Thus spake the bride

October 29, 2008 at 9:00 am 3 comments

Seifu Fantahun & his colleague were discussing “The Wedding of the Millennium” yesterday afternoon. I.E. between Athletes Chief-Superintendent Tirunesh Dibaba & Major Officer Sileshi Sehin last Saturday (26th October 2008). One of the comments that kept coming up, they said, was on how the Bride’s make up with a bit of a pile up. “Her skin was dry,” fans seem to have complained, “I personally prefered her looking sweaty and natural”.

By the way, have you noticed how most brides don’t look as pretty as their normal “good hair day” on their wedding? I myself have been told I looked good for someone who despises “yeSerG Qemis”. But i’ve never used any make up or even had my eye brow lined before that day. A certain change for the better is, therefore, to be expected. What’s more, I have drawn the line with the “Feshagn” lady as to how i want my hair to look (the way I’ve always liked it) so to do it ifyouplease. However, many a bride doesn’t seem to dare do that and ends up looking like a stuffed doll version of herself. The irony of the matter is, a bride-to-be is afraid to say “no” or to demand for less, because she’s afraid she’d ruin her big day. She wants to look her best, the “feshagn” lady is supposed to know the best, she’s Ethiopian (so entirely dependent on other’s good will for her suvival). Still, we don’t have to sit infront of the tv screen with “Sunday, Monday, Happy Day” for a background to know when we are looking our best, and when we aren’t. Mushrit, the mirror, have you met? BTW, the same thing seems to happen to people who get caught on a candid camera of some sort. One minute they are “sweaty and natural”, the next minute they are giving interviews to Jamie Kennedy and they look all made up and bloated.

Anywho, after hearing Tirunesh had too much make up on her face on (like I said) Seifu & Co.’s FM whateverytheycalledit, I decided to check out her website and see for myself. See how the “other half” marries, so to say. The half that wants to make it open, instead of private. And worries who it should invite, instead of who not to leave out. One thing lead to another and, before I know it, I was in Tirunesh’s Journal (which she writes “fortnightly .. on her life, on the track, and on her activities”) reading an all too official love letter that gives the impression of being meant for the public instead of my favorite “Ruwach” and her Groom-to-be Seleshi (who she “laid eyes on” at the legal age of 18 and been dating for the last 5 years). It’s entitled Sileshi My Love (proving what I’ve always said about titles – it ain’t easy to make them work. And talents: we should all stick to what we do best 😉 ). I wish Tirunesh and Seleshi “YeAbraham YeSara Gabicha”. Or, if and when possible, an even better one. Enjoy your read!

The Wedding Bash

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Have you ever.. Harar, Hararuma..

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mazzi  |  November 3, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    “…….[a bride on her wedding day] ends up looking like a stuffed doll version of herself.”

    So so true!!

    I love how you take every day observation like how numerous brides do not even closely resemble their usual self on their wedding day (for one reason or another), and articulate this observation in such a beautiful way :-).

    I had not been following Tirunesh’s reputed athletic career closely. So recently I “googled” her out to learn more about her (a friend of mine calls google “golgul” be-amarigna that is!:-)).

    Man at such a young age, she has accomplished a lot, and I hope she continues to succeed in all aspects of her life including her new marriage.

    I also got a chance to check out a bit of her wedding day video on the Internet, and I am not even sure what to say about how grand it was. Budding Western style ‘extreme’ celebrity worship anyone?

    Did the couple finance such an elaborate wedding themselves or was the State or Alamudi behind such an event? Just curious! I really wish both of them well.

  • 2. abesheet  |  November 4, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Lol. I think they took care of it themselves Mazzi. Which I have no doubt they can afford to. However extravagant the wedding may have been, they paid for it in birr after all.

    Which reminds me. I need your help on this girl, coz I am at a loss every time i thought of it. WHY do i and most [“complexam?”, “astewaai”?, “leWegen teQorQwari negn baii”?] Ethiopians get mad when those who can afford it seem to strew money about like a damn flower? I am all for respecting the individual choice and what not. But the minute I heard they were planning a “Millennium wedding”, the first word that came to my mind was “showing off”. I mean, what is it to me how they chose to spend their money? Or if Haile chose not to spend it at all?! I was neither here nor there when they were struggling to make it. So why this sudden feeling of ownership?

  • 3. Mazzi  |  November 4, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    “WHY do i and most [“complexam?”, “astewaai”?, “leWegen teQorQwari negn baii”?] Ethiopians get mad when those who can afford it seem to strew money about like a damn flower?”

    Well Abesheet….. Speaking for myself, and myself alone, I have a theory why I would get ‘concerned’ (probably not mad) when those who can ‘afford’ it seem to throw money around like it is confetti.

    I put ‘afford’ in quotation because in this case it is a tricky supposition. In my little opinion, do even successful athletes like Tirunesh and Silesh, who rose from humble and maybe even poor backgrounds just yesterday, and who solely depend on their sheer physical strength and stamina for their earnings afford such an elaborate and seemingly expensive wedding? Maybe not.

    God forbid … fall from grace into ordinary athlete-hood if they can no longer score world records in their sport careers or even worse any permanent physical ailment, illness, or injury could bring a sudden stop to any cash flow they have if they can’t be high profile athletes anymore. If nothing else, for these reasons alone, they should pay more attention to making their current money and cash flow work for them by investing it diversely in other business and investment ventures if they are not doing so already.

    Even if corporate sponsorships and endorsement for products help them earn an income the likes of you and I can only dream about in a lifetime, they have to be aware that even such ventures are totally dependent on their continued success and fame. And we all know how success and fame could be very fleeting things, and sometimes terribly short lived in this ‘weretegna alem’ we all live in.

    I just hope they have solid heads on their shoulders that help them see the big picture. Otherwise, youthful indiscretion might make them think that they shall always feel as good as they do when they are still young, optimistic about life, healthy, strong, and beautiful/handsome with successful careers as their cherries on their cake.

    Besides, I have always believed that weddings are terribly expensive advertisements to couples’ choices to enter matrimony. After all, the actual and legal wedding ceremony can be done with only the couple (bride and groom), however many witnesses required by law, and the wedding officiator (be it a judge, priest, or reverend) in some official room in a court house, place of worship, or equivalent.

    The question is, who were they advertising their wedding for? In their case, apparently the whole country (live TV coverage on ETV) and even beyond in their international athletic community. That is why I was asking if it was State or corporate sponsored. If that was their goal, mission accomplished because even I heard about it, and watched bits of their wedding day video, sitting here in this increasingly cold Midwest US.

    Was their wedding intimate the way I think most weddings should be, with much significance and emphasis put on what the couple and their close family and friends value in their lives? No, far from that. But at the end of the day, it was their choice and apparently their money, so the rest of us just admire from the side line about how glamorous it was and only wish them well.

    Personally, the money invested on such luxurious wedding could have been spent in more meaningful ways to add more security to their married life (the real life that comes after all their guests have gone home and ‘passed’ all the great food they ate at their wedding, after all the flowers have died, after people have recovered from their admiration based ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’, and after weary shoulders have rested from all the ‘eskista’ they ‘masnekat’ at their wedding). After all, I imagine actual married life being far from the fairytale glamour of any wedding that precedes it. But it was not my decision to make, and I whole heartedly respect their decision and wish them the very best. I wish for them a blessed and happy marriage and I care more about that than I do about their ‘wedding of the millennium.’

    Tirunesh and Sileshi might be ‘rich’ at this moment in their lives, abut they are far from being wealthy. There is a very big difference between being rich and being wealthy. Chris Rock, the comedian, humorously explained this concept on one of his HBO comedy specials few years back. He said, “being rich is having thousands and millions of dollars in your bank account now. Being wealthy is OWNING the color ‘blue.’” He elaborated how the wealthy individual/family who ‘owns the color blue’ will earn continuous royalties for God knows how long every time the color blue is used in anything!! (Exaggeration of course :-).) He also said Oprah (the first female black billionaire) is rich while Bill Gates is wealthy. He mused, “if Bill Gate wakes up one morning and finds out that he is only as rich as Oprah, he might just jump out the window out of despair!.”

    The point is, I would like to see rich people (especially those who acquired their riches after experiencing life as poor or ordinary people) strive towards building wealth that will benefit not only themselves but their extended family, children, and even grand children. I would like to see a time when newly built wealth gets passed on to the next generation so children can benefit from their parents success and legacy instead of parents counting on their children as their retirement plan (as is the case mostly in Ethiopia).

    I would also like to see newly rich people build a legacy that will outlast them and inspire those who come after them and countless others. Unfortunately, what we mostly see with people with sudden windfall is them going out to spend it like mad like there is no tomorrow and later seeing the same people (let alone their children) thrown back to the life they were working hard to avoid in the first place. You have no idea how many newly rich large sum lottery winners, artists, rappers, and athletes in America live up their short lived fame and fortune by burning the candle from both ends and suddenly finding themselves bankrupt when the money going out eventually surpasses their money coming in. After all, that is why even people with millions in their bank accounts declare bankruptcy everyday! It is all about understanding economics and the way business is done.

    The likes of Tirunesh and Sileshi will not enjoy their riches in good conscious if they still have to deal with ‘wuha yarerebachew zemedoch.’ So I wish for them the opportunity to bring out their close loved ones/relatives/family from abject poverty, and even build a community of wealth around them if possible through wise investments. They all deserve that much.

    The issue of money is so close to my heart because I do not have it, and want so much of it! My taste and vision in life of how I want to live my life definitely surpasses my none-existent savings thanks to a life of exile mostly based on meager income, and loans and credits (for me at least). For all the confidence I have in my capacities, not having enough money at this age has brought a lot of limitations and embarrassment into my otherwise proud and humble existence. I only hope this is temporary while I figure out what the hell I want to be ‘when I grow up’! :-).

    …Or I may dare hope that I win the lottery someday (while I am still young), and solve my money issues. Quite a funny thing to say for a person who hardly buys lottery tickets, but a girl can dream, you know…. :-).

    Here is to beautiful dreams of a wealthy life, and dreams coming true.


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