Meet Bethy Alemseged - Ethiopian Model and Banker
Meet Bethy Alemseged
“My parents wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer like any African parents. Right now though, and since i’ve been successful, they are supportive of my modeling and acting career”. Bethy Alemseged
For the past two years, we’ve had the pleasure of working with Bethy. She was the first female model to appear on our website and was recently the cover girl of our first Tap Magazine issue. All this, and we’ve never published her interview. Well, we’ve fixed that. Enjoy!
Introduce yourself to TAP. Where did you grow up? What was your favorite moment growing up as a kid? What are some of your main interests and hobbies?
My name is Bethlehem Alemseged, I go by Bethy. I am 24 years old. I was born in Ethiopian Dessie and grew up in Addis Ababa. I came to the united states about 10 years ago and I went to Hopkins High school, graduated early in 2007. I attended Minneapolis Community and Technical college for two years and currently I am enrolled at Metropolitan State university. My favorite moment growing up was my parents taking me to WOKIMA (I probably said the name wrong) I used to go to youth and kids theater in “Arat Killo” every sunday. When I’d get back home I used to act out and show my family what I saw! Actually, that’s how I started to sing, dance and act. I have a lot of hobbies, I like to sing, dance and paint (water color) in my down times.
How would you describe your professional interests? Are you doing anything else besides modeling and acting?
Well I am working as a universal banker at US Bank while also completing my finance degree from Metropolitan State University.
When and why did you get into modeling?
I started getting into modeling in 2009 then started acting professionally a year after. I was a second runner up at miss Teen Africa pageant in 2008…A year after, I was invited to be in a fashion show, gave it a go and everything else started happening after that. My advantage is that I’m not afraid to try new things.
What’s the most challenging thing about what you do?
Criticism of people with lack of Knowledge. Instead of giving you constructive criticism to make you better, they fill you with negativity and encourage you to quit. I have had those moments and it was tough.
African parents don’t generally encourage their daughters to be models, are your parents different? Is your family supportive of you?
My parents wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer like any African parents. Right now though, and since i’ve been successful, they are supportive of my modeling and acting career.
Who are some of your favorite models and designers, and why?
Liya Kebede, she inspires all Africans to pursue their dreams. She’s very much a living proof that it is possible to be a success in this competitive industry. Another one is Fikirte Addis. She is an extremely talented designer who is doing her best to introduce our traditional dresses into the high fashion industry. She is the one.
What other modeling/acting projects have you done? What has been your biggest gig so far?
I consider my modeling gig with Bothdol in 2008 the biggest fashion event i’ve been involved with as I also started doing print and Runway Modeling afterwards. The very first movie I did was “Love Beyond” with Togolese pictures in 2009. I also played one of the leading roles in the movie “The Taste” that came out in 2011. Recently, I received the title “Queen of MODB”, (Music oriented dream blaster) it is a Hip hope music group that usually produce music inspired by personal life, reality and politics.
How has modelling changed other aspects of your life? What’s your favorite outfit from your own closet? Do you have your own personal uniform?
The biggest thing has been the recognition I’ve received in the Ethiopian community here in Minnesota. Since I got involved with modeling, I started to get offers to do music videos and movies. My favorite outfit is a pair of skinny jeans with a tank top and accessories. Anything that’s presentable.
Let’s talk about Africa and Ethiopia… Can you describe Ethiopia for us in just three words?
Hmm, Ethiopia in three words! well, i’d have to say Paradise on Earth!
When’s the last time u were back home and what’s that one thing about Ethiopia that people don’t know?
The last time I was in Ethiopia was in December 2011. It was my first time going back home since I came to the US. There’s a lot of things that people don’t know about Ethiopia if we started to list them all, we can publish a book. If I have to pick one, it would be that Ethiopia is a truly Holly place.
What’s your perspective of Haile Sellasie! What’s the coolest thing you have learned about him? What do his critics in Ethiopia say about him?
My perspective about H.I.M is that he was the most genius leader in the world who believed in diplomatic ways of handling conflicts verses going to war. I have learned that he believed in a united Africa and initiated this goal even though it seemed impossible at the time. It is still something that this generation needs to take on. I believe many will agree that it’s the only way to get Africa out of Poverty and to end Africa’s dependency on the western world.
What are some of the things you would say we need to do to promote African talent (models, artists and actors) both at home and in the diaspora?
What you’re doing with this magazine is a very good start. That said, we have a long way to go. For example, in the Ethiopian community, we only have few talented people that are recognized out side that community when we have talent in abundance with people such as for Muhammad Ahmed, Aster Awoke, Liya Kebede and many more in different industries. We need to start actively introducing and promoting our beautiful people, culture and music in the western industry.
In your opinion, what are the three issues affecting African youths at home the most?
In my Opinion, the top three issues affecting Ethiopian youths is the exposure to negative western culture, Ethiopian economy growth rate and politics. All this three things are affecting the youth in both positive and negative ways.
Who is your favorite African musician? What songs do you have on your iPod at the minute?
My favorite female musician to whom I feel I can relate too is Betty G and my favorite male artist is Nhatty Man. The music I have on my ipod at this very minute is Salaysh Alwolim by Nhatty Man lol
What projects are you currently working on? Where do you want to be professionally in the next five years?
I am working on a lot of projects at the minute. I’m working on a new movie with Togolese pictures called “ Beautiful Attraction”, a new single song “head spinning” ft Q-rap and I’m also involved in projects by Wilhelmina modeling Agency so just stay tuned. My plan for the next five years is getting out of school by finishing my finance degree and I want to work with Ethiopian movie companies and artistes.
Finally, how in the world do you have over eleven thousand subscribers on your Facebook? Are you a rock star back home?
lol I guess I’m a rock star. Honestly I don’t know how I got that many subscribers but I believe it’s because I am a very blunt person who always gives her true opinions! I am also very open minded and I always appreciate anything that deserves it.
Any further comments??
I want to thank The African Perspective Magazine and Ras Mutabaruka for giving me an opportunity to do this interview. You guys are doing an amazing job of representing and promoting all the beautiful and talented Africans. Thank you for helping us get recognized.
I would also want to thank Mejid Ali and Bushman photography for taking this amazing pictures.