My Ethiopian-Idol (4 now)

June 2, 2008 at 8:52 am 5 comments

There are few people who fascinate me. And those the mere mention of whose name brings warmth to the sister’s soul are even fewer. Artist Abraham Wolde is one of those few. He’s a cute, talented playwright & actor (remember “Gizo brazer”?) who more than once, infact three times, wrote & directed songs that brought tears to my eyes. And I don’t get teary over songs all that often (except, maybe, once! Will tell you all about it in another post).

Infact, my interest in a “zefen” stops the minute I memorized all the lines in it. That’s where me and my fav “zefen” draw the line. If you forced me to listen to it one more time, I may complain of a head or stomach ache. And, yes, I’m one of those [dare I say, few?] shamless Ethiopians who do not feel the need to apologize for changing their minds about stuff. I take change as good news because change shows growth and maturity, not “telewawachinet” or “beAlama alemetsinat” as we are brought up to believe. Dish it, is how i see it, if you don’t think it works any more! Why waste your loyalty over things that never needed your loyalty in the first place? And, except in matters where the question of “honor” and the subject of right & wrong were concerned, that’s how I been operating!.

Needless to “meGoreR”, therefore, I don’t go through the type of hell I see people go through to hide the fact that they have matured out of their previous tastes. Because I’m well aware I do not have a little Scribe tugging at my sleeve and jotting down every opinion I aired, and a city full of people (who probably hired the Scribe) ready to take my ass to court when what I’m saying now and what I believed in the past don’t go hand in hand. That neither I, nor my words, matter to that extent and if some took us to, those some better find themselves somebody more deserving of their devotion & under whose feet they won’t look ridiculous when observed sitting!

So … yeah.. if you heard me say I loved this song today and I hate it tomorrow, ask me why! Don’t make haste to judge me or attempt to “maSaFer” me because you’d find me irredeemably unrepentant. “Get a life, dude!” is my silent reply, even if my “kesaShoch” aren’t always men, to those who try to shame me for changing my mind. As if there is one person, one type of cloth, one skin color or look, one food & one [political/religious/social] conviction I should meSaLem & swear to stand-by till Kingdome comes!

Where was I?! (before letting my “miRet” carry me into hostile territories, as I always do :))?! Oh yes! Abraham Wolde and his “BalaGeru”s!! – Which I loved! Have been loving & would probably continue to love for some time to come. Maybe I just have a weakness for “balaGers”, cute song & playwrights & their songs, or his songs are like that exquisite 2nd album of Gigi’s (her “Semna WorQ” I hated & said as much to the embarassed protestation of my all-time-Gigi-Fan friends). Which, in turn, reminds me of that thing they say about Shakespeare, Opera and wine (the “wine” part I added because, although respectful to it’s legendary quality, i’m not a huge fan of it’s taste). If you love it, they say, you’ll love it forever! If you don’t love it, they add, you’ll atleast learn to respect it! Mostly because u don’t really understand it, says I, or are intimidated into liking & approving it by mass-opinion or people you think are superior to you.

But in Abraham Wolde’s songs case you like them because they speak of the type of “Ethiopiawinet” that neither denies nor exaggerates. Rather tell one of the way it used to be when “zer”-naiive Addis-born Ethios who would like to see love and propserity abounding in the motherland weren’t considered, beDebo, “Enemies of the State” (by the undersigned too, once!). And makes him/her yearn, if not for the naiveté of those times, but for what we threw out “with the water” when our eyes were opened. Unless you are one of those who would rather remain in denial, for whatever personal reason.

So cheers Abraham! I may not know much about you (my google search was to no avail), but I can see your heart is in the right place! Atleast for this once bitter, “zer”-concious, Addis-born Ethio sister (who realized there was more to “Ethiopiawinet”, & her “Ethiopiawinet” in particular, than what both the government & its “teQawamis” said after an incident she’d talk about someday. A realization, she fancies, that made her change her mind for the better!).


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Still high on SATC Science & fairy tales

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sistu  |  June 2, 2008 at 5:56 pm


    help me out if you can… is it the same Abraham Wolde? i am not yet convinced that this is the same Abraham Wolde of the Gizo i remember. abraham wolde of almnesh kasanesh atsedu? or am i completely mistaken? Abraham wolde of Alebe’s first guest on albe show? and more importantly Abraham wolde of Ferensay tewoldo yadegew, whose geter “menebanibs” used to drive me crazy and were prone to the [my] constant “esti pls atimuazez”? and this may fall under yeMender werey analysis that kidist alemu might disapprove of and might be an outright sim-matfat-zemecha punishable by the fitha-biher, hige-mengst etc, but is he the abraham wolde whose rare good looks deteriorated before our eyes through chat, metet and seegara? If it is, then eseyo… nice to see that he is still up and about but im afraid i never liked the fella. but i guess since this italem here is also an addis-born but zer-aware sister, i should learn to appreciate a fellow addis-born, zer aware brother.

    About the video: notice the shirts the guys are wearing on the fields? i couldn’t be more impressed with the accuracy… those t-shirts define my idea of kegeter-yemetu zemedoch… by the way the t-shirts used to be sold in dire-dawa beDerzen so they were the family uniform for our house.

    what else? nice to hear you are one who embraces a change of heart without qualms. please know that i have that in mind as i post the comment under motherhood that i will write in a few hours.

    and wine… i have never tasted it, is it really bad… my father gave my sister and I a gimash sinee of veeno once for adbar back when i was around 6 and i didn’t dislike it too much (may have even liked it but was probably afraid to show that lest he was giving it to us to “metazeb” our alcohol tendencies.) and i used to like the smell of “kemeela” that us siblings used to sneak in to maflat with shay-mankorkoria so that the influenza-virus-stricken ones may drink it for cure.

    Still Yancheew,

  • 2. sira salata  |  June 2, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    The clip is soo coool….Tnx for posting it here. I just see it today. can u tell me when it was released? If not mistaken, this Abrham wolde is the guy with the ‘ ethio Idol ‘ idea….and ‘ meshewed minamin ‘ by Jemal; am I right? The guys with eskista and the singers were cool, I really loooove it. But didn’t I see Gosaye with that t-shirt before….hah ‘ minew kichich alebat….korbobatal ende? ‘

  • 3. abesheet  |  June 3, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Yes and No, sistu. Abraham wolde is indeed the cute guy who used to write and perform ETV dramas. I distinctly remember one he did with “Yenatfanta wube” and that comedian guy who died soon after (forgot his name) who was called by Abraham’s character “Zinjero” and the guy trying to justify to us, the audience, how he can’t resemble like a zinjero. Must have been a sour spot to him coz he does remind one of something out of the zoo, if not exactly our tail-y ancestors. There was another with the gorgeous & talented Emebet Woldesemayat where he was playing as a guy who works in a grage etc etc which made obvious his acting talent. I had thought they were sissy at the time, his characters. Weepy, romantic and too theatrical. But he was good at being them. And anyway.. that’s how Ethiopian male characters have always been when it comes to romance drama, feminine and pretty gayish.

    His major achievement, however, was “Gizo brazer”. Which i simply loved, inspite of the obvious “abrren norenal, tekebabren enketil” tone of the drama (and dramas aren’t supposed to preach; not that obviously anyway). So i think you got the “alemnesh, kasanesh, atedu” part right. It’s something else that Gizo used to say about some old lady that caught at the time, although I can’t remember it right now!

    The “eregna character Abraham”, on the other hand, is Abraham Asmelash. He is older, skinnier, mozaza and always.. always talking about yegeter koreda, her breast & how she “meslemlem”s when he touched it under some tree, i think (too revolting to remember). I never liked that guy although i knew and respected the fact that he was the real deal. I know guys would like his jokes. Shy guys too nervous to lose their virginity or those couldn’t get enough of the stuff.

    Lol Sira..
    That’s exactly what i thought about Gosaye’s t-shirt!!!! Lol. First time i saw it, on his “Satamehagn Bila” album, i thought it was a nice gesture, even if it always impressed me as being “YeDar ager sew libs” (Gambela or possibly surma) instead of what an oromo guy would wear (he used it for his “EyA babo” song). Still, it’s the thought that matters, i decided. It was a surprise when i noticed a couple of “hip” looking guys here in addis wearing it. I remember thinking, “so the trend is catching; this wearing what celebrities are wearing thingy”. But when i saw it on this song, although i know why they put it in, i thought it looked rather silly. But all in all.. the video was quite impressive. I totally, absolutely, fall in love with the “student” character who was wearing white. He’s so cute and is so good with eskista that you can’t help take note of him (although i can imagine what a foreign man or woman not familiar with our culture would think when they see him dance; that boy had some booty work going :)).

    And yes, Abraham Wolde is the guy who claimed to have come up with the “Ethiopian Idol” idea. An argument that i, and perhaps most of Addis, found convincing (thus that “enanTem serQachu aydel” drama and the title of my post ;))

  • 4. sistu  |  June 3, 2008 at 7:16 am

    i seem to remember the big-time gizo drama on ehud tewat that took the cast to tv in a rare case of radio-drama-gone-on-tv, but i still do not have a face for abraham wolde…. wish i did. i also seem to remember the jinjero comedy [only vaguely] but still no abraham wolde… btw, in all fairness, don’t most comedians sport a little bit of melke-tifunet (save one handsome agot comedian of a certain tsehafeet?… a little flattery goes a long way, no?).. in fact that might even extend to most funny people in real life. Did i read somewhere that comedy is something that we resort to divert attention away from our looks or other unsavory items in our identity?…that’s not me berating melke-tifus… i try to stay away from funniness to avoid this all-too-unsettling implication on my inquan zenbobish confidence abt [my] looks.

    abraham asmelash, he is definitely the one i was talking about. And in the spirit of kicking someone while s/he is still down, i didn’t think the poor mozaza could have amounted to so much in so short a time so i was very skeptical about my own guesses. So right about the yegeter koreda…that and the midakwa siga of his dream that he used to deliver on amet bal zigijits. Its acts like him that make me wonder if we had done well to do away with “arba jirafs”… i can definitely imagine janihoy or even emiye minelik sorting him out with that.

    the t-shirts… I don’t know if they can be bequeathed to Dar-ager sewoch entirely. Relatives from the norther tips and keDebub bekul used to wear it. It is especially memorable because those shirts are prone to the occasional yeLibs kimal…. I don’t know if that can be ascribed to the nature of the t-shirts themselves or to the nature of those who wear them. But your point brings to mind images of surma-style men wearing those shirts along with their mini-skirts while doing their jumping dances. About seeing them in Addis, I don’t think we have seen the last of those t-shirts… sure, their presence there (as well as in the dar-agers) can be explained by the new trend of wearing celebrity clothes. but i think it can probably also be attributed to the resilient quality of the t-shirts themselves.

  • 5. Toto Adefris  |  July 12, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    Dear Editor: I like your web site because it is not clutered by nonsense political dialogue. We need more of sites of this kind so that we can grow as people; not just live in a coccoon, detached from reality.
    Anyways, I write short Amharic fictions. Please read and comment. If you can put a link on your site, it is appriciated.

    God Bless
    Toto Adefris

    You can also follow my web activities on facebook & twitter

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