Born in the small mountain town of Boda, near Ambo, Ethiopia, Tsegaye graduated from the Blackstone School of Law in Chicago in 1959, but by 1960 he had studied experimental theater at the Royal Court Theatre in London and the Comédie-Française in Paris. Between 1961 and 1971, Tsegaye was artistic director for the Ethiopian National Theater, and in the late 1970's, he founded the department of theater at Addis Ababa University. However, in the 1970s he was imprisoned by the Derg regime, who also banned his writings.
"walk in the footprints of his ancestors. This land is a museum of man's ancient history. The American has gone to the moon and found dust, he's going farther away to look for other planets, very good. But know thyself first. That is what I would tell my American friend-interview on what Ethiopia means to average American