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Abiy WendifrawOctober 1, 202153

When the Ethiopian Premier League SC was established and began commercializing the televising of local football matches as of last year, many bet that Ethiopian football dependence on municipality budgets would end, with abundant commercial revenue now coming from DSTv.

Now, the league company is on another march to end its governmental dependency for good. The league company is currently conducting a study—the Ethiopian Premier League Development Plan—by hiring a consulting firm in a bid to build its own capacity and be able to attract more sponsors and partners and work in an ever-sustainable way and to never look for handouts again. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw explores.


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Abiy WendifrawSeptember 1, 202119

The breadth to which the success of Ethiopian athletics reaches is truly a wonder. First acquainted with the nation on a journalistic assignment in the 1980s, Jiro Mochizuki has since been attached to Ethiopian track and field greats and the nation at large. Befriending the great Haile Gebreselassie along the way, the Japanese frequently visits Ethiopia and is one of the professional photographers capturing the Great Ethiopian Run. Though disappointed with Ethiopia’s performance in his home town, his inspirational book of Haile is a testament to the running legend and the warming relationship between Ethiopia and her admirer. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw visited Jiro in Tokyo during the Olympics.


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Abiy WendifrawJuly 15, 202186

Abebe Bikila is a household name in Japan. Ethiopians have been preparing heavily to maintain Abebe’s legacy sixty years on. Of course, Ethiopians’ winning spirit is not a rare commodity at any athletics tournament. Yet, the delaying of the Tokyo Olympics by a year owing to COVID-19 pressures, financial strains, as well as personalized bickering and conflict amongst sport officials have affected preparations for the upcoming tournament and given discomfort to athletes. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw delves in.


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Abiy WendifrawJune 15, 2021109

Though birthed during the period of Ethiopia’s last emperor, the sport of golf was dealt an almost deadly blow ensuing the revolution as it was classified as bourgeoise. Slowly resuscitating for the past three decades, the infant sport is looking for a revival in these new-normal pandemic and post-pandemic times. It is being courted not only for its mental and physical health benefits, but also as a medicine for the economy through sport tourism. Two recent tournaments have given energy to the sport and its backers and believers. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw takes a swing at the sport and its potential.


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Abiy WendifrawMay 15, 2021170

No doubt, the power of sport is among the least exploited capital in peacemaking as well as nation building. Sport is not ideological but can unarm every extremist. Sport heroes as well as events have been uniting people from all walks of life. But lately, this capital has been eroding.
Now, the sport community including businesses, universities, and government institutions, are joining arms to lay the foundation for a great public sporting series dubbed Kerod Running, under the theme of Running for Peace. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw looked past the making of Kerod Running, expected to be a more conceptual version of the Great Ethiopian Run.


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Abiy WendifrawApril 15, 20211553

In the shadow of Abebe Bikila’s colossal fame is Addis Gezahegn, the first Ethiopian and African woman to win a major marathon. She finished the 1991 Rotterdam Marathon in 2:35:04, a record at the time for an African woman. She also competed in Tokyo in 1990, the Barcelona Olympic Games in 1992, and a in a total of 30 international tournaments.
She usually ran in men’s races, as separate races for women were almost nonexistent. Addis participated in the annual Abebe Bikila Marathon for men in Addis Ababa in 1989, her first ever 42 kilometers. Her spontaneous performance and non-fatigable physique could not pass unnoted by talent explorers of the national squad. At 155 centimeters high and weighing 45 kilograms, Addis still runs as a life experience, though she retired in 2011. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw, chatted with the sport’s stuntwoman about her captivating story.


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Abiy WendifrawMarch 15, 2021967

For the sport community, the Olympics are almost a ritual coming every four years but taking a lifetime of preparation. There were only few unfortunate years including during the world wars that forced the world’s greatest sporting festival to not be held. But this time, it is the invisible virus that forced the rescheduling of the Tokyo Olympic Games.
The cost was not only endured by Japan. Especially in track athletics, where Ethiopia beginning with Abebe Bikila had reigned supreme alongside its neighbor Kenya, Ethiopian athletes were dropping every sweat for the Tokyo tournament. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw witnessed the emotional breakdown hard-trained athletes faced upon the postponed, and possibly cancelled, Olympics.


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Abiy WendifrawJanuary 16, 20212131

Sport managers of high-end teams usually uncover every stone to find outstanding performers from small fields around the global village. But now, private sport investors who cultivate and market talent are emerging. Private sport academies nurture budding talent and train them with qualities that grow their visibility in the eyes of elite teams. In Ethiopia, sport investment has been a state initiative for long and most football clubs have been dependent upon government funds until recently. The trend is shifting especially after DStv started airing Ethiopian football games, thus opening more opportunities for sport investors working on the grassroot level. Abiy Wendifraw, witnessed the commercialization taking shape in football.


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Abiy WendifrawDecember 16, 20202527

In recent years, the number of people who go to gymnasiums and modern fitness facilities in Addis Ababa and other regional cities has been growing steadily. But this changed after the declaration of a state of emergency and a prohibition of sporting activities at all levels by the government in March 2020 in order to curb the spread of coronavirus. Although the prohibition was lifted and fitness centers opened their doors with all the COVID-19 prevention measures and protocols three months ago, most of the previous gym-goers didn’t return to the fitness venues. EBR’s adjunct writer Abiy Wendifraw explores.


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Abiy WendifrawNovember 15, 20203172

Ethiopian football clubs have been financially dependent upon their hometown municipalities and government funding arms for long. However, this is to become history, after the clubs decided to bet higher. A fotball games televizing bid floated by the Ethiopian Premier League S.C, recently established by the 16 elite clubs, fetched a dream amount, enough to free local football from undue dependence and thus usher an unexpected comeback. EBR’s Abiy Wendifraw delved into recent moves undertaken to commercialize the football industry.



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