Actress and comedian Tiffany Haddish celebrated the holiday season by going to be with loved ones in Eritrea. An aunt of the star’s was dying, but she also wanted to visit with family. It wasn’t the easiest journey, though. As the star shared with followers on Christmas Eve, she experienced some unpleasant treatment with Turkish Airlines while trying to get there (unfortunately, not the first time), and wound up traveling more than 24 hours.
After getting to Istanbul from Los Angeles too late, she was turned away nastily at her gate (while the plane was there and her luggage was put on board). She then, somewhat tearfully, shared her experience with the workers at the airlines’ desk, who helped her get a flight on a whole other airline to avoid having to wait two days to get to Asmara, Eritrea. She had to ride coach and buy a whole new ticket, more than $4,000, to go from Istanbul to Dubai, from Dubai to Addis Abba and then Addis Abba to Asmara, but she kept a positive attitude about the whole ordeal. She had nothing but good things to say about the women from Turkish Airlines who helped her, calling them “amazing,” while she said of the male employees, “y’all ain’t sh-t.”
She would eventually get a private jet, all to herself, from Addis Abba to Asmara, living her best life. “Going to see my family,” she said, “I’m very happy.”
From there, fun was had. Upon visiting her grandfather’s village in the southern part of the country, Haddish, draped in the Eritrean flag, was celebrated by residents. The star seemed genuinely joyous about getting to be among her people as they ululated and danced around her. And during the rest of her trip, she also took in some of the cultural practices, like vaginal smoking, a spa treatment she said they call Tsh. In addition to that, she received her Eritrean ID card, and met with the president, Isaias Afwerki.
For those who don’t know, Haddish’s father, the late Tsihaye Reda Haddish, was a refugee from Eritrea. While they didn’t have a relationship when she was young, they reconnected when she was an adult. He encouraged her to embrace her roots, and she has over the years, wearing a traditional garment to the Oscars, as well as a custom gown inspired by the country’s flag to the Emmys, and documenting her trips, pre-COVID, to her father’s homeland. As she said in 2019 of his influence in the way she’s publicly celebrated her heritage, “he left me here on earth but before he did, he said ‘make sure the world knows the Eritrea exist and honor the people like you would honor me.'”
We love it! Check out more of the star and ambassador’s experience in her homeland, below.