Where are they now?
They weren’t many of them around. So many were the eyes focused on them, Ethiopian celebrities of the pre and immediately post-Dergue era. That also being the era where an Artist won’t be given the time of day unless in trouble with the government, dead or in need of urgent medical assistance, the minute they moved from the public eye, they are as good as dead. This is, therefore, my attempt at “Esti Enastawsachew” to Artists who once lighted the dark screen.
We’ve all heard the story about the greek philosopher Diogenes, “the cynic”, who used walked through the streets carrying a lamp in the daytime, claiming to be looking for a human being, but unable to find one. But how many of us know Abebe Teka’s “sew tiru, sew tiru annd sew” is the Amharic version of that song? He’s cute, he’s a playa and quite in touch with his emotions (especially when a prize is involved 😉 ). Artist Abebe Teka: a heart-throb and a dream boat of the girls from my generation.
Once you saw her in one of the many adapted-for-TV dramas of Yilma Habteyes’ detective novels she did with the likes of Artist Wegayehu Nigatu, you are unlikely to forget her. She was the Halley’s commet of her era creating in many of us young’uns a yearning still to be pacified. She’s also the founder of Taitu Entertainment Center, that has been providing training about the art of writing and acting to students in the high school, college, as well youths in church. Last time I saw Artist Alemtsehai Wodajo was on a video of Artist Muluken Melese’s wedding, looking happy and very pregnant.
Here is what member of the Ethiopian Student Assocation (EsAi) website has to say while nominating her for something or other:
… renowned artist and living theatrical legend, Alemtsehay Wodajo. She is truly a unique individual who has dedicated her life to Ethiopian Performance Art and literature. She has worked as a performer, author and producer of numerous plays, and poems. She had appeared on many stages playing leading roles, a testament to her exceptional acting ability. She has also worked on TV, radio and cinema in Ethiopia, Europe and North America. She is a very talent poet and song writer whose songs have been sung by leading Ethiopian singers.
Regardless of our stand regarding his view of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, as described in his song: “Zinjero Aydelehum”, most of us have a soft spot for Gospel Singer Dereje Kebede. According to the myths related to him, he is the ultimate “prodigal son” of the herd or body of Christ. Holding his guitar high when being a “Zemari” paid nothing but can cost one his/her life, but switching loyalties when things became relatively easy, Dereje Kebede is more enigmatic than the god he claims to worship.
She, along with the famous “Shibsheba Choir” where her younger brother (Dagmawi -DaGi- Tilahun) was also a member, helped break the stigma against and played a role in revolutionizing the Protestant church gospel music in Ethiopia. Filled with love, admiration and awe for the Creator, her songs show what a true “Worship” song is meant to sound like. Kalkidan (Lily) Tilahun is the only Gospel Singer whose spiritual songs this blogger doesn’t mind listening to from time to time inspite of being a sworn Agnostic.
If the color black had a golden lining, Abebech Derara’s skin would be it. She’s sexy, luminious in her Afro, endowed with the voice of nightingale. Abebech Derara, or as we used to call her, “beshewa lay dese tachun beBorena..” is a treasure the city of Hossana gave the rest of Ethiopia.
You may or may not have heard of her romantic involvement with Neway Debebe. But you’ve been told how she moved to Saudia Arabia, got married and quit singing. Rumor has it that she is planning a big comeback. Hoping it would be as good as “Abebaye Hoye” or “Ante Amele Tiru, Ante Amele Shega” or even better .. we roll the red carpet and demand the VIP treatment for Artist Aster Kebede.
Her my space profile called her “Ethiopian Cultural Ambassador”. Artist Kuribachew (Kuri) Hailemariam is not just drop-dead gorgeous but the greatest traditional dancer of all times.
Remember “Hizb Le Hizb”? Ofcourse you do. And who is the first person that comes to mind? Cute baby face Inyie Takele! Traditional Dancer and proud owner of “Inyie Ethiopian Restaurant”.
“Tirufye” (Tirufat Gebreyes) and Sahlemariam Beyene of “Yelijoch Gize”
And, ofcourse, the Artist who took Ethiopia’s Comedy to a new level: Lemenih Tadesse
Anybody I forgot to mention?
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