Beserat Debebe is the comic creator of Ethiopia’s first female superhero comic, “Hawi”, a follow up to her earlier comic “Jember”. In Hawi he tells the story of an adolescent lady called Ement Legesse, who is on a rescue mission of her mother who was abducted.
In Hawi the scene is set in present-day Ethiopia and draws from the secrets of its rich past. Beserat Debebe, the founder of Etan Comic alongside a number of talented African illustrators collaborated to create this comic.
In delving into the rich history of Ethiopia, Hawi shone the spotlight on one of Ethiopia’s highly ranked women, Queen Yodit Gudit, a ruler in the 10th-century nicknamed Amharic as Esato, which translates to “fire”. She is remembered for her fearlessness and bold conquests – unfortunately her rich legacy has been watered down over time, however this comic serves to highlight her greatness which simply cannot be erased.
Debebe believes that having an Ethiopian superhero normalizes the idea that Ethiopians and Africans in general can have an impact on the world. He also spoke on his regret of not being able to have a superhero model in his formative years. Business Insider summarized Hawi as “a story about returning to one’s roots and having the courage to rise above the challenges that come with seeking reconciliation and belonging. Stressing further that it is relatable whether literally or figuratively.”