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Thursday September 14, 2017

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Colour and frivolity as Ethiopians celebrate their new year By Jamie Adams

It may still be more than threeand-a-half months away for us, but for the Ethiopian Community in Wellington New Year’s Day is very much a spring celebration. The community held a public party at Newtown’s Polish Hall on Sunday to recognise Enkukutash, the first day of the new year on the Ethiopian calendar, a derivation of the Julian calendar. The date marks the approximate end of the rainy season and the beginning of the new harvest. “We always hold the new year on September 10 or 11, according to the Gregorian calendar” committee chariman Nigussie Fenja said. “Every month is 30 days which means there is 13 months, with the last of them being five days, or six if it’s a leap year.” Nigussie said Ethiopia was a country of diversity – ther are 85 dialects but the commonly spoken language is Amharic. He estimated there were up to 500 Ethiopians living in Wellington. Most of the originally settled in Auckland after arriving as refugees with family members subsequently joining them. Many years later they moved to the capital, and Newtown in particular, due to the beauty of the city and the ethnic diversity within

Tihitinna Sitotaw, Rachel Mengistie, Tigist Hailu and Elshaday Mamo sing “Abe Bay Ehush (Blossom of the Flower)” during the Ethiopian Community in Welligton’s Enkukatash celebration on Sunday. PHOTO: Jamie Adams

a relatively small area. Mayor Justin Lester, deputy mayor Paul Eagle and Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson attended the celebration, which included a buffet dinner of Ethiopian cuisine. Lester presented an award

to Commonsense Organics co-founders Marion Wood and Jim Kebbell, who were recognised for their dedication to giving employment opportunities to the Ethiopian community, regardless of their English and skill levels.

Bawdy period play promises plenty of laughs Wellington Repertory Theatre brings locals the chance to see Jessica Swale’s award-winning comedy Nell Gwynn, following its New Zealand premiere in Auckland last month and a successful season on the West End last year. The bawdy period production will feature a large all-singing and dancing cast, lavish costumes, and King Charles Spaniels. The title character, which is based on the actual mistress of King Charles II, is being played be Hataitai’s Ange Bickford and another of the main roles, Kynaston, is being played by Melrose’s Allan Burne. “Ange and Allan previously acted together in a production of Howard Brenton’s Anne Boleyn a couple of years ago; so there’s quite a nice synergy in the two of them now being in another period production set a century later,” theatre president Catherine McMechan said. Winner of the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy, the play is set in the 17th Century Restoration period when Charles II reopened the theatres that were closed under the Puritans, and allowed women on stage. It charts the rags to riches story of the eponymous heroine, from her roots in Coal Yard Alley to her success as Britain’s most celebrated actress, and her hard-won place

Ange Bickford as title character, in a scene with Allan Burne as Kynaston in the Wellington Repertory Theatre play Nell Gwynn. PHOTO: Supplied

in the heart of the King. Director Ewen Coleman said the play told the story, through a modern lens, of a celebrity love affair that captured the attention of the people of the day. “The real Nell Gwynn led a remarkable life, and Jessica Swale’s play tells her story with lots of humour, in keeping with Nell’s own legendary wit. We’ve had a lot of fun rehearsing the show, and

revelling in its bawdy humour, and we hope audiences will enjoy it just as much,” said Ewen. Nell Gwynn runs from September 20 to 30 (production times vary) at the Gryphon Theatre, Ghuznee Street.  To book tickets, go to wellingtonrepertory.org.nz/bookings or email bookings@wellingtonrepertory.org.nz, or call 479 3393.

“You have supported our family and community and kept doing that for 10 years,” secretary Degu Geddebo told Marion during the presentation. “She opened the door for these people and trained them with her talent for cooking and then they

worked as a team. “No other orgainsation would do that.” Robertson said it was great a new year should be celebrateed at the start of spring as it represented the “beginning of new growth”.

‘Uber for laundry’ set to revolutionise industry New Zealand’s first dry-cleaning and laundry app, Laundromap, has arrived in Wellington. The app, which launched in Auckland in earlier this year, allows time-poor Kiwis to outsource their dry-cleaning and laundry in a matter of minutes via their smartphone. Customers place an order for clothing to be picked up, washed and delivered at a location and time convenient for them - turning the usually dreaded wash day into a quick and simple task. Laundromap co-founder Torben Landl said the app tapped into a growing demand for outsourcing services via digital solutions, as Kiwis sought to improve work-life balance by minimising time spent on mundane tasks. “New Zealanders are living increasingly busy lives, yet placing more emphasis on achieving quality work-life balance, which means they’ve embraced the growing trend of outsourcing certain tasks and using technology to their benefit. “Laundromap offers customers a smarter and simpler way to do the time-consuming task of laundry, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer our convenient service

to more Kiwis by expanding to Wellington and Christchurch.” Categories range from laundry for standard clothing through to linen and delicate items, as well as specialised dry-cleaning and real-time updates are made through a GPS tracking system. Not unlike Uber, the app provides a push notification direct to the customers’ device when their Laundromap agent arrives at the door, keeping them updated and informed throughout the entire process. Laundromap Wellington’s partnership is with Mansfield Dry Cleaners in Featherston Street. An agent will pick up laundry from the customer’s house and deliver it to Mansfield, later returning the load once the process is done. Customers can also activate a ‘delivery note’ on the app so the agent can collect or drop off orders at a specified location if they aren’t home at the time. Torben said the service was currently restricted to residences between Wadestown and Island Bay and as east as the Mt Victoria-Melrose ridge. However he said the company would look to extend its offering to more suburbs over time.

Cook Strait News 14-09-17  

Cook Strait News 14-09-17

Cook Strait News 14-09-17  

Cook Strait News 14-09-17