7 famous people you didn’t know are from Eritrea

Tiffany Haddish
Tiffany Haddish

Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia after a 30-year long battle fought between the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front and the Ethiopian Army.

The Horn of Africa nation was previously an Italian colony (known as Italian Eritrea) from the 1800s to the early 1940s until the British took over its administration after its forces defeated the Italian army in the Battle of Karen.

Eritrea was under British control until 1952. That same year after the British gave up control, the United Nations General Assembly passed a decree allowing Eritrea to govern itself through a local parliament.

However, Ethiopia was granted control over Eritrea with issues pertaining to defence and foreign affairs through a federal status for ten years. In 1962, Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia annexed Eritrea after annulling its parliament.

This action instigated the 30-year Eritrean War of Independence which subsequently ended with the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front defeating Ethiopian forces in Asmara in 1991.

Let shares with you 7 famous people you didn’t know are from Eritrea.

Nipsey Hussle
Nipsey Hussle with his father and brother in Asmara

Nipsey Hussle 

Slain rapper Nipsey Hussle was born to an Eritrean father and an African-American mother in Los Angeles. Born Ermias Davidson Asghedom, Nipsey was on course to having a stellar year riding off the success of his 2018 Grammy-nominated Victory Lap album after being underground and independent for so long.

He was, however, fatally shot in front of his Marathon Clothing store at 3420 W. Slauson Ave. in South Los Angeles on Sunday, March 31. He is survived by a daughter from a previous relationship and a son with whom he has with actress and girlfriend Lauren London.

Tiffany Haddish
Tiffany Haddish

Tiffany Haddish

Born in Los Angeles to an African-American mother and an Eritrean father who entered the United States as a refugee, Haddish has always spoken passionately about her Eritrean heritage and her strong bond with her family back home. Just last year, the Girls Trip star visited the Horn of Africa nation in what was an emotional homecoming to bury her father and also meet and connect with her relatives.

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Joe Neguse

Joe Neguse

The son of Eritrean immigrants, Joe Neguse made history last year when he became the first American of Eritrean origin to win a seat in the Congress.

A Regent of the University of Colorado, Neguse got involved in politics as a student, founding an organisation to get young people involved in politics called the New Era Colorado. In his position as regent, and as the second African-American to hold the post, he campaigned for affordable education and health care for students.

In 2014, he ran for the Secretary of State in Colorado but lost out to Wayne Williams. In 2015, he was chosen to lead the state’s consumer protection agency at just 31 years old.

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Ella Thomas

Ella Thomas

Born in Asmara to an Eritrean mother and an African-American father, Ella Thomas is an actress, model and producer. Her parents met in the Horn of Africa nation when her father was stationed there as an American Air Force officer.

Thomas has starred in various movies and TV series including ChokerSurrogatesNinaCSI: NYNCIS: Los Angeles, just to mention a few.

Nat.jpg
Nat Berhe

Nat Berhe

NFL player Nat Berhe was born to an Eritrean father and an African-American mother. In 2014, he became the first Eritrean-American to be drafted into the NFL when the New York Giants selected him as their Fifth Round: 152nd Pick.

J-holiday
J. Holiday

J. Holiday

Born Nahum Thorton Grymes, musician and actor, J. Holiday, broke into stardom in 2007 when his hit single Bed peaked at number five on the US Billboard Hot 100. His 2007 debut album Back of My Lac’ also peaked at number five on the US Billboard 200.

J. Holiday’s father is Eritrean and his mother is African-American.

Azie Tesfai
Azie Tesfai

Azie Tesfai

Born to Eritrean immigrants in Los Angeles, Azie Tesfai is an actress and entrepreneur. She has starred in various movies and TV series including Jane The VirginLaw & Order: Special Victims UnitFranklin & Bash and Me Him Her.

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