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Tameru: ‘the Miracle (Circus) Man’ of Ethiopia

By - May 13, 2013
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Our link with Tameru in Ethiopia came quite organically – much like alot of our work worldwide where through a series of chance encounters, referrals and enquiries we find something we feel deserves our full support and resources. Tameru has an Incredible life story and since his birth – he has been surrounded by a series of miraculous occurrences that shaped his life to where is is today.

He was born disabled and could not walk at all for the first 15 years of his life. After a chance encounter in a church with a doctor he was provided free surgery and eventually felt empowered to start and finish high school, learn English and graduate from college with a degree in Tourism. Today, Tameru’s own persistence, strength and hard work has guided him to the world of disabled sports and with his most recent stunt he believes he will be able to help and inspire other disabled athletes worldwide to realize their abilities and self worth.

Rather than seeking inspiration – Tameru oozes it through every pore and movement. When we and our colleagues first met with him he was living way below his means and was often going hungry – but one thing he had in abundance was his dream to perform, an ability to execute incredible tricks and stunts and a desire to continue progressing with hours of daily training to get himself stronger in order to reach a level of greatness he has envisioned for himself since he was very young.

They call Tameru ‘The Miracle Man’ in the media in Ethiopia and across the wider regions – you can check out our previous video and photo feature with him HERE that initially got him noticed – and now having achieved so much else, he has even completed yet another one of his dreams which was to attempt and then set a new World Record. The obvious choice of record had to be- ‘The Longest Distance Traveled whilst balanced on crutches’ (Hands) – doing it in 1 minute gave it a boundary and the video you see above is the result of this mans passion, persistence, resilience and strong spirit and determination to make his mark in a world that can be more difficult if you have certain disadvantages from day one.

It was On April 14th, 2013 where a crowd of nearly 20 friends and family all gathered to witness Tameru cover over 75 metres using just his hands and crutches down the track of the National Stadium in downtown Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopia has a deep tradition for running and to pay homage to the country’s athletes, Tameru’s World Record was witnessed by Mohammed Aman – Olympic runner and 800m Diamond League Champion – he acted as the World Record’s official adjudicator on the day.

Other judges included Keith Bowers of the BBC, Natalie Miller VP of Africa for Operation Smile (NGO for people with disabilities) and Hannah Gibson, Country Director for Jhpiego (International NGO in maternal and child health). All were proud of Tameru just as much as we are proud to see the results of our extensive efforts and support.

Tameru has come so far in a very short space of time. In comparison to his situation when we and our colleagues first decided to film with him – he is now well-known in his home country of Ethiopia, as well as news of his great spirit + ability having spread across Europe, USA, UK, India, Canada… and much further. He is now working full time with an innovative traveling Circus group called Debre Berhan and in the next few months they get to travel out to Europe for a tour – the first time Tameru will be traveling outside of Ethiopia and another dream of his about to be fulfilled.

We actually recall when we first heard from Tameru by email and at this premature stage of our efforts he had attached a photocopy of his passport telling us he dreams of being able to travel with his skills – another mission accomplished.

So who takes the credit for where Tameru has reached today – he is so happy, and he is empowered to continue reaching for the stars in terms of achieving anything he puts his mind to. Should we be thanking his Grandfather who was the one person who saved Tameru from even existing after his mother tried to bury him in the ground for being disabled? Should we thank the surgeon who had a chance encounter with Tameru in church when he was just a teenager and decided to take him away and provide free surgery to enable him to at least walk with support and crutches? Should we maybe thank the countless amounts of human angels he has encountered along his journey who have provided him with the opportunities, the money, motivation and most importantly – empowerment.

We’d personally like to thank Tameru himself for inspiring us in abundance whilst working closely with him and for being the strong spirited and incredible human being that he is. We have believed in him since day one and feel proud for every new step he takes always!

Tameru Zegeye

The next dream he now aims for is – to one day perform and travel with Cirque Du Soleil Circus. And no one will be happier than us and our colleagues when we are sitting in the audience seeing him on the big stage. Tameru – you really are ‘the Miracle Man’ of Ethiopia.

Photo / Video Credits: Israel Seoane / Nico Demus – on behalf of #thisisguavo Media

Special thanks to Olympic athlete- Mohammad Aman
and of course to all who were present on the day of the latest stunt assisting and cheering on Tameru.

Please also visit our colleague Nico’s awesome blog article about Tameru’s full life story via:

And here is one of our previous updates with Tameru when he was presented with some brand new, and quite hi-tech crutches not so long ago-

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