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'The Habesha Community Lost Royalty Today': Young Eritreans Mourn the Loss of Nipsey Hussle

"I'm half American and half Eritrean—as much as I am a black person from America, I am a black person from Africa too."

The utter shock continues to reverberate as the world mourns the loss of Eritrean-American rapper Nipsey Hussle. The Grammy-nominated artist, entrepreneur and community builder was killed March 31st in front of his store Marathon Clothing in Los Angeles.

He was 33 years old.

"Extremely saddened to hear the news of the tragic and untimely death of iconic recording artist/entrepreneur Ermias Asgedom (Nipsey Hussle)," Yemane G. Meskel, Eritrea's minister of information, tweets. "RIP and condolences to his family."

Born Ermias Davidson Asghedom to an African American mother and Eritrean father, he was very proud of his upbringing and heritage. As Abraham T. Zere notes for Africa Is A Country, his pride is one of the many examples of notables in entertainment who have been reconnecting to their African roots and made it so "public and explicit."


In a March 2018 interview with Dallas-based radio station 97.9 The Beat, Nispey reflects on meeting his Eritrean family for the first time:

"I went out there for three months in 2003—met my granny for the first time, met my cousins, so it definitely had a major impact. I was raised in LA by my mom, my mom's family is Black American, but I always knew my heritage from my dad, but I never met my family. My dad was the only one in America—everybody else is back home. So when I went out there, it educated me to the other side...it just gave me an understanding of what my dad's life was like growing up, what his family was like. I got embraced and they loved me and I became aware of the culture. I'm half American and half Eritrean—as much as I am a black person from America, I am a black person from Africa too. I embraced both sides of that after I went out there."

He returned to his fatherland a few months after his interview in May. Check out his appearance on the "Open Mic" program on ERi-TV below where he speaks on his sense of pride knowing the history of his country:

ERi-TV: Interview with Nipsey Hussle Eritrean-American Recording Artist & Entrepreneur youtu.be

Fellow young Eritreans, Ethiopians, folks from neighboring countries, as well as just Africans worldwide have been reflecting on the impact he's had as one of the few to represent the habesha community in such a profound way.

Here are a few reactions that hit home:











Keep up with the developments around this tragedy, via our sister platform Okayplayer, here.

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Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

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