Wedding draws huge media interest
A media frenzy is expected in Addis ahead of Sunday’s celebrity wedding of the year-between Tirunesh Dibaba and Sileshi Sihine. Euro Sport, the leading athletics channel, is sending its crew to Addis to cover the event. A French photographic agency, Agence Shot and the hugely popular US-based Track and Field News are also sending their journalists, according to Elshadai Negash, wedding coordinator and website developer.
High profiles athletes from abroad are also expected to arrive this week, including Kenyan Eluid Kipchoge and his partner.
Sileshi’s best man, Baye Mulu, a Belgium-based professional footballer, has arrived in Addis last week to prepare for the big day. Other groom’s best men include athlete Mulugueta Wondemu and Tirunesh’s brother Dereje Dibaba. Tirnush has also selected her bridesmaid, Ejigayehu Dibaba and Genzebe Dibaba, both her sisters.
The couple are planning to marry at church service next week, with celebrations reportedly planned for a huge marquee at the Hilton and Sheraton Addis. They will also be heading to Meskel Square with a horse-drawn carriage.
The event has already become a big talking point in the local media, some rhapsodizing about it. Last night the couple joined Seifu Fantahun of Addis Zema where they were treated with a blessing, in line of the Oromo tradition and chatted happily with the host and well-wishing callers. Among the callers, there were some stars of noticeable interest, Haile Gebre Selassie and Meseret Defar who sent their messages of congratulations and advices. Haile told the would-be husband and wife they shouldn’t feel guilty about not inviting as much people as they want.
“They have million of admirers and everybody wants to be part of this celebration” but they can invite only a limited number of people, he said.
In a strange coincidence, Haile and Alem got married on the same day, October 26 twelve years ago, he remembered.
Sileshe refused to give estimation of the wedding cost, but admitted they went on a Milano shopping spree which costed them “an arm and leg”.
Both Sileshi and Tirunesh are from the prison police sports club and their club has arranged a police marsh that will accompany them when heading to Meskel Square and around 200 police are expected to be deployed to control the crowd and redirect the traffic around the area. As for the entertainment, Tsegaye Eshetu and his band, Madingo Afework, Oromigna singers Tsegaye Seme and Tadele Gemechu and Tigrgna singer Fissahaye Afework are going to perform at the ceremony. Ephrem Tamru, whom Tirunesh is a big fan of, will not be able to perform as he has a previously arranged concert in Holland on the same day.
Five callers were awarded with invitation cards after answering questions.(Photo Courtesy of the Reporter)