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The week that was

It has been a great week for different sorts of juicy news. An Addis businessman reaped 100,000 Birr from a friend in a bet after Manchester United won Chelsea in the champions League final last Wednesday. But he gave it all and ten thousands Birr more to fellow supporters.

Betting on sporting events, especially the Premier League, has become common around here but this must have been one of the most unusual winning football bets.

According to Ethiopicalink, an FM gossip show, Samuel Tafesse, owner of Sunshine Construction, made a bet with a friend predicting Manchester’s win over Chelsea.

The 50- year- old man who watched the game at his lavish house on outdoor screen with  numerous musician friends overjoyed when the match ended like the way he predicted it too. Among the celebrities who were at the rich man’s residence to watch the game were Niway Debebe, Haileye Tadesse , Serawit Fikire, and Tadele Roba.

To celebrate his windfall, the ecstatic Manchester United fun gave 10,000 Birr to each of eleven celebrities who were on his side while watching the game, handing out ten thousand more than he grabbed.

In another news, Niway Debebe, who is back home after 16 years of stay abroad, found himself  in an uncomfortable position after a newspaper reported about “his apology” to the government.

In an interview with Addis Admass last Saturday, he hits back at the claims.” I haven’t done anything wrong and I have nothing to apologize for,’ he said.

His statements follow claims in the Awra Amba Times, an influential Amharic weekly, that he returned to Ethiopia after apologizing secretly to the government seeking pardons.

Niway in the past has been an outspoken critic of the Meles government but has gone soft since he came back home.

Categories: City Journal
  1. M2008
    May 28, 2008 at 1:53 pm


    The news of a businessman and his celebrity friends throwing money around is not “juicy” at all but gall.

    What these individuals have done at a time when millions are starving is simly unconscionable. It is symptomatic of how low Ethiopians have fallen.

  2. alem
    May 28, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    I’ve heard that back home, the gap between the rich and poor is unbelivable. I am amazed as to how people live in harmoney taking what ever comes their way with blessing. it will be good if those who have excess would share with those who don’t but then will that not be a wishful thinking? still I am not sure if we have the right to tell others how to spend their money.

  3. May 29, 2008 at 12:27 am

    The few, super rich live extravagance live, the majority poor Ethiopia die of hunger.
    What a same!

  4. F
    May 29, 2008 at 7:48 am

    As some one who knows Samuel for years, I’m taken aback by this news. He is a person who rose from a scratch. I knew from a time when he was a house painter. (By the way, he is 55 not 50 as expressed in his birthday celebrations.)
    He was good person, a man of integrity and faith. He respected his marriage and valued friendship. One thing that impresses most about him is that he still keeps a secretary that he had years and years back. He was supportive of her and even helped her a lot during her wedding. But I don’t like the person he has become. He is turning showy and extravagant. When his villa house was inaugurated months back, it was such an ostentatious affairs. He had imported expensive fireworks. Not later than that for the first time in his long marriage, he had a fight with his wife that was solved after Shemagles intervened. He might have made fortune that was beyond his wildest imagination.
    But involving in gambling is the worst of all.Please someone tells him to come to his senses.

  5. Ermiyas
    May 30, 2008 at 12:25 pm


  6. Ermiyas
    May 30, 2008 at 12:28 pm

    WHO CARES! Wether Niway supports Meles or not.

  7. Mike
    June 3, 2008 at 5:49 am

    Why woudn’t Neway support Meles? They are going to give him a plot of land in Debre Birhan.
    what is the point of sitting in a sleazy D.C bar and make noise about nothing?

  8. Gizew
    June 15, 2008 at 9:15 am

    Niway might have asked an apology from woyane to go back home and get a piece of land.

    Niway could have done this the other wise. He is an Ethiopian and shouldn’t have done or set a pre-condition by woyane to get that land.

    Now, if he had really asked apology, he is doing it as if he is a foreigner and not as an Ethiopian.

  9. ahadu
    November 24, 2008 at 8:27 am

    hi ethiopiclinc

  10. Gambella
    April 24, 2009 at 2:13 pm

    Almost all football fans in Ethiopia are not rich and therefore Chelsea supporters can be shared 100,000 ETB by their mate. However, I wish he could have shared with the poor on streets in Ethiopia who wish to watch foot ball games but could not afford to pay not even for their breakfast.

  11. yodido
    June 25, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    I really dont hav any problem with one’s wish to celebrate as he can afford I mean the money is his anyway. But what troubles me is the fact that the so called celebrities took the money. I thought people like serawit understood the value of money in ethiopia.

  1. May 29, 2008 at 9:06 pm

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