|Friends Dionne & Precious with Tiffany Haddish in Eritrea via eastAFRO.com|
I laughed along with millions watching last summer’s blockbuster Girls Trip and discovered breakout star Tiffany Haddish. I didn’t remember seeing her in anything else before this and saw her everywhere after. Her Breakfast Club interview stood out the most to me; she had quite a story to tell that went beyond the jokes. When she said her father was from Eritrea, the small Northeast African country on the red sea coast, I was even more intrigued.
|Tiffany Haddish in Girls Trip|
Tiffany’s star has continued to rise since Girls Trip, she was the first African-American comedian to host Saturday Night Live, she announced the 2018 Oscar nominations, and recently became Groupon’s spokesperson with a Super Bowl commercial airing this Sunday. Her book, The Last Black Unicorn became a New York Times bestseller. She filmed the movie Night School with Kevin Hart expected this September and I just saw a commercial for a TBS sitcom, The Last O.G starring her, Tracy Morgan, and Cedric the Entertainer.
Tiffany’s father Tsehaye Haddish immigrated to Los Angeles and met her mother. Her parents relationship ended when she was 3 years old, and throughout her very traumatic childhood which included ending up in foster care, Tiffany was looking for her father. She eventually found him as a grown up and unfortunately he passed away right before Girls Trip was released. In January, Tiffany visited Eritrea for the first time to bury her father in his land and to meet and connect with extended family.
I watched Tiffany’s interview on Eritrean TV the other day and felt immense pride and joy for her. She had such a connecting experience. She saw people that looked just like her father and herself and was in awe that everybody was black except for the few white people at the hotel. She was welcomed by her family and visited places all over the country including the Red Sea in Massawa. “I felt like my heart was being healed,” she says, describing her emotional experience in the Red Sea.
“I’ve been through a lot of things. I was trying to figure out, ‘Who am I?’ And now I have a way better understanding of who I am, why I’m on this earth—what my purpose is.”
I am grateful to know what country I am from without DNA testing. I am thankful that my friends can take DNA tests and find out their ancestry. Watching Tiffany’s homecoming to Eritrea was like taking the test to another level; she was able to see, feel and experience her people. Tiffany enjoyed her time in Eritrea so much that she has vowed to return and to make sure the world knows about Eritrea.