Menna AsratFebruary 17, 2019

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

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

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


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.

Menna AsratOctober 15, 2018


In Ethiopia, traditional dances used to celebrate festivals, weddings, and occasions of every kind. With more than 80 traditional dances from all the corners of the country, one of the most widely known forms of Ethiopian traditional dance, known as eskista, has been experiencing some ups and downs in the past few years. However, eskista along with other traditional dances are making their way to global audiences currently. Even some people in Europe and America are learning Ethiopian traditional dances on their own. EBR’s Menna Asrat looks at where Ethiopian traditional dance is today and what the future may hold for the art form.

Ethiopian Business ReviewEthiopian Business ReviewSeptember 15, 2018

A New Hero for a New Generation

Comic books have been taking over the international pop culture scene for quite some time. With the surge in popularity of printed and online comic books, as well as blockbuster movies from comic-inspired cinematic universes, an increasing number of adults have started to revisit the comic books they loved in their childhoods, as well as introducing a new generation to the art.

Menna AsratAugust 15, 2018


The government recently appointed Nebiyou Baye as the new director of the National Theatre of Ethiopia. Although he worked in films as an actor and writer on top of lecturing at Addis Ababa University, Nebiyou has spent almost his entire life in the theatre, building up a wealth of knowledge and expertise to bring theatre to a higher level. EBR’s Menna Asrat sat down with him to find out what to expect fat the National Theatre in the coming years.

Menna AsratJuly 15, 2018


Music has always been an integral part of Ethiopian life, whether it is traditional music or more modern fare. In recent years, with the development of media sharing sites and social media, like Youtube, musicians have found a better and new way to connect with their audience. As a result, the music business is witnessing a dynamic change, which led to the production of some very creative music videos. EBR’s Menna Asrat looks at changing trends in the music business.

Menna AsratJune 16, 2018


People with disabilities have generally been kept on the side lines of societal life in Ethiopia, whether because of misconceptions of their abilities and personalities, or because of discrimination. But now, Destino Dance, an Ethiopian social enterprise born to support underprivileged young people, is taking steps to change popular conceptions of marginalised people by hosting intensive classes and training sessions to draw people into the discipline who would never have had a chance before. On the way, the Company is raising the stock of contemporary dance in Ethiopia and around the world. EBR’s Menna Asrat looks at Destino current and past projects and asks what’s next for them.

Menna AsratJune 15, 2018

Excelling in Experimentation and Improvisation

Tesfahun Kibru, a 40 year old artist and father of one from Addis Ababa, recently opened an exhibition of his works from the last three years. The artist is renowned for his work made out of everyday things such as scrap metal and rubber to make sculptures, paintings that used rust as paint and works of art that incorporates rubber. The exhibition, which shows off gravity defying sculptures and innovative paintings, shows off the artist’s technical skills, but more than that, his dedication to experimentation and improvisation. EBR’s Menna Asrat visited Tesfahun’s exhibition to find out what makes the artist tick.

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