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43 Year Old Woman Goes Around Neighborhood Singing “Abebayehosh” With Children

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43 Year Old Woman Goes Around


Neighborhood Singing

“Abebayehosh” With Children;


Neighbors Watch Curiously


Copyright Ethiopis.com and CHEWATA
By WT, CHEWATA’s Reporter in Addis Ababa


Neighbors were amused and curious in the Old Airport neighborhood of Addis Ababa as they watched a 43 year old woman going around with teenage girls singing the traditional Ethiopian new year song “Abebayehosh” from door to door in the area.  The woman was spotted not only singing with the teenagers asking for Yenkutatash money and Dabo but also later on arguing with one little girl about holding the money bag.  

Neighbors told CHEWATA that the lady is Woizero Tersit Wonafrash who had arrived in Addis Ababa in August 2003 after 30 years of exile in England, and there were rumors that indicated that she was determined to make up “for all the childhood fun and play” she had missed while being away from Ethiopia.    “Look,” said one family planning expert in Addis Ababa, “she left Ethiopia when she was 13 with her parents. When her parents came home, she was attending schools and waited a bit too long, 30 years to be exact, before she realized that she missed Ethiopia too much.”     On the early morning of Enkutatash, the Ethiopian New Year’s Day, Woizero Tersit was being watched by curious neighbors who had dropped whatever they were doing to stand at their door steps and watch her and her teenage girl team sing the Enkutatash songs demanding New Year’s Day gifts.   One neighbor, Ato Mergia Asnake, was reportedly so curious that he made the group sing the Enkutatash song 18 times at his door step while watching Woizero Tersit intently before he finally handed them 2 Ethiopian birr.  When asked later, he told CHEWATA, “Woizero Tersit sings good.  I hope more adult Woizeros start doing this thing.  I have never seen YeEnkutatash singer who is wearing a Shash.”

 


“Ljenete Marina Wotete!!!”  (Woizero Tersit)

According to Woizero Tersit’s brother Gerum Wondafrash, who is an engineer with the Ethiopian Roads Authority, Woizeo Tersit had told him over the phone several months before she arrived, that she regretted very intensely the fact that she left Ethiopia before she had the chance to do what children do in Ethiopia.  “She really wanted to get her childhood back, ” he added.  “In fact, two days ago, she was playing Leba Ena Police , YeChika Bet Mesrat and Eka  Eka, ” with the children in this neighborhood.  At first the children were a bit scared to see an adult sit down with them and play like them.  But, they now look at Tersit as one of their own and trust her with  whatever childish secret they may have.  Even the infants say things to her in their own infant mumble that only Tersit understands.”   Ato Alemayehu Tadele, the family planning expert in Addis Ababa said, “this is a very common but therapeutic event.  Last year, I have seen a 49 year old adult man who had spent 40 years of his life in the United States come back to Addis Ababa and fight over little toys with the neighborhood children.  He even threw a tantrum and cried when told that he was too old to play with toys.”

Although extremely curious, the neighbors at Woizero Tersit’s family home were generally  understanding.  “We haven’t had any problem with her and the children think she is a bigger version of them” said a smiling neighbor Ato Tamiru BeImnet. “So far, I had seen only one child who is no longer leaving his home to play outside because he is scared of her.  All the other children actually think she is cool, specially YeCHikA Bet Setisera!!!”   Woizero Tersit refused to be interviewed by CHEWATA, giving a written explanation which read in Amharic “Lejineten Alchereskum!!!”



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