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East Africans Pay Their Respects To Nipsey Hussle All Over The World

By Leah Freeman-Haskin

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Today marks 10 days since hip-hop star and community activist Nipsey Hussle was gunned down in front of his Los Angeles store on March 31.  Since his death, more than 40 vigils have popped up all over the world for mourning fans to pay their respects and remember Hussle’s legacy.

RELATED: For The Habesha Community, Nipsey Hussle’s Murder Is ‘Incomprehensibly Awful’

A Saturday evening memorial in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa gave hundreds of Hussle’s East African fans a chance to recite poetry and deliver emotional speeches paying homage to a life that ended much too soon.

Hussle’s father, Dawit Asghedom, immigrated to Los Angeles in the 1970s from Eritrea, raising his son with a strong sense of his African roots and culture. Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was extremely proud and vocal about his Eritrean heritage, visiting the country last year and telling state media “more than anything I am proud of being Eritrean.”

The small African nation of just over 5 million people gained its independence from Ethiopia in 1993, and though the neighboring countries have a history of conflict, they still have strong cultural and ancestral ties. Putting differences aside, Ethiopians and Eriteans celebrated the life of a man who brought pride and inspiration to both nations. 

RELATED: I Moved To Ethiopia To Help My Daughter Connect With Her Birth Family

The Eritrean love was also felt stateside, with a Sunday memorial service gathering the Eritrean-American community of South Los Angeles. 

People “have no idea where Eritrea is, so when he continuously let people know where he came from, the youth had stopped feeling invisible and had started to feel recognized and closer to the community,” Semhar Kahsay, 18, said during Sunday’s service, according to the Los Angeles Times. “And because of this, he had the power of making us feel like we are seen in this invisible world.”

Hussle will be laid to rest on Thursday, April 11 with a memorial service and funeral procession set to cover a 25.5-mile path through South Los Angeles. 

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