first left Ethiopia, Yetashawork settled in France for three years, and with his fluency in French, he fit right in. Yetashawork work in France and enjoyed it greatly, but it was in Colorado, however, that he found his home. He settled to Denver, United States. He is well remembered to his habit walking half a mile everyday around Cherry Creek Mall almost every day for 12 years. Yetashawork made a guest appearance in 1936 in the French historical book entitled L’empire d’ Éthiopie : le miroir de l’Éthiopie moderne, 1906-1935 written by Adrien Zervos. Since then he was interviewed by multiple news organizations across the U.S. including Denver’s 9News.

Mekey Yetashawork was last reported to be alive on 2 April 2013 two weeks before his 104th birthday.[1] He claimed that he was descendant of Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopian and a defining figure in African history.


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