Edwin was born in Hong Kong and came to New Zealand in 1997. He is a fluent speaker of Cantonese. A graduate from the University of Auckland, Edwin spent his previous years serving the communities in South and East Auckland before joining The Doctors Massey Medical. He has an interest in psychiatry, general medicine, older people’s health, and diabetes, and enjoys working with patients to tackle often challenging chronic conditions. His hobbies include reading, writing, playing chess, walking and swimming.
Antu, who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Rutgers University in New Jersey, grew up in San Francisco and Minnesota before settling in New York where she currently lives and works. Her acting career includes a co-starring role in NBC’s Law & Order television film series as well as a lead role in Walking in Circles (NYU Film/Elegance Bratton) and supporting role in Inspiration (SVA Film/Kaelan Kelly-Sorderlet). Her play entitled Mourning Sun, set in Ethiopia and New York, that she wrote and performed in was shown last Fall at the West End Theatre in Manhattan.
Alemayhou told TADIAS he started the painting four years ago after he watched Obama’s at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver. “That was the day I said, wow, this guy is someone special, very brave. And if you remember the crowd was something else,” Alemayhou said in a phone interview. “I have been in America for 40 years, I came here in 1972. I attended Howard University in D.C. I have seen all the major changes that took place in this country in the last four decades.”
“At the end of the day, my message is quite simple,” he told the diverse audience from the university and the larger Bay Area Ethiopian community. It was the first time since the mid-1960’s that he had formally traveled to the United States to talk about his award-winning artwork.
“Awol Erizku is a cultural collagist, a creative synthesizer bridging eras and cultures, unifying the vocabulary of the art-elite and the New York City streets, the high and the low, the past and a very singular present, The Only Way is Up, takes its title from a Quincy Jones record he often listened to with his parents as a child—an album whose message was to empower and uplift,” states a press release from Hasted Kraeutler gallery. “Although Erizku’s work abounds with signifiers and indicators of African American culture, it speaks more broadly to a universal quest for self-discovery.”
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Antu, who holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting from Rutgers University in New Jersey, grew up in San Francisco and Minnesota. Her acting career includes roles in NBC’s Law & Order: SVU and the recently released Netflix series Gypsy. She played lead roles in the films Eminent Domain (DeepFreeze Media) and Walking In Circles (NYU Film/Elegance Bratton) as well as supporting roles in Conjure (TerraLuke Media) and Fine Art (Shannon Ousley/Zoe Munlyn). Her play entitled Mourning Sun, set in Ethiopia and New York, was performed at the West End Theatre in Manhattan in 2015 and at the 2016 Kampala International Theatre Festival in Uganda last Winter.
Dr. Messay Kebede is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Dayton, Ohio. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Grenoble in France. He has previously taught philosophy at Addis Ababa University. He is the author of several books, Meaning and Development (Rodopi 1994), Survival and Modernization (Red Sea 1999), Africa’s Quest for a Philosophy of Decolonization (2004), Radicalism and Cultural Dislocation in Ethiopia, 1960-1974 (Rochester 2008) and the co-editor of Education, Politics and Social Change in Ethiopia (Tsehai 2010). He has also published numerous articles in professional journals including The International Journal of Ethiopian Studies where he serves as editorial board member.
Rachel spent most of her childhood years overseas having been born in India and was brought up in Fiji. She started Medical school in Otago but graduated from Auckland and worked in the Hospital in Palmerston North, Auckland and Dunedin. A lot of this work was in Paediatrics. She spent 2 years at the New Zealand Bible College (now called Laidlaw College) and in June 1990 she started working at Massey Medial Centre.
Joy grew up in Australia and graduated from Sydney University Medical School in 1981, having also done a BSc (Med) there. She came to New Zealand in 1983 and did one year at the Bible College of NZ (now Laidlaw College) where she met her husband.
Messay Getahun: Justin — who works as a DP & Lighting Gaffer in TV shows and feature films in Hollywood — and I have always dreamed of a day where we would make a feature film with a solid content. Media is a powerful tool with an immeasurable impact. Much of the content I often saw wasn’t necessarily positive. Especially when it comes to the representation of Ethiopia and Africa. Every film that comes out of Africa that makes a splash is often coated with the “white savior complex.” It’s a narrative that makes the West look good while on the other hand demeaning Ethiopia or Africa. My heart wanted to tell a different narrative — a contemporary narrative film. An Ethiopian Film for a Western audience. If there is a message, I wanted it to be about life. We wanted to make real life movies. Stories that are honest, real, entertaining and satisfying to the souls of the viewers. In 2011 I decided to save money to start purchasing production equipment needed to produce a quality film. It took me two years to finish writing the script. We wanted to make a universal film. Something the older generation, the younger generation, Africans and non-Africans could watch. Finding a good balance was essential.
One day, as Und Kǝn was under development, a friend of mine brought back a laptop cover from the UK. There was one textile on the inside and one textile on the outside. I found this concept very interesting so I contacted a long-time friend from Florida — a performing artist and tailor named Haile Yesus — who began producing similar multi-textile laptop bags using Ethiopian and other African materials, which then became a simple hobby/creative outlet that caught the eyes of people in my social media network and turned into a sustainable business. I have gone on to employ local artisans to create the products featured on our website , namely two graduates from the Addis Ababa University leather textile program, Admassu Abera and Henok Kasahun as well as seamstress Selam Tesfaye. I quickly discovered that Ethiopia is rich in leather and that many major international companies source their leather from Ethiopia. With Addis Ababa being the home of the African Union there were several sources for West African wax, which I also incorporate in my products.