Yesak Jember

Ethiopia

Yesak Jember (“Laughter at Dusk”) was a stage play that premiered on September 29, 2003 and was performed throughout Ethiopia until January of 2004. The play was staged in the capital, Addis Ababa, for four months and then performed in 14 other cities around the country.

Yesak Jember premiered at the Hagar Fakir Theater in the presence of 800 invited guests Including distinguished personalities and high-ranking dignitaries like the former President of Ethiopia, Dr. Negasso Gidada. The play focused on issues surrounding HIV/AIDS, not only addressing the suffering and death caused by the disease, but also dealing with the adverse social and psychological impact on society. Yesak Jember was part of the whole society strategy surrounding radio serial dramas Dhimbiba (“Getting the Best Out of Life”) and Yeken Kignit (“Looking Over One’s Daily Life”).


Making a Difference

In addition to being seen by a large number of people, Yesak Jember also expanded on its impact by being widely reviewed in the Ethiopian media. The Amharic newspaper The Reporter dedicated a three-column spread to it on October 6, 2003 with an additional two-column analytical review.

Main Issues this Drama Addresses:

Rights of Women & Girls

All issues addressed by this drama:

Project Information

Title: Yesak Jember (“Laughter at Dusk”)
Format: Whole Society Strategy – Stage Play
Location: Ethiopia
Language: Amharic
Duration: September 2003-January 2004

PMC Country Team
Country Representative: Dr. Negussie Teffera
PMC Media and Art Project Coordinator: Ato Nebiyou Tekalegne
Actors: Fikadu Teklemariam, Tamiru Berhanu, Zinash Getachew, Tigist Wasihun, Fikirte Getahun, Chirotaw Kelkay, Tigist Alemu and Haran Abdu

Storylines


Aschalew and Sinafikish

The play followed the story of Aschalew and Sinafikish, who believed they were in love and decided to marry only to discover that their vastly different education levels make them incompatible. Aschalew was a scholar doing research in his field of interest and Sinafikish is practically uneducated. They fail to bridge their differences, and Aschalew becomes involved in a love affair with another woman – his research aid.

Sinafikish discovers her husband’s secret and believes that if she were educated and qualified like the other woman, her husband would not have abandoned her. She starts a casual relationship with another man, who takes advantage of her by pretending to give her a job. He pressures her into sex, giving her HIV/AIDS. She catches the deadly disease and infects her husband. Aschalew, by this time, finds himself being blackmailed by his research aid. He wants to end the relationship, but she says she is pregnant.

Eventually, the married couple admits their wrongs and together they reflect. They wronged each other and brought misfortune. In a spirit of compromise, they resolve to embark on life together.

Issues this storyline addresses:

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