Meet Josy 40 Comments


The perception of bernos, although not a consensus is that we are doing well. And we are by different standards. The reality is we do a lot of work, and most of it is entertaining, creative and well so much fun.

But there is the boring side of it; I guess everything is not fun 100% of the time. Walking up early to pack stuff in the car, talking to non-customer that demands that I listen to him, paying bills, dealing with a vendor that wants to overcharge us for their service and fixing technical issues among other things.

We went to the Chicago ESFNA tournament, and while we were preparing one of the things that we had to discuss was inventory. We had to pre-ship some before we got there. Once we got there we always had to walk up early go to the field set up before things got started.

All fine and dandy but those are the things that are hard for me. The things that make the boring part of hanging out in the morning before the customers show up are the kids of the vendors.

This year I dedicate my fun to a little Josy I found in the field playing from 10:00 am till midnight for 7 days straight without getting tired. He was shy at first but full of joy and made the day pass for all the vendors.

Next to our booth were the people from Abshiro Kids, who we first met last year and invited bernos to join them in the Heritage Camp that is suppose to occur this weekend. Unfortunately, even the bernos crew outside of work have lives to live. Thus we won’t be attending Heritage Camp, see details here.


josyHe just moved from Gulele sefer in Addis Ababa tothe US nearly 2 months ago. He is 5 years old or there about and is wise beyond his years. He was so much fun; we played soccer, we went around took photos of the vendors. I took a few shots of him as well, seen above.

We met famous Ethiopian people, he asked what famous means. Famous means ‘YeTaweqe.’ I introduced him to Mulatu Astatke and told him to say hello.

And he goes, ‘ante famous neh?’

Needless to say, I nearly fell to the floor laughing with embarrassment.

I noticed that Ethiopian parents much like American parents over protect the kids too much to the point that their social interaction levels at a young age is very inhibited. We need to learn from the parents back home that just let the kids play in the midst of dangers.

40 Responses to “Meet Josy”

  1. 1 SelamT

    You guys look good together. Adopt him

  2. 2 mitmita

    Such a cutie

  3. 3 tpeaces

    nols …u need to do some proofreading with this one… he’s cute tho

  4. 4 hewe

    Nolisha, yezefen dar daru eskesta neew sebal semtehal? ;)

    betaam he’s soooo cute dess sil.

  5. 5 :)

    You’re not too bad :)

  6. 6 Dinich


    I don’t buy your theory of not wanting to have kids for socio-political reasons…..You know what that sounds to me like? It sounds like that girl in TP’s story who wanted to take a shower with a guy for environmental reasons….lol…..ya right…:)

    Hell with Socioeconomicpoliticalenvironmetal reasons. Have a kid or two. I think u make a good dad….:)

  7. 7 Mamitu

    “We need to learn from the parents back home that just let the kids play in the midst of dangers.”

    Easy to say when you are a 20 something young man with no kids. Come back to us about letting your kids play in “the midst of dangers” as you put it, when you are a parent .

    Once on Cosby show I heard Bill Cosby say ” Before I had kids I has six rules on raising kids, and now that I have six kids I have no rules.”

    What I am sain’ is that it is different once you are on the other side of the fence.

  8. 8 Nolawi

    @ :) :
    He smile… not bad at what…? not bad looking?

    @ Dinich:
    dude i knew someone was going to say have a kid for no reason…

    i will leave the dadhood for those who want a purpose in life…

  9. 9 Dinich


    Oh ya I forgot to say….Balwelede anjetih….dont say that kids should play in a danger zone….I am sure u ll change if and when u have kids. I have three boys and every time I hear stories of abduction, molestation etc…I freak out. I can say that is probably my biggest fear in life right now.

    Two weeks ago I was at a beach and there was this professional looking photographer who took pictures of my son without asking. When we noticed, my wife walked up to him and had him delete 7-8 pictures from his camera because we just didn’t feel it is right for a stranger to take pictures of my son….Are we being overprotective? So be it…

  10. 10 Nolawi

    yes you are being way over protective..

    so what its just pictures… just like the one above… there is nothing wrong with pictures of kids…

    also i assume you want smart kids that know how to communicate in public… then let them bloom by giving them space to run around!

    otherwise go ahead protect away!

    there is nothing more annoying than kids that are unfriendly and not playful and shy

  11. 11 Hidaya

    That is one gorgeous little boy Nolawi. He looks pretty confident on your shoulders too…

    I am not a parent but the times when am put in charge of young child relatives I become hyper sensitive to danger and begin to believe one needs eight pair of eyes as a parent, I dont think it is over protective though one look at the streets of London tells you it is a sad reality ….

  12. 12 hewe

    @ Nolawi:

    …you never know where the pic will end up, even if it’s on someone’s magazine, permission has to be granted from the parents nolawi, so Dinich isn’t being over protective….

    Nolawi, you can give your kids room to grow at the same time by protecting them from harm’s way. The responsibility of a parent is to protect the kids all the while by giving them enough space to bloom and grow. You have to guide your kids w/out being over-bearing

  13. 13 tsedey

    here’s nolawi being kid friendly :)

    re: kids play in the midst of dangers

    am glad u noticed that, i notice we (et. parents are way over protective than american parents cos i see that everytime i take my daughter to teh park, i follow her every step she makes and make sure she’s okay, she doesn’t fall n stuff however other kids so much younger than her are let loose and play as they like with no assistance from their parents. i like that cos it gives them confidence and perhaps help thier problem solving/ making skill on their own however, it’s hard for me to just let her go and let her figure out stuff u know…i think it’s our upbringing with so many restrictions that shape us in a certain way as parents.

    i guess am more of like “better safe than sorry” kinda person.

    on the other hand, my being protective on the fields doesn’t necessarily have an effect on her social skills. she’s way sociable and super friendly than i am :)

  14. 14 helen

    What a beautiful little boy… look at those eyelashes.
    Nolawi, in theory “just let the kids play in the midst of dangers” might be ok but unfortunately there is real danger out there. I think the trick is finding the right balance between being overprotective and letting the kids have some free reign so they can learn to be independent.

  15. 15 :)

    @ Dinich:

    The photographer either doesn’t know his rights or most likely was trying to be a decent human and be nice to you. By way of enabling freedom of expression, it’s legal for people to take pictures of strangers.

    It creeps people out but I understand … else every politician will demand not have any incriminating pictures taken of them.

    Nolawi, your looks? Never mind. WeTa weTana indeshembeqo … ;)

  16. 16 mitmita

    Nolawi….did you get permission to take this picture?

  17. 17 ep

    The curtest thing from a 5 year old child who just came from Addis Ababa must be Koltafa Amharic… ..that is priceless ..I met one yesterday and I felt like I am back home

  18. 18 ep

    mitmita wrote:

    Nolawi….did you get permission to take this picture?

    I think that is very important and fair..

  19. 19 Nolawi

    oh sharrap.. I actually spoke to his mom on the last day.. I gave him a hug and told his mom that he is great… Also gave her my card so that she could call me to get the photos….

  20. 20 Dinich

    @ :) :

    That is in America….In Canada, where I am, you can be sued.

    “……Outside the US, it’s best to ask permission. In Québec, a teenage girl successfully sued a photographer for $8,000 after he took her picture without her knowledge, even though she was sitting on the front steps of a public building……”

    One more reason for some Canadian pride…(::)

  21. 21 ZaraYaeqob

    411: Taking a picture in a public setting, doesn’t violate your rights under the law! The publisher (Bernos) does not need the person’s or parent’s consent. Exceptions that can expose the publisher to CIVIL (not criminal) liability are Intrusion, False Light, Disclosure of Private Facts and Misappropriation. Even the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act doesn’t apply here. So know the facts & more importantly know your rights & protection under the law – you may want to fight to change it once you realize all these “freedom” “rights” bull crap that is fed to you are an ignis fatuus.

  22. 22 ZaraYaeqob


    Yet another 411: Bernos is an American (not Canadian) entity. The pic was taken in Chicago. Unless the passive aggressive Canadians are putting a claim on the windy city??? BTW there are also laws in Saudi Arabia against showing provocative pics of women which I have seen here. Note to Bernos – retain a lawyer.

    “When in Rome do as the Canadians…”

    PS Why do most native Canadians wanna work/live in the US? Only the welfare (handout) seeking immigrants love living north of the boarder. Just curious.

  23. 23 ep

    What does this has to do with the topic posted …????? wow

    @ ZaraYaeqob wrote:
    Why do most native Canadians wanna work/live in the US? Only the welfare (handout) seeking immigrants love living north of the boarder. Just curious.

  24. 24 ZaraYaeqob

    Not calling Dinich handout seeker at all. If it came across as such, I apologize for that but he seemed to be proud of Canada so I asked the obvious Q to gage reasoning behind that “pride”.

  25. 25 Dinich


    Normally, I dont respond to this kind of comments.

  26. 26 SelamT

    What permission does he need to take a pic? Please !!!!!!!

    You guys are making big deal out of it.
    1.It is at the ESFNA festival. All Abesha people around. 2. The kids are everywhere playing away from their parents.
    3. Nolawi and the kid are from the same place they spoke the same language etc. They clicked, that is all that matters. If you dig deep they could be related etc.

    In the past I have given kiss or a hug to Abesha kids I don’t know, just because they are Abesha and cute. And the parents are friendly.
    Specialt in a small city Abeshas tend to be friendy to people they meet on the street. If I kiss, hug or take pics of the kids I don’t think they mind.
    I wouldn’t mind.

    Keep it simple. Fear is a bad thing.

  27. 27 Bez

    I agree with Selam. It is more of a cultural thing. I dont think us Abeshas have any problem with other Abeshas socializing with our kids in that manner since we are more of a community as opposed to individualized mind set. However, I do symphatize or agree with any parent who has a tendancy to be over protective or cautions because in this day and age, where the deviant perps are constantly lurking, you blink an eye and your kid is gone.

    Under the circumstances, I think its safe to assume Nolawi can post this pic without a signed consent to release form lol, she prob brag about her kid’s pic being posted on line and tell the kid “ante famous neh”!! lol.

  28. 28 ZaraYaeqob

    Dinich – Then don’t! In America we all have that option…

  29. 29 haymanot

    You know it’s funny that you mention this because for the longest time I thought all habesha parents were overprotective. I don’t know about anyone else but my childhood sucked. I was born in Ethiopia but I grew-up in America and my parents are those overprotective parents that you speak of. And they always threatened to send me back if they thought I was “acting up.” But I don’t blame them for it, because unlike most American children, I have a great deal of self-discipline and self-respect. But I must admit, it took me a long time to realize that their over-protectiveness was really a blessing in disguise.

    Most parents just want what’s best for their children and when they can’t control their environment, they try to control their children. Even though I didn’t really have a sense of freedom growing-up, I see a lot of Ethiopian-American children, who have lost their identity so to say, that really could’ve benefited from a childhood like mine. So I am all for the stern grip but I must admit my self-confidence, above all, has taken a beating.

  30. 30 chuni

    Abo abesha demo negere yakabedal. Don’t be paranoid people. There are thousands of kids all over TV, internet, magazines and pamphlets that are used as models for advertisement. It is all about knowing the person behind the camera.

  31. 31 :)

    Dinich, mts … ayeee, beqa canada abeloshtoh newa :)

    ZaraYaeqob, interesting spelling of the name.

  32. 32 Winta

    Can you guy’s just notice how cute they look??
    Zim bilachu yemitlefelfut………..You completely change the subject. Like Nol said shurrrap all.

  33. 33 Winta

    Fiyel ezih Kizemzem wedia.

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