Posts Tagged ‘Eritrean comedy’

Born in 1978 in Asmara in a place referred as Alfa Romeo, to a family where an art hardly encouraged but spared after his big brother’s inclination to it. “My father always insisted that I should stay intact with education, and that’s why he attentively inspects on all my educational stuffs,” recalls Hagos Weldeghebriel, better known by his namesake – Suzinino nicknamed after his hilarious comedy he produced in 2003. “The inspiration was like an electric shock”, he continued.  “I was in Markato and when I pass through Cinema Asmara toward my home, a crowd of people were gathering at the gate; I asked a man as what is up to with the people and he replied that a drama entitled as ‘Mekeret’ was performing there. Without hesitation, I got in and in no time, I felt I should do something to be like them.” In addition to that, as he had trained about writing and directing a drama by National Union of Eritrean Youth and Students along with some of his contemporaries such as Daniel Amare and Mihreteab Girmay, they established Yohana drama club in 1992. Hence, they started to write dramas though; he further says, “My talent, passion and love towards it predate the establishment of the drama club through my brother’s influence.”

Mizan Fiqurat, my first drama performed along with my class mates in Denden Secondary School, can be taken as a stepping stone toward my career,” he argued. They performed it in various cities like Adi Keyih, Mendefera, May Habar, Dekemhare and others and got high acclamations, he recalls.   Nevertheless, the first drama he produced with Yohana drama club was ‘Serbi‘ authored by Fasil Tesfay, and it was in ‘ FiQri hade deqiQ‘ that he firstly took a comic role, he added. The drama, “directed by me, was a brainchild of Solomon Ghebremedhin (Chico), and it was this very drama that manifested my inner talent-a comedian and since then, along with serious roles, I started to put my comic roles high in my menu” he noted.

“At that time we had a financial constraints to the extent that we sometimes lack money for bus return fare from a tour,” Suzinino’s club cofounder Daniel Amare says.   “Only the passion and love of the art was driving us to produce more on which all expenses were met by us and the costume and other necessary articles were brought from our homes,” he further adds.  

However, Hagos continues, “the credit for boosting my career goes to Sawa Training Camp. It was when I enrolled to 3rd round; I got the chance to freely exploit my comic talent along with my cultural troupe and the feed back we got from the trainers was further fueled our feelings and enthusiasm to bear such a good performances,” he said. Besides, “for a tongue slip at an occasion where trainers were gathered, ‘Jack’ replaced the very name originally given to me by my parents,” remarks.

 “Then after, I wrote, directed and acted in many serious and comic dramas, video clips and TV shows and films, yet the video Suzinino I produced in 2003 was the one that introduced me with the public” he says. The morale of the comedy in particular titled as Suzinino, is as simple as what a flashy person would venture into, and the responses we got from it was encouraging and that is the first drama that tipped my career an enhancement and lifted my vigor, Suzinino further added.

Off course, after that along with my drama mates such as Mihreteab Girmay, Ceasar Zaid, Mihret Tesfa Michael, Saleh Mohammed Said and others, we produced a series of TV and Video clips such as Nsha (2002), Hadgat (2003), Suzinino (2003), and with Saimon Beyene
 (Tafla) like Meanta (2004) , Weteto (2006) and soon to be released         Mear  , he continued . Besides as part of my endeavor on producing films, Hagos further noted, he authored and directed Danait and directed and acted in  Simbrat that authored by Salh Mohammed Said; and directed a video clip titled as ‘ Riwyet ‘ which was produced by Teshale Brhane . But, he says, “now I am intensively engaging on a new film, titled as ‘ Ngusat Nail’ “, in which he says, “I am trying to produce it with the current cinematographic techniques and equipments, encompassing a great deal of minor roles ( up to 1000) from all societal strata. The aim, continued he, “is to pave a way and meet with the film standards and participate on FESPACO, the Pan-African Film and Television Festival, held annually in Burkina Faso,”he further says.

“The theoretical and practical courses, we got at Cinema Odeon under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs of the PFDJ, regarding to film production ,cinematography, directing, lighting, sound system, editing and the issue of copy right really helped me on our career,” he further says. At the end of the session, the drama performed by their group titled us ‘Check’, wrote and directed by him, ranked first. The drama, being a metaphor, its message can be summarized as the gloomy life standard of a rich family despite their fortune vis-à-vis the warm and harmonious one of their poor neighbor. Moreover, apart of the 60 plus short TV shows, he either authored or directed ‘ Hyaw Hne, Swr Mistir, Nefri’ among others. In addition, he acted on many festival and Liberation Day ceremonial activities.

Not only did he act in dramas but also wrote many lyrics to some famous Eritrean singers. His song titled as Mahlaki from his first album; a song written to his film, Danait got a wide listener ship. “Many people think that the song was written based on my personal experience, but the truth is in converse,” he argued. “It is merely a romantic experience in which every person at least know about or pass through,” added he. Nevertheless, Hagos continues, “my endeavor is not fully met and I know I should work more, yet the assistance and encouragement from my audience is vital thing,” he stated. And, he adds, “it is a natural thing to encounter immature people who try to impede once vigor and spirit and the right thing one can do, especially an artist, is just to focus and be confident on his/her work” he says.

With the potential, he possesses, along with his striving colleagues amalgamated with constructive criticisms and comments from his audiences, time will show what he is going to bear