Speaking of our Artists. By Yilma Bekele

April 24th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

We are very lucky here in the Bay Area. We have an Avenue dedicated to Ethiopian cuisine. There are groceries, boutiques and convenient stores. Injera, refined butter, berbere and mitimita cost less here than in Addis.

Most of all we got what is locally known as ‘The Bay Area Ethiopian Arts forum.’ We got culture. The dedicated artists have been feeding us honey coated cultural experience that is Ethiopian grown and US enhanced extravaganza.

They had one of their presentations the other day. It was a memorable experience. It was a reminder of how rich our culture is. It was a statement how talented our artists are. It was a very bright light shining on our heritage despite the doom and gloom surrounding our homeland.

The program included a theatre presentation. It was headlined by no other than our own diva Alemtsehai Wedajo and Oakland’s own Tesfaye Sima. The cast included the talented Abebayehu Tadesse, Tewodros Legesse and Tigist Negatu. The guest artist was no other than the king of comedy Meskerem Bekele.

Watching Alemtsehai perform is a treat to the soul. She is so good at it that she makes acting look easy. A true sign of a professional. You can tell that she is the glue that binds the performance. In her presences they all rise to the occasion beautifully.

Tesfaye Sima is a young national treasure. He is an actor, a director and community activist. His movie “Sewer Galabe’ is a must see. Tesfaye showcased his talent as a director, producer and actor and was received to great acclaim by the Ethiopian community. Abebayehu, Tewodros and Tigist’s performance makes you fall in love with live theatre. Tigist is an inspiring actress to watch.

Meskerem is a joy. His contemporary humor is close to our experience. His comedy is cerebral and his delivery is impeccable. Meskerem was born to be on the stage. Meskerem morphs seamlessly between the Ethiopian mother, the Spanish co-worker, the black American neighbor or fellow African immigrant.

Who needs TV when you can refresh your cultural experience with such dedicated and talented artists? The show is a family affair. It is where you can take your mother, wife and kids and leave with pride and joy.

Our artists deserve our support. Their talent and hard work enhances our culture. For a price of three cappuccinos at Starbucks we get to enjoy an afternoon with such professionals. They are on US tour. Beginning of May they are scheduled to be in Texas. Go get a taste of Ethiopia and recharge your culture.

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