Interview with Miss World Ethiopia

Above: She’s got brains, beauty and a serious sweet tooth.
Meet Jiitu Abraham. Recently, we had a chance to sit
down and chat with the Ethiopian beauty queen.

Tadias: How does it feel to be crowned “Miss Ethiopia World”?

Jiitu Abraham: I feel blessed and honored. I fasted for two months prior to the competition. I asked GOD to make it clear to me if I should go, or if it was just going to be a waste of my time. I didn’t actually buy my ticket until 3 days before the competition. I am honored because I am the first American-born Ethiopian to win this title.

I was happy to see that organizers such as Andy Abulime, and the competition’s judges, were progressive enough in their thinking to understand that you don’t have to be born in Ethiopia to be an Ethiopian. The country of your birth doesn’t prevent you from taking pride or interest in the country that raised the parent(s) who raised you.

While I have received a lot of negative feedback from many, I stand my ground in believing that to be Ethiopian is something that you are born being regardless of your birth country, not something that can be given or taken away from you. With all the children being born to Ethiopian parents in the US and other countries outside of Ethiopia, there is no way that I can or will allow someone to tell me that we are not real Ethiopians, or not Ethiopian enough. We might have had different experiences growing up but that is what is going to make us a more eclectic and successful community. If encouraged and supported properly, Ethiopians, from all backgrounds, can come together and fuse their different life experiences and knowledge to better the social, economic, and political situation in Ethiopia. Being born outside of Ethiopia was not our choice, neither is being Ethiopian. It just simply IS our reality.

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Tadias: Who is your role model and why?

JA: I have different role models for different aspects of my life. As far as life goes, I don’t have to look far for a role model, because my parents, Abebe Abraham and Azenegash Hailu Abraham, are my role models. They have showed me through their actions that the only way to achieve your goals is through hard work and determination. They taught me that there is no speed-pass to success. True success can only be earned through hard work. They also made sure to instill in me the importance of trying to live your life for God, because without him nothing is possible.

When it comes to pursuing a career in entertainment, I would say my role model has been Will Smith. I specifically remember one interview he did for MTV, in which the reporter commented on his acting and rapping talents. Will replied, “I might not be the best actor or the best rapper, but one thing I can say for sure is that I am the most determined.” That day I made this statement my motto. I repeated this statement to myself over and over again while competing in Ethiopia. I was so nervous. I was full of self-doubt.

The girls were so beautiful and all I can remember thinking was “You are out of your league.” But I had to keep saying to myself, “You might not be the tallest, the skinniest or the prettiest, but you CAN be the most determined.” Repeating this statement to myself over and over and over again, coupled with the constant verbal affirmation of my parents is what allowed me to give 110% to pursuing a life-long dream.

Tadias: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

JA: In five years, I would like to see myself as the President/CEO of my own entertainment company. The company would be focused on International Americans. I would like to help shape the media’s image of first-generation immigrants, like myself. Our experiences growing up are unique and have yet to be focused on by mainstream media.

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Tadias: Name three things you can’t live without… Okay, make it five.

JA: I am glad that you moved it up to five. I couldn’t narrow it down to three. First and foremost, I couldn’t live without my relationship with God. It is hard being young in the world today. There is so much more of a pull from the secular world than the religious one. It is easy for someone to get lost. I try to keep His word with me at all times, so hopefully when I am put in a tough position I can make a smart decision.

Secondly I would choose my family, my mom, Azenegash Hailu Abraham, my dad, Abebe Abraham, and my brother, Yohannes Abraham, a very handsome, Yale University student. They are my rock and my strength. I couldn’t go through all the ups and downs of life and pursue a career in the oftentimes fickle entertainment business, if I didn’t know that I will always have them there at the end.

Thirdly I would choose my friends, Dana, Betty, Tessi, Jen, Michelle, and Abbey, who are my extended family. They support me at my shows, encourage me to pursue my dreams, and most importantly, they are always there when I need to take my mind off a hard day’s work, and just have fun!

My fourth choice would be sweets! Some people have a sweet tooth, I, on the other hand, have sweet teeth (plural). If it were up to me I would eat sweets for every meal. I know my health-nut mom is cringing at this statement, but it is true. While I do my best to heed the health advice of my mother, I have yet to allow a single day of my adult life to pass without sneaking in at least one piece of cake or chocolate.

Lastly I would chose playing. While I love to get dressed up for a night on the town, I enjoy playing more. I love nothing more than spending a whole Saturday or Sunday swimming in a local lake, hiking in West Virginia, or biking. Actually, I just got back from a 3-day, 184-mile bike ride from Cumberland, MD to Georgetown, DC. It was wearisome but I enjoyed the serenity of being outside, in nature, without the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Tadias: Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?

JA: I was named “Honorary Ambassador of Goodwill to Israel.” While my father and I were in Israel, on a religious pilgrimage, the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Avraham Hirchson, presented me with the title “Honorary Ambassador of Goodwill to Israel.” I also got a chance to meet with Senator Barack Obama, United States Senator for Illinois, and discussed my mission as Miss Ethiopia World. We also discussed ways in which to seek and gather public support and recognition for the foundation supported by the Miss Ethiopia World title, the Ethiopian Life Foundation, and its causes.

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Also, I am a senior anchor for ENBS (Ethiopian National Broadcasting Services). ENBS is currently the only Amharic and English language program focused on informing and educating the Ethiopian Community and interested public residing in the Washington, DC area. ENBS presents issues pertaining to Ethiopians, Ethiopia, and its surrounding African countries. The show airs every Saturday between 4-5pm on MHz Networks.

61 Responses to “Interview with Miss World Ethiopia”


  1. 1 mahelet Apr 23rd, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    congrats on your accomplishment.

  2. 2 Marta May 10th, 2007 at 8:24 am

    Jituye,

    Congratulations! I am not surprised, just happy. You deserve it.

    Remember me? Your Sunday School teacher at the Ethiopian Church when you were four and five? More than anything, I remember your inner beauty. You were the student who always hugged her teacher and told her you loved her. You made everyone around you feel special.

    Jituye our jewel,

    You’ve got it right. When God is your priority, everything else will be added.

    May your God, the God of your parents, the God of Ethiopia and the God of America be with you and crown you with success in all you do!!!

  3. 3 Robel May 23rd, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    Great Job Beautiful. Rastafari.

  4. 4 mimi May 24th, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    hey, i’m mimi and i must say that i was so surprised to find out that Miss Ethiopia was born in America. i think she is a good example for others who are not born in Ethioia to be proud of what they are and get involve in things that has to has to do with their country Ethiopia. she really is a role model for ever girl who is trying to achive her dreams but dosen’t think she is good enough. i really like the example she is setting. good luck with your life.

  5. 5 edgewood Jun 27th, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    I have an Ethiopian-American child. I hope one day when he is old enough he will know what an opportunity it is. I hope if /when he goes to Ethiopia it will be to contribute not to take. I am trying to teach my son being Ethiopian is not just a look or blood it is doing. I don’t think Ethiopians should be teaching their kids to go back and take away opportunities from people who don’t have the same advantages. They should not tell them that they need to be named Ms Ethiopia to be an Ethiopian. To Ms Ethiopia you sound very typical of a lot of Ethiopian-American kids I know. You should have given up the title and bought the ticket for your replacement if recognition was what you wanted. It is not a bad thing to be. It is just sad that not enough parents teach to give back.
    Hope my son won’t become typical.

  6. 6 betemariam hailu Jul 13th, 2007 at 2:13 am

    good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. 7 Mihret Bemenat Aug 16th, 2007 at 8:55 am

    i swear u are so beauti.you are a reall miss ethiopia.i like you so much you know what i was saying before no one will be like Sayat Demissie(miss ethiopia 2004 if i am not wrong) any how i really like her but know you are coming to take the place of my heart that i was put for Sayat.
    you are so beautifulllllllllllllllll

  8. 8 Mihret Bemenat Aug 16th, 2007 at 8:59 am

    would you please tell me how to become miss ethiopia like you.
    to tell you the truth i look beautiful but am short.

  9. 9 Wondimu Mekonnen Sep 26th, 2007 at 6:15 am

    I am proud of you sister! Well, beauty is in our blood isn’t it!!!

  10. 10 tizita Oct 26th, 2007 at 9:54 am

    good job. i pround of ya.

  11. 11 mekdi Nov 27th, 2007 at 6:31 am

    would you please tell me how to become miss ethiopia like you.

  12. 12 Kahtryn Tyler Prigmore Dec 7th, 2007 at 6:03 pm

    Jiitu,
    It was so nice to meet you yesterday at your parents business. It is so wonderful to see how you have grown to be a powerful, beautiful woman. YOur parents are so proud of you!

  13. 13 Pelatos Mar 17th, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    Great jo U deserve it. Keep it up

  14. 14 arnold lee Mar 22nd, 2008 at 12:41 am

    hey jiitu, lol how are you? wow look @ u i remember you in middle school, its been a long time my god, youve changed so much, you really blossomed into a beautiful woman , i’ve been tryin for the longest time to say hi to anybody from our school, and i finally found someone, and turns out the person i found is famous! drop me a line sometime im dyin to know how your doing
    -arnie

  15. 15 G2 Abraham Apr 25th, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    Thank you for all the kind words I really appreciate it. I didn’t even know this blog existed till today. How cool.

    Arnold….wow….long time…

    there are a bunch of us from Westminister on Facebook. You should join and search us so we can KIT. Ya! Hope you have been well :)

  16. 16 jason kibuuka jeelo Apr 30th, 2008 at 2:27 am

    beautiful

  17. 17 saron daba May 22nd, 2008 at 11:12 am

    hi g2 betam new yemitamriew esheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  18. 18 bet Jul 3rd, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    hi g2 irealy realy proud of you. now i’m also selected as miss Haramaya University. and would u plz tell me how to be powerful like you?

  19. 19 Ebro Jul 3rd, 2008 at 3:03 pm

    mine is the same like the girl comment above
    swear u are so beauti.you are a reall miss ethiopia.i like you so much you know what i was saying before no one will be like Sayat Demissie(miss ethiopia 2004 if i am not wrong) any how i really like her but know you are coming to take the place of my heart that i was put for Sayat.
    you are so beautifulllllllllllllllll

  20. 20 Dr. Hirut Jul 3rd, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I love your success, would youplease tell me the secret behind ur achievements. God Bless U

  21. 21 Ebro Jul 3rd, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    you are realy cute, bye

  22. 22 Ebro Jul 7th, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    u got z gats that i have ever seen in z histiry of man kind i realy am so exicted of u r u realy living on earth or am just being connected to heaven,

  23. 23 mimi Aug 11th, 2008 at 4:22 pm

    waw konjo yageri lije

  24. 24 Taddy Sep 3rd, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    jetuy this is your uncle taddy and i am so proud of you. you look great.

  25. 25 tiegst Oct 16th, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Would you plese tellme howto become Miss Ethiopia?

  26. 26 Abel Nov 1st, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    “ure so cute”
    Abel from DC

  27. 27 Thomas Fekadu Nov 2nd, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Tadias, the interview was good but u forgat very important one, relationship status…a million dollar question for singles like me.

  28. 28 info on JiituAbraham Nov 5th, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Miss Ethiopia World 2005, Jiitu Abraham, chats with NBC’s Heroes Hayden Panettiere.

    Check out here NBC interview on

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/around_town/the_scene/_Heroes__star_Hayden_Panettiere_Chats_With_nbcwashington_com_Washington_DC.html

    Show your support for her and POST a comment on NBCwashington’s site!!

    Thanks,

  29. 29 infoJiituAbraham Nov 17th, 2008 at 3:52 pm

    NEW: Jiitu Abraham chats with the band Electric Touch for NBC’s website:

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/around_town/the_scene/Electric_Touch__Something__Pretty_Damn_Original__Washington_DC.html

    LAST TIME: Jiitu Abraham chats with NBC’s Heroes star Hayden Panettiere:

    http://www.nbcwashington.com/around_town/the_scene/_Heroes__star_Hayden_Panettiere_Chats_With_nbcwashington_com_Washington_DC.html

    Show your support for her and POST a comment on NBCwashington’s site!!

    Thanks,

  30. 30 salam Dec 20th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    you are the most perity person i know…you are true ethiopian beauty

  31. 31 Munna Jan 9th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    aww konjiet

  32. 32 Getu Jan 15th, 2009 at 7:41 am

    I am proud of you!

  33. 33 habtamu Jan 15th, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Hi,

    You are so sweet. May God help you to do many things.

  34. 34 Serj Jan 22nd, 2009 at 8:29 am

    Oh my days!!!

    She has met Barack Obama!

  35. 35 andy Jan 31st, 2009 at 4:10 am

    Wow! I’ve just got to say that you are beautiful in every sense of the word. By that I mean smart, independent, and from the looks of it, sounds like you know your true worth. Believe me women like that are hard to find.

    Goodluck, not that you need it.

  36. 36 Bini Feb 2nd, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    Hi Guys!

    I love sayat and Here is the New Clip of Sayat.

    http://www.diretube.com/sayat-demissie/tew-maneh-miss-ethiopian-video_911f31633.html

  37. 37 nessy Feb 5th, 2009 at 11:06 am

    Hi

    You are wonderful, I am proud of you. Keep it up and good bless you.

  38. 38 rosa Mar 25th, 2009 at 1:48 pm

    nice

  39. 39 Alemu Deguale Apr 9th, 2009 at 4:37 am

    I want to appreciate Tadias & only if possible, I want to have a simple
    discussion on sensible issues with her.

  40. 40 Mewded May 17th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I AM PROUD OF YOU, GREAT JOB JIITS.

    DONEY

  41. 41 melkam Jun 8th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    it is good and appreciable

  42. 42 eskaut Jan 5th, 2010 at 4:17 am

    No person is perfect in this imperfect world. So even if you are beautiful you still lack something.

  43. 43 meron Mar 3rd, 2010 at 1:48 am

    wow you are ye ETHIOPIA konjo korawbeshe ewdshalew

  44. 44 haymanot mamao Mar 19th, 2010 at 10:12 am

    wow ur konjo

  45. 45 tkue Mar 26th, 2010 at 7:05 am

    hi,miss,if you are really beautifull just send us your picture to appreciate you.

  46. 46 belay Apr 1st, 2010 at 10:47 am

    tagebegnleshe? (Will you marry me?).

  47. 47 faam Apr 3rd, 2010 at 2:01 am

    amazing

  48. 48 Eyerusalem May 8th, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Man you are so beautiful:) You derseve to win!!!

  49. 49 ALEMAYEHU May 27th, 2010 at 7:37 pm

    Hi! u are so sweet lady, keep ur self not to be broken
    UuuuUUUUUUUU are created (for a purpose)!

  50. 50 kiyyaa Jul 5th, 2010 at 8:25 am

    {betam} konjo nash

  51. 51 edaso Jul 12th, 2010 at 12:40 am

    what is the criteria to be a model?

  52. 52 Girma Jul 31st, 2010 at 11:32 am

    God Bless You Sister!

  53. 53 etefwork Aug 10th, 2010 at 3:09 am

    g2 i am really proud of u!!! u look great. I wish to be a model like u.

  54. 54 ermimine Mar 1st, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    u r bea……. ,i think ur beauty is at ur mind most

  55. 55 fekadu asfa Mar 16th, 2011 at 3:13 am

    batm batm kongo program nw 10Qenmsgnaln

  56. 56 Yenenneh Abagiro Oct 10th, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    Jiitu is not just preety; but, a young women with high moral standard, genious, raised with decency, God fearing. As she mentioned her parents deserve credit. Parents like me has to learn from mr. Abebe Abraham and Azenegash Hailu Abraham. I will follow to see Jiitu’s future success. may Lord jesus be with you in all your moves….Keep up with your prayer, and asking for a lead from God.

  57. 57 eyob from ethiopia Aug 3rd, 2012 at 7:26 am

    wow ur wonderful,being proud of ethiopian

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