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Addis Ababa

Episode 1 of 2

Poet Lemn Sissay explores the nature of home through comedy, poetry and conversation. Recorded in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2015.

We all leave. We all migrate from childhood to adulthood, from village to town to city, from single to married. We all hate and love where we are from. We are all immigrants of time. There are problems with home and a need to leave. There is a love of home and a need to leave. Goodbye is who we are.

Lemn Sissay explores what "home" means through stand-up, poetry and conversation. It's surely not just a physical location - it's the people, the memories, the feeling. It's not home if you don't belong there, it's just where you live.

The first of these two shows was recorded at the Ghion Hotel, in Addis Ababa.

Addis is a place that Lemn feels at home in - but why? He wasn't born there, doesn't live there, and can't even speak the language. Helping Lemn understand this are two Ethiopians who were brought up in Europe but who, unlike Lemn, moved back to Addis in adulthood; a social anthropologist who is an Ethiopian with a famous English name; and his own sister, who is Addis born and bred.

Written and performed by Lemn Sissay,

Lemn Sissay is the author of five collections of poetry. He’s also written plays for stage and BBC radio. He was the first poet to write for the Olympics 2012 and received an MBE from the Queen for Services to Literature. He is associate artist at London’s Southbank Centre, and an (hon) doctor of letters. If you should google "Lemn Sissay" all the returning hits will be about him. There is only one person named Lemn Sissay in the world.

Producer: Ed Morrish

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in May 2015.

Available now

28 minutes

Last on

Mon 27 Jul 2020 22:30

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Broadcasts

  • Tue 5 May 2015 18:30
  • Tue 12 May 2015 07:30
  • Tue 12 May 2015 17:30
  • Tue 12 May 2015 22:00
  • Wed 13 May 2015 05:30
  • Thu 11 Jul 2019 23:00
  • Mon 27 Jul 2020 22:30

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