Last week, American author and comedian Tiffany Haddish was granted Eritrean citizenship during a visit to join in the 28th independence anniversary celebrations.
Photos posted on social media showed her going through the paperwork in a government office wrapped in the colours of the Eritrean flag.
Reacting to the citizenship, the Los Angeles-born star disclosed why she put in an application: ““I don’t want to have to ask permission to come and see my people, I want to come when I want to come to be with my people.”
I always had to ask permission to come and see my family and people but I don’t like that I had to ask permission to see my family. Now I got my citizenship and I can come and see my family when I want to see my family.
In an interview posted on the Information Ministry’s website, she added: “Signing those papers and getting the validation meant the world to me. That is something my father wanted.
“I love my father so much and maybe he didn’t get to raise me but he installed enough for me in my blood. He thought me a lot during the time I did get to spend with him. I want to honor him and I just want to be a good daughter.
“I want to help my family who still live here and want to do good things for them. I always had to ask permission to come and see my family and people but I don’t like that I had to ask permission to see my family. Now I got my citizenship and I can come and see my family when I want to see my family,” she stressed.
She is the daughter of an African-American mother and Eritrean father. Haddish’s father, Tsihaye Reda Haddish, entered the United States as a refugee.
The recent visit was the second in two years. Her first in January 2018 was in what she described as an emotional homecoming to bury her father and also meet and connect with her relatives.
She flew on Ethiopian Airlines to Asmara to join the week-long independence day celebrations. She toured parts of the country during her visit including a meeting with President Isaias Afwerki. She has disclosed a plan to help market Eritrea as a dream destination.
After a VERY successful trip to #Eritrea,— Hadnet Keleta (@hadnetkeleta) May 27, 2019
TiffanyHaddish& team SheReady departed #Asmara happy, amazed, relaxed, safe, loved, proud, and imotional. Thank you team for celebrating independence day with us.
The Eritrea you have loved will shine 4 ever#EritreaShinesAt28 pic.twitter.com/4WB1bI3RbS