Anyone who has seen ETV’s single channel knows Dereje and Habteb, the comic duo that established the essence of comedy in urban Ethiopia, following in the footsteps of the pioneers Alebachew and Limeneh.
People still grin or laugh their hearts out when they lock eyes with Dereje, despite his small physical changes over the years. It was difficult for him to stand alone in front of the same audience. Dereje has been in touch with his friend through others who have suffered the same tragedy over the past ten years. Now, he appears in Gorebetamochu, a comedy series on (EBS) that has proven to be highly popular among the youth some of whom may be unaware that he is a member of the inseparable duo. We asked him how his life has evolved since he was 20 years old, and he said, “In the late 1990s, the most important thing in my life was personal growth as I strove to accomplish a breakthrough in the field of art.” My first priority today is to build my personal brand, which will serve as a springboard for restoring my market identity.