7 Famous People You Didn’t Know Are From Eritrea

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The number of high profile celebrities from Eritrea is very impressive. In this article, we will show you the 7 most followed celebrities that originally hail from Eritrea.

Eritrea achieved independence from Ethiopia in 1991, following a 30-year conflict between the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front and the Ethiopian Army.

From the early 1800s until the early 1940s, the Horn of Africa nation was an Italian colony (known as Italian Eritrea), until the British took over control following their forces’ victory against the Italian army in the Battle of Karen.

Eritrea was ruled by the British until 1952.

The year after the British relinquished authority, the United Nations General Assembly enacted a resolution authorizing Eritrea to self-govern via a local parliament.

Ethiopia was granted power over Eritrea’s defense and foreign affairs, however, under a ten-year federal status.

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I conquered Eritrea in 1962 after annulling its parliament.

This action precipitated the Eritrean War of Independence, which lasted 30 years and culminated in 1991 with the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front defeating Ethiopian forces in Asmara.

Thus, in honor of the courage and resilience of this little nation, I Love Africa brings you the the 7 most famous people from Eritrea.

1. Tiffany Haddish

7 famous people you didn't know are from Eritrea | I Love Africa
Tiffany Haddish has always spoken proudly of her Eritrean heritage.

Born: Tiffany Sara Cornilia Haddish; 3 December 1979 (age 42 years), California, United States.

Height: 1.67m

Spouse: William Stewart (m. 2008–2013)

Parents: Tsihaye Reda Haddish

Upcoming movies: Easter Sunday, Haunted Mansion

Famous for: Movies, Comedy, TV Series, Books

Total social media followers: 7.2 million

Tiffany Haddish was born in Los Angeles to an African-American mother and an Eritrean father who came to the United States as a refugee.

She has always been outspoken about her Eritrean heritage and her strong connection to her family back home.

Just last year, the Girls Trip star had an emotional homecoming to Eritrea to bury her father and to meet and reconnect with her relatives.

2. Nipsey Hussle (Late)

7 famous people you didn't know are from Eritrea | I Love Africa
Nipsey Hussle was shot fatally in front of his clothing store in 2019.

Born: Airmiess Joseph Asghedom; August 15, 1985Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Died: March 31, 2019 (aged 33) Los Angeles, California, U.S.

Cause of death: Homicide (gunshot wounds)

Famous for: Music Production, Rapping, Singing, Writing Songs, Activist, Entrepreneur.

Nipsey Hussle, the slain rapper, was born in Los Angeles to an Eritrean father and an African-American mother.

The rapper was on track to have a spectacular year following the triumph of his 2018 Grammy-nominated Victory Lap album after spending so much time underground and independently.

On Sunday, March 31, he was fatally shot in front of his Marathon Clothing store at 3420 W. Slauson Ave. in South Los Angeles.

He is survived by a daughter from a previous relationship and a son from his relationship with actress Lauren London.

3. Joe Neguse

7 famous people you didn't know are from Eritrea | I Love Africa

Born: 13 May 1984 (age 37 years), Bakersfield, California, United States

Nationality: American

Spouse: Andrea Neguse

Office: Representative (D-CO 2nd District) since 2019Parents: Azeib Neguse, Debesai Neguse

Education: Thunder Ridge High School, Colorado Law, University of Colorado Boulder

Children: Natalie

Joe Neguse, the son of Eritrean immigrants, made history last year by becoming the first American of Eritrean ancestry to gain election to Congress.

Neguse, a regent of the University of Colorado, became interested in politics as a student, forming the New Era Colorado, an organization dedicated to getting young people involved in politics.

As regent and the second African-American to occupy the role, he advocated for students’ access to affordable education and health care.

In 2014, he ran for Colorado Secretary of State but was defeated by Wayne Williams.

He was appointed to run the state’s consumer protection agency in 2015 at the age of 31.

Neguse resigned to compete for Colorado’s 2nd congressional district, which he won on November 6, making him the state’s first African-American representative.

4. Nat Berhe

7 famous people you didn't know are from Eritrea | I Love Africa
Nat Berhe became the first Eritrean-American to be drafted into the NFL in 2014.

Born: July 6, 1991 (age 30) Fontana, California

Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)

Weight:195 lb (88 kg)

Famous for: American Football Player (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Position: Free Safety

Nat Berhe is a former NFL player who was born in Eritrea to an Eritrean father and an African-American mother.

He became the first Eritrean-American to be drafted into the NFL in 2014, when the New York Giants selected him with the 152nd pick in the fifth round.

5. Ella Thomas

7 famous people you didn't know are from Eritrea | I Love Africa
Ella A. Thomas is an Eritrean American actress, model and producer.

Born: 15 August 1981 (age 40 years), Asmara, Eritrea

Spouse: Ryan Krause

Children: 1

Siblings: Angela Thomas

Famous for: Acting, Modelling, Movie production

Ella Thomas is an actress, model, and producer who was born in Asmara to an Eritrean mother and an African-American father.

Her parents met while her father was stationed in the Horn of Africa nation as an American Air Force officer.

Thomas has starred in a number of films and television programs, including Choker, Surrogates, Nina, CSI: New York, and NCIS: Los Angeles.

6. J. Holiday

7 famous people you didn't know are from Eritrea | I Love Africa

Birth name: Nahum Thorton Grymes

Born: November 29, 1981 (age 40) Washington, D.C., United States

Genres: R&B, hip hop

Occupation(s): Singer, Songwriter, Rapper, Actor

Years active: 2006–present

Record Labels: Empire, HMG, Def Jam, EMI, Capitol, Music Line

J. Holiday, born Nahum Thorton Grymes, became a household name in 2007 after his smash single Bed peaked at number five on the US Billboard Hot 100.

Back of My Lac’, his 2007 debut album, also achieved at number five on the US Billboard 200.

J. Holiday was born in Eritrea to an Eritrean father and an African-American mother.

7. Azie Tesfai

7 famous people you didn't know are from Eritrea | I Love Africa
Azie Tesfai is an American actress. She is known for her television roles, including Jane the Virgin and Supergirl.

Born: Azie Tesfai; Los Angeles, California

Occupation: Actress

Years active: 2006-present

Known for: Supergirl, Jane the Virgin

Azie Tesfai was born in Los Angeles to Eritrean immigrants. She is an actress and entrepreneur.

Azie has appeared in a number of feature films and television programs, including Jane The Virgin, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Franklin & Bash, and Me Him Her.

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