An uptight affluent celebrity chef meets up with a street smart, destitute, tough girl in the new Amharic film “Shefu” produced by Mekdi Productions.
The film stars Million Asefa as a snobbish anxious Chef with his own television show and the rising star of Amharic films and dramas the beguiling Mahder Assefa, while Alemseged Assefa best known for his role in the romantic comedy film “Mechaniku” is a wily Assistant Chef and the veteran actor Tesfaye Gessese is the strict elderly father who was wild in his younger days.The film’s plot looks more like a suspense filled comedy. The rich Chef has everything going for him except romance. He is betrayed and manipulated several times by his lying cheating girlfriend. When he travels through “Cherkos,” a very poor area of Addis Ababa, he has one of his tires stolen, and chases the thief into the shantytown where he meets the “tough girl” of the area.
The street wise girl after speaking in her street slang with the thief and colleagues returns the tire to the owner but not before extracting money from him.
Meanwhile the rich Chef temporarily parts ways with his deceitful girlfriend before he can introduce her to his dad. However he comes up with an idea to con his father by trying to introduce the tough “Cherkos Girl” as his girlfriend.
When his father sees her manners it reminded him of his rebellious youth and he takes a liking to her even though she embarrasses the Chef with her slang.
The latter tries to win his girlfriend back. However, seeing her with another man he devises a plan with the help of the clever assistant chef to make his girlfriend jealous by taking the “Cherkos Girl” to places where his girlfriend passes her time with her other secret boyfriend.
The “Cherkos Girl” together with his assistant chef shows him the inappropriateness of his deceitful girlfriend and he through time gets close to the “Cherkos Girl”, however blows his chance by talking trash about her and her neighborhood. Having blown his chances of romance with the Cherkos girl, he finally introduces his real girlfriend to his father who came from vacation abroad, but his father is repelled by his girlfriend’s arrogant and demeaning behavior leading him to reject her with his son subsequently following suit and dumping her altogether.
However the Chef is left with one task ahead; to go to the “Cherkos Girl’s” dangerous neighborhoods apologize and ask her to be his fiancée. She accepts after initial hesitation because of her wounded pride and his now arrogant ex-girlfriend is dumped also by her other man who’s as selfish as her.
This convincing, yet a bit exaggerated portrayal of class conflict and love across the lines seems to be one of the few “Amhraic Films” that show the ever widening gap between Addis Ababa’s super rich and the substantial underclass which most people, the media and indeed films ignore most of the time. It’s indeed a film showing subtly both the two Addis world’s collision and symbiosis and as such is a film worth seeing to enjoy a good laugh, cringe at seemingly inappropriate manners, ponder at the city’s invisible extremely poor people and be delighted at a genuinely heartwarming actions and ending.