This site honors two-time Olympic boxer Seifu Makonnen ("Tibo") of Ethiopia.
Seifu was born on April 11, 1953, in the Aleltu, Shoa providence of Ethiopia, and he spent his teenage years in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. By nature, Seifu is humble, quiet, and honest. He likes all sports including boxing and athletics. He always liked to be in places where his communities came together, whether it was the annual soccer tournament or the Sunday church service. From childhood, he was involved in the development of his community and was a mentor for young people to help them stay out of trouble while working at his local Y.M.C.A. Through sports, he traveled to many countries around the world.Seifu represented his native land in two Olympics, and because of this achievement, in the 1970's, he was honored by many notable African leaders including Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia, Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, Idi Amin of Uganda and Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia.
Since 1979, he has lived in the USA.In 1995, he became a naturalized American citizen and has lived in Los Angeles, Washington DC, Northern Virginia, and Oakland, California. He has two children Selam and Yohannes. His wife Ghimiga G/ Mikael still leave in Los Angeles after their divorce in 1996.
In Los Angeles, he co-founded the Dengel Mariam Orthodox Church and served as a member of the board from 1986 to 1993. He was one of the few Ethiopians in Los Angeles who participated in the fundraising campagin held in Los Angeles during the 1984 Ethiopian famine.
In Washington DC as a certified health trainer, he tried to mobilize the community to establish a health center and he trained many members of the community. Tapping into his own investments, Seifu started a weekly sports radio program in Amharic for the Ethiopian Community in Washington DC and interviewed more than 180 people including Dr. Aklilu Habte, former president of the Addis Ababa University; world renowned athlete Haile Gebreselassie; and successful businessman Dosho Shifferaw, the inventor of Bowflex. In 2006, Seifu co-directed Abebe Bikila Day 8K and Half Marathon in Alexandria, VA. The annual race has since grown to become Abebe Bikila Day International Peace Half Marathon, held three times in Alexandria in 2006, 2007, and 2008, and then in Washington DC in 2010. The race has raised more than $20,000 for various charities, including Ethiopian Community Development Council, the partners of Marathon Charity Cooperation, and in 2010, High Cloud Foundation.
Seifu learned 25 years ago that he has diabetes and is taking medicine, and despite the stresses of his disease, he attempts to pursue a normal life. His kidney disease is severe -- both his kidneys have failed --and he has been on dialysis treatment since April 2009. At present Seifu is in line for a kidney transplant and is hopeful that he will get one soon and resume a productive life. Because of unfortunate circumstances in his home land for many years, his fans and friends have never gotten a chance to honor him in Ethiopia.
At present, his friends and fans in North America are organizing a fundraising campaign to honor his life-long legacy and raise money to help him lead a better life while he is awaiting kidney transplant procedure and to cover future expenses.