Celebrity

  • She Met Her Prince (for Real!) at a D.C. Nightclub

    Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen were married on Sept. 9 in a lavish ceremony in Temple Hills, Md. Mr. Makonnen is the great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. Credit Jared Soares for The New York Times

    Few love stories resemble a fairy tale as much as the courtship and marriage of Ariana Austin and Joel Makonnen. Of course, it helped that the groom is an actual prince and the bride has a prominent lineage of her own.

    Mr. Makonnen, known as Prince Yoel, is the 35-year-old great-grandson of Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia. And Ms. Austin, 33, is of African-American and Guyanese descent; her maternal grandfather was a lord mayor of Georgetown, the capital of Guyana.

    As the couple noted on their wedding website, their union happened when “Old World aristocracy met New World charm.” The old and new combined on Sept. 9, in a marathon day of events that lasted from 11 a.m. until late in the evening, and took place within two states.

    The festivities began with a ceremony at the Debre Genet Medhane Alem Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church in Temple Hills, Md. In an incense-filled sanctuary, guests in stockinged feet watched as at least 13 priests and clergymen helped officiate the Ethiopian Orthodox ceremony between Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin, who just days before had converted to the religion. Hours after the ceremony, the pair celebrated with a formal reception at Foxchase Manor in Manassas, Va., with 307 guests, amid gold sequins, platters of Ethiopian food and preboxed slices of Guyanese black cake for people to take home.

    Their marriage had been more than a decade in the making. In the nearly 12 years since they first met on a dance floor at the Washington nightclub Pearl, in December 2005, Mr. Makonnen and Ms. Austin have pursued degrees, jobs and, at times, each other. Eventually, planning a wedding just became the next item on this ambitious couple’s to-do list.

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  • Belgian beauty Marisa Papen na'ked photoshoot with Ethiopian Tribes


    The nude model who caused a worldwide stir after a secret photoshoot inside one of Egypt's most ancient temples landed her in jail has now appeared naked among one of Africa's most colourful ethnic tribes.

    Belgian nude model Marisa Papen, who describes herself as a 'free-spirited and wildhearted expressionist', became the centre of a worldwide controversy when she was sent to prison for a photoshoot in the temple complex of Karnak near the Egyptian city of Luxor.

    Unperturbed, Papen has opened up on her African trip during which she walked naked among the members of an isolated Ethiopian tribe. 

    Papen said: 'They have their own customs and believes, their own beauty-standards, their own religion, living life in harmony with nature and the spirit world.
    'You may say, they are totally different then we are. But to me they are, what we once were. In touch with nature, a part of nature, immensely grateful and respectful towards it.' Papen travelled with with Australian photographer Jesse Walker to the isolated Omo Valley in south-western Ethiopia, where she lived for a week with the Surma tribe.

    Papen said: 'What we claim to call beautiful in our Western world isn't quite the same how the Surma tribe pursues beauty. 'Both Surma men and woman pierce their ears, some woman stretch their lower lip with a plate. 'They scar their bodies by making little cuts repetitively.' 'Isn't it funny we invented all these creams, lasers and other treatments to get rid of ours.' The Surma have a long history of body painting.

    By using pulverised minerals they create drawings and patterns, something which Papen also tried out on her own body. Papen said: 'Not only is it an expression of emotion and art, there's also a more practical reason behind it.

     

    Read more: dailymail.co.uk

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  • Asgegenew Ashko’s big break this weekend on Coke Studio Africa 2017

    September 29, 2017- Addis Ababa, Ethiopia- He always has a bright smile on his face that lights up the ambiance. Same goes for his songs. Asgegnew Ashko is currently one of the most favorite artists in the country. And now, Asge is featured on the fifth season of Coke Studio Africa.

    Asgegnew expressed his excitement to be on Coke Studio Africa on a press conference at Nairobi, Stanely hotel in August. Speaking at the conference on being one of the Ethiopian artists participating on this year’s Coke Studio Africa and the contribution of the platform for the growth and exposure of African music in general Asge said, “Since childhood, the music industry has been dominated by music from the western world and I used to be jealous of those artists. But now we are at a very good time.

    African music is being heard and appreciated globally. I’m also grateful that I have grown to be part of that; I have crossed one border with Coke Studio Africa from Ethiopia to Kenya taking my country’s music and flavors. And this stage is going to take me to the rest of Africa and the world, I’m very happy about this”.

    Coca-Cola brand manager in Ethiopia Tigist Getu says, “In the first three episodes of Coke Studio Africa 2017, we have witnessed the colorful New Year song by this season’s Ethiopian Coke Studio Africa artists, Dawit Nega’s journey to Coke Studio Africa, Sami Dan firing up the stage with his dancehall performance and Betty G putting tears in the eyes of Tanzanian artist Nandy with her phenomenal cover performance” Tigist said. Adding, “we expect Asge’s collaboration with Sheebah to be the same; big and euphoric. We invite everyone to enjoy it”.

    This week’s headline artists, Kenyan rap king Nyashinskiand South African supergroup Mafikizolo join up to discover more about each other’s music and create something special while DRC-born South African resident Tresor, and Cameroon’s multi-talented Locko, have some fun with the Coke Studio Africa Throwback.

    Ugandan dancehall dominator Sheebah and our very own Asge also join up to discover more about each other’s music and create something awesome. Speaking on his collaboration with Shebbah on big break episode Asge said they’ve made amazing music adding that everyone should anticipate great collaboration. The two artists will also be working with Future star Tanzanian rapper Bill Nass in music collaborations that will be produced by Gemini Major – acclaimed music producer.

    Asgegnew Ashko’s Coke Studio Africa experience exclusively airs on ebs TV on Sunday at 5:30 PM.&nb

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  • Blind female Ethiopian rights lawyer shares 'alternative Nobel Prize'

    "I started my fight, not by telling people, but showing people that I'm able to contribute. I have one disability but I have 99 abilities"

    By Lin Taylor

    LONDON, Sept 26 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - At just five years old, Yetnebersh Nigussie's world went dark.

    After contracting a fever as a child, no amount of "holy water" or traditional medicine in rural Ethiopia was enough to stop Nigussie from losing her sight - and community acceptance.

    As far as her village was concerned, the girl was "cursed" and no longer had value as a daughter to bring in a sizeable marriage dowry. Her father eventually left.

    "It was not easy to accept for my family. Blind people are assumed to be unfit, invalid in the community. It is considered to be a result of a curse," said Nigussie, who believes her blindness was preventable and likely due to meningitis.

    "So everybody told my mum, 'Oh my god, it would be better if she dies,'" she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in London.

    Instead, Nigussie was sent to a Catholic boarding school for girls with disabilities in the capital Addis Ababa.

    There, her life changed.

    "I was lucky to be educated. Education was a turning point that changed my blindness into an opportunity," she said,

    Now 35 - and a human rights lawyer - Nigussie is among the winners of the Right Livelihood Award, also known as Sweden's alternative Nobel prize.

    "I started my fight, not by telling people, but showing people that I'm able to contribute. I have one disability but I have 99 abilities," she said, adding that she was one of just three women studying law at Addis Ababa University in 2002.

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  • The world loves Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro. His own government doesn’t

    ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Monday marked the first day of the new Ethiopian year, but it hasn’t been much of a holiday for Teddy Afro, the country’s biggest pop star.

    First, the government informed him that his New Year’s concert was canceled. Then, on Sept. 3, police broke up the launch party for his successful new album, “Ethiopia,” in the middle of the sound check at the Hilton Hotel, claiming Teddy hadn’t received permission to hold the event. 

    “Asking for a permission to organize an album launch is like asking a permit for a wedding or birthday party,” Teddy wrote on his Facebook page. “This is unprecedented and has never been done before because it is unconstitutional.”

    But government disapproval certainly isn’t anything new for Teddy: This year was his third straight aborted New Year’s concert. And even as “Ethiopia,” which briefly hit No. 1 on Billboard’s world music chart, could be purchased or heard on virtually every street corner in the capital, Addis Ababa, after its May release, Teddy’s songs were nowhere to be found on state radio and TV. An interview with a public TV network was even canceled at the last minute, prompting the resignation of the journalist involved.

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  • Serbian Barber Trims Celebrity Portraits on Customers’ Heads

    Mario Hvala, a barber from Novi Sad, Serbia, recently made international headlines for trimming a detailed portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the back of a client’s head, but that was only his most recent achievement. He has been creating “hair tattoos” for the last eight years, and there’s nothing he can’t trim on the scalps of his customers.

    33-year-old Mario claims he started doing hair tattoos eight years ago, while working in Slovenia. A customer had asked him for two straight lines on his head, but the hairstylist was feeling adventurous, so he proposed a more intricate design, and the guy went home with a tarantula design on his head.

    Inspired by the success of his first attempt, Hvala kept honing his skills, and upon his return to Serbia, four years ago, he quickly made a name fr himself at the House Damian hair salon, in Novi Sad, carving all kinds of design and celebrity portraits on customers’ heads.

    In an interview with Tattoo Club Srbija, Mario Hvala said that he takes between 3 and 5 hours to complete one of his intricate hair portraits, using scissors and razors, but also spends a lot of time planning the design, and figuring out the best place on the head to put it. People’s heads are always different, and he has to find the flattest area so that the portraits don’t look too distorted.

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