‘Asnake’ Love Him Not, Hate Him Not

asnake-sew-le-sew
Abebe Balcha has become a household name through his popular character, named “Asnake”, in the soap opera “Se’w-le-Se’w”.

Abebe Balcha has become a household name through his popular character, named “Asnake”, in the soap opera “Se’w-le-Se’w”. A practicing lawyer, Abebe plays the hateful and deceptive character with all the more extraordinary talent. He seems to also be enjoying himself, though sometimes getting bothered by the heights of popularity. But, even Abebe himself is indifferent on whether to love or hate the character he plays. A similar feeling seems to exist amongst the viewership. In this interview with Biniyam Alemayhu, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, Abebe shares his views about the character Asnake, the celebrity culture inEthiopiaand the film industry.

Abebe Balcha has become a household name through his popular character, named “Asnake”, in the soap opera “Se’w-le-Se’w”. A practicing lawyer, Abebe plays the hateful and deceptive character with all the more extraordinary talent. He seems to also be enjoying himself, though sometimes getting bothered by the heights of popularity. But, even Abebe himself is indifferent on whether to love or hate the character he plays. A similar feeling seems to exist amongst the viewership. In this interview with Binyam Alemayhu, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, Abebe shares his views about the character ‘Asnake’, celebrity culture inEthiopia and the film industry. Excerpts:

‘Asnake’

Love Him Not, Hate Him Not

Fortune: How are you coping with your resurged popularity, after it subsided following the character “Othello”, which you played many years back?

Abebe Balcha: It has affected me in a pleasant way, I would say. The popularity I had at the time of “Othello” is different from the one I am getting out of Asnake in “Se’w-le-Se’w”, for two reasons. Othello was staged in a theatre hall and had limited outreach, compared to “Se’w-le-Se’w.” Back then, a small proportion of the population and, in fact, predominantly those who lived in Addis Abeba saw “Othello.” Now it is dramatically different. In today’s Ethiopia, 60pc to 70pc of the people are under 35 years of age. They are more accustomed to viewing films. More people know me now. I have been coping with it.

Read the rest of the interview at addisfortune

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