Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Ethiopian contortionist's life comes full circle

Her friend David Carlin calls contortionist Sosina Wogayehu a "can-do kind of woman", and reading his new biography on the former child asylum seeker and Circus Oz star, it's hard to argue.

Sosina Wogayehu, Circus Oz performer from Ethiopia. Photo: Vince Caligiuri
This is a woman who talked her way into a theatre course at Swinburne University, and later the National Institute of Circus Arts -- on both occasions after applications had closed. She raised enormous sums to bring her father Tewabe, dying of cancer, from Addis Ababa to Melbourne for hospital treatment.

She was a globetrotting performer with Circus Ethiopia for five years in her teens, until in 1998 she and 14 other young members sought asylum in Australia because their leader was a paedophile who abused, underpaid and overworked them.

After a two year fight, they were allowed to stay. Wogayehu became a star with Circus Oz, performing across Europe and on Broadway. Read more from The Age »

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