Fortune: Which holiday do you like most?

Sayat: I love all holidays. There is none to pick out. The thing I love about holidays is, on that specific day, you do not see anyone starved or teary. I love our culture when it comes to holidays. You share meals together and feed the hungry. You always give on those days.

Tell us about your siblings. How many do you have? How would you describe them, and what is your relationship like?

I have three sisters and two brothers. My immediate younger sister, Bethlehem, is my best friend. I am more intimate with her. Our age difference is only two years; she is like a childhood friend.

What was your first job? How much did you make, and what did you take away from it?

My very first job was starring in a movie, titled Sara, filmed in 2006. Helen Tadesse directed it. The residual was not given directly to me. Instead, Helen wanted me to have a car so she handed the pay to a dealer. Then I got my own car, a secondhand black Atoz. It cost close to 50,000 Br. I am grateful for it.

What is the most meaningful prize you have received so far?

I adore the prize I got recently for "Promising Artist." I liked the definition of the award. An award means more than saying "you have achieved this."

How are you related to Enana's character from Eregnaye?

Enana was represented as the type of person who would not mind others ignoring, hating, or disregarding her. I think this is what we have in common. Her innocence and naivety are represented as her defining qualities.

The character, mainly the ending, gives the impression that Enana had a sacrificial purpose to save others and bring peace. Is this accurate?

I think it would be better for the directors to answer that. However, it is true that Enana represented a sacrifice. All our lives are built on sacrifice. Many, even ourselves, have given up something. Although the type of sacrifice is different, we always have something to give up.

Who is your favourite character in Eregnaye?

Definitely Masresha. The brilliance of the character who punishes who she hates and forgives who she loves. The extent she goes to please or offend excites me the most.

Which character is your all-time favorite from all your works?

Choosing one would not be fair. They each have their own color and story to tell. But if you insist, of course, Enana because I had enough time to show and tell what I have.

Are you single?

I would rather not say. Let's just say I am happy with my current status.

What is something people think you do not like but you actually do like?

Make-up. People think that I do not like it, but I do. It fascinates me. I love the art of the change it can bring, the scars it can hide and the beauty it creates on parts of you that you might not think is beautiful.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? What is your morning routine like?

It varies from day to day, but I usually go to the gym between 5:00 and 6:00am. I have breakfast at home only if there is anyone who can sit at breakfast with me, or in the office. In the office, I respond to emails and check for other management issues.

What do you do before you go to bed at night?

I have audiobooks on my phone that I usually listen to. If I am in a good mood I could listen to novels or advanced books about knowledge or discovery. Otherwise, if I feel lazy, I would listen to motivational ones.

Do you have a skincare routine?

Nothing. I think I have the same routine as most people. I am one of those people who wash their faces with soap and that's it.

The book you like most?

The Alchemist. I can say it impacted my life, too.

Is there any piece of music you can say defines you well, or that makes you feel emotionally connected? Also, which of your musical works is your favorite?

I say that I am a melophile. You can't specify your picks; depending on my mood it could be either religious or secular music. A song could be at the top of my list this week, and I might not even want to listen to it the next. Almost all of my works represent my real emotions and beliefs, the real me, since they were made at a young age. If I had to choose though, I would go for Kegnet,Fegegta, and Ayasasbegnem.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Shah Rukh Khan is my crush. I even fantasize about marrying him. If he requested marriage I think I would accept. I would not be here if it were not for him. He greatly influenced my career. I would love to meet him in person and I believe that will happen. I consistently, until this day, direct message him on Instagram about my every achievement.

Any place you wish to visit or are passionate about?

Israel. All my family members have visited it. I never got the chance to go there. Of the places I have visited, I liked Hong Kong. Everyone, the poor and rich, lead a similar lifestyle. You can not distinguish the rich from the poor by their clothes or life routine. I love that about it.

Your favourite movie?

Oh, there are many. Ever After and The Count of Monte Cristo are movies I always remember. But I am a big fan of Indian movies, particularly starring Shah Rukh Khan. I have watched all his movies. Indian movies have a sentimentality about them. I like the enormous value they place on love, emotions, and their country.

Is there a play or character that you think fits you well?

While we were on our way to film Eregnaye, I was nervous. Meaza Takele, a literature lecturer at Addis Abeba University, who plays Masresha in the drama, and I were riding together on our way to the first day of shooting. I asked her how I could make my performance real. She told me both me and my character are women, who share the same human characteristics. I believe my strong trait is imitation. If I spend two days with someone, I would definitely imitate their character.

Favourite place to eat?

Home is where I enjoy having meals. I like the foods Haku, our cook at home, makes. Considering healthy food and comfort, I prefer it at home.

Have you paid any big bills lately? Did it surprise you?

Four of my guests and I went to an Asian restaurant for dinner. When the bill came, I could not believe what I saw. It was 8,000 Br for four meals and an Ambo drink. It was too expensive. We were astonished.

What is a unique gift you have received? What kind of gifts do you like to give?

I have received many gifts that I liked and mean something to me. I usually do not like buying gifts. Handmade gifts charm me most. It makes me feel that the gift is meant for me and has the real feel of the bestower. This is what I like to give to others, too.

Do you have any phobias?

I have a fear of public places. I get nervous whenever there is a crowd. I hate it when phones ring, too. It makes me anxious.

Are you a cook? Can you make Doro Wot?

These days you can find the recipe easily online so it is nothing to worry about. And of course, I do cook. I can cook any kind of meal.

When you eat Doro Wot, which piece do you like most? Which did you get most when you were a kid?

Feresegna. During holidays my family would gather in our house to celebrate so there is no way we children got to have a piece of chicken. We would just have a bite.

What kind of food do you cook best?

I do not usually cook, but if I do I make Shiroand Misirreally well. I think any food I prepare tastes good.

What are three things you greatly value?

Love; the time I spend with the people I cherish most; and celebrating the good things or success.

PUBLISHED ON Sep 10,2022 [ VOL 23 , NO 1167]

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