Author: Menna Asrat

Menna AsratFebruary 17, 2019

1min95620
A Rising Star on The Horizon

Behailu Wase is one of the popular stars in the Ethiopian television and film industry. As a writer, director and producer, Behailu is the mind behind one of the most popular sitcoms on Ethiopian television: Min Litazez. The young writer has also produced some of the country’s most well received films, such as Ayrak and YeLidete Qen. Having been involved in the film and television industry for almost a decade, Behailu has seen all the ins and outs of the business. He sat down with EBR’s Menna Asrat to discuss the challenges facing the creative and dramatic arts in Ethiopia, as well the inspirations behind his own work.


Menna AsratFebruary 17, 2019
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1min78610

Modelling has been an established career in much of the world for a long time. Involved in advertising, runway shows, and everything in between, models have cultivated a reputation as being well paid and respected in many parts of the world. However, in Ethiopia, modelling was not seen as a career with a future, as was the case with many creative careers. In fact, it is only within the past decade or so that modelling has started to come into the mainstream, with televised competitions, and schools dedicated to the subject. EBR’s Menna Asrat spoke with industry insiders to understand how modelling is developing.


Menna AsratFebruary 17, 2019
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1min84760

Ambulances are an everyday sight in Addis, zipping from one side of the city to the other, carrying patients to hospitals around the city. However, even as they carry out their life saving work, they are faced with many obstacles, including Addis’ notorious traffic problem, which delays them from reaching their destinations in a timely manner. EBR’s Menna Asrat explores the problem and what is being done to lessen it.


Menna AsratFebruary 17, 2019
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1min113130
Reflecting on Drama

Alemayehu Tadesse is one of Ethiopia’s most accomplished actors and playwright. Having worked in television, film and theatre, as well as being a producer and writer, Alemayehu has seen the ups and downs of Ethiopia’s arts scene for two decades. Through his involvement in plays like Babylon beSalon, and radio stories like Efoyta, Alemayehu has become one of the most popular actors and producers in the country. In addition, as one of the members of the committee that reviews new plays submitted to the National Theatre, he is well positioned to reflect on the development of the dramatic arts in Ethiopia. EBR’s Menna Asrat spoke with him about the roadblocks dramatic arts is facing and what the future holds for Ethiopia’s acting industry.


Menna AsratJanuary 15, 2019
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1min87490
Ethiopia’s Flirtation With Hard Drugs

Issues with drug abuse are not new to developing countries. Often affecting the poorest and youngest members of society, hard drugs are starting to become a risk to public health. In Ethiopia, hard drug use was almost unheard of until the past few years. Nowadays, it is more common to see young teenagers on the street drinking or abusing solvents out in the open. However, the ‘traditional’ drugs such as khat and alcohol are not the only substances being abused by young people anymore. Foreign drugs, such as cocaine and ketamine are becoming more widely consumed, especially amongst young people. EBR’s Menna Asrat reports


Menna AsratJanuary 15, 2019
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1min50790
Efrem Seyoum Looks to the Past for Inspiration

Efrem Seyoum is considered one of Ethiopia’s greatest living poets. His fans and critics alike look forward to the release of each of his works, with copies being snapped up from bookshops and vendors very soon after they are published. His experiments with form and content have revolutionized the poetic landscape of Ethiopia, paving the way for countless young poets to revitalize the literary scene in Addis. The 39 year old is also interested in the country’s ancient poetic and literary traditions, an interest which informs his choice of project, which includes translations from Ge’ez to Amharic, as well as short stories and plays. EBR’s Menna Asrat sat down with Efrem to find out more about his process and inspirations.


Menna AsratDecember 15, 2018
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1min78640
A Problem Ignored in Ethiopia

Child labour has long been discussed as an issue in many parts of the world. In particular, families in developing countries have long relied on all members, even the youngest, to help shoulder the load of providing for the family. Although some experts have contended that there are ways for children to help with families’ livelihoods without being affected themselves, many children sent out to work are exposed to violations of their rights through physical and even sexual abuse, labour abuse and human trafficking. EBR’s Menna Asrat reports.


Menna AsratDecember 15, 2018
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1min62120
The Entrepreneur Behind the Educational TV Show for kids

Bruktawit Tigabu is the mastermind behind one of the most popular television shows in Ethiopia- Tsehay Loves Learning- which is estimated to reach up to five million children every week. The gaps in the country’s early childhood education system prompted her to establish Whiz Kids Workshops, a social business that produces Tsehay Loves Learning and other educational materials. Bruktawit is also among the few social entrepreneurs in Ethiopia. EBR’s Menna Asrat sat down with her to learn what makes the 37 years old tick.


Menna AsratNovember 15, 2018
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1min86780
Ethiopia’s Hidden Victims

Sexual abuse against children is a surprisingly frequent, but unreported issue. To make it worse, most cases go unreported because of the accompanying stigma. While the level of psycho-social assistance for victims is quite low, the abused children can also suffer from depression to substance abuse issues. The names of the victims and their families have been changed to protect their identities. EBR’s Menna Asrat reports.


Menna AsratNovember 15, 2018
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1min86520

The Ethiopian music industry has been in a state of flux recently. Even though the popularity of Ethiopian songs and singers has increased with the spread of social media and video sharing sites, the advent of new technology in the industry has led to a change in how professionals make and distribute their music. Part of the side effect of this change is the closure of the historic music and record companies. EBR’s Menna Asrat looked into the reasons behind the closure of music labels and their long-lasting impact.



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