Tiffany Haddish, the American comedienne, with Eritrean roots is headed to the Asmara and she opted to make the trip aboard Ethiopian Airlines, Africa’s biggest operator.
The airline on Friday posted a photo of Haddish on board with the caption: “It’s our honour to have the renowned Eritrean – American Actress, comedian and Author, Tiffany Haddish on board Ethiopian Airlines on her way to Asmara.”
This trip will be the first this year but the second in recent times. She visited in January 2018 with some friends meeting with President Isaias Afwerki and other government officials.
Incidentally, back in January 2018 she could not have flown on Ethiopian because of a diplomatic spat that meant that flights were not operational between the two neighbours.
Then came July 2018 when Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki signed a peace deal that restored all neighbourly ties between Addis Ababa and Asmara.
Flights were restarted between the two capital, borders reopened in September – even though all have been shut unilaterally by Eritrea as at April 2019, telephone lines are active and embassies have been reopened.
Haddish is known to openly gush about her Eritrean parentage and culture. In March 2018 she wore a full traditional Eritrean outfit known as the “zuria,” to the Oscars.
Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph presented the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject. In an interview at the event, Tiffany said she wore the attire as a means of honouring Eritreans on the instruction of her late dad.
“My father is from Eritrea and he passed away last year and he said one day I will end up here, and if I ever end up at the Oscars I should honour my people, so I’m honouring my fellow Eritreans.”
“It is heaven to me, it’s like a dream come true, I have sat and watched the Oscars for years, I always wanted to go (attend) and now I’m here,” she stressed.
The dress is said to be one that Eritrean women often wore during marriage ceremonies. A zuria is a hooded dress worn by Tigrinya women in Eritrea and Ethiopia. Traditional zurias go to the ankles, with a gauze hood around the head and shoulders.