The Human Hair Wig Business Grows Despite the Ban

Human hair has traditionally been utilised for weddings or on women with short or thin hair who don’t have beautiful hair. But now that human hair is fashionable, even women with long and thick hair are wearing human hair to alter their looks. In recent years, human hair wigs have grown in popularity, giving women a stunning appearance. Human hair wigs have become one of the most popular beauty and makeover choices in Addis Ababa and other major towns. In this article, EBR’s Hemen Asmare tells a story of how the human hair business is still growing despite the government’s ban on its import.  


The traditional tattoo (Nikisat) has a long history in Ethiopia. Legends have it Ethiopians started tattooing with the introduction of Christianity millennial ago. Traditional tattoo (Nikisat) is one of the ways women in Ethiopia express their beauty, especially in Gondar, Gojjam and Tigray. Mothers and young women look beautiful by tattooing different designs on their necks, foreheads, gum and hands. Even though the old tradition of inking bodies is fading, a contemporary tattoo practice is on the rise as a culture and a business, mainly in the capital, writes EBR’s Hemen Asmare.


Ethiopians have had a difficult time in recent years. In a nation where the news is full of war, conflict, displacement, and economic challenges, just making it through the day might be the wisest choice. People do that, especially in the capital, Addis Ababa. Going to theaters, movies, and other festivals might temporarily relieve stress. A new addition to the list is the growing trend of standup shows. Even though it has not yet reached its full potential, standup comedy is indeed helping urbanites ease their economic pain. In this article, EBR’s Hemen Asmare shares insights she gathered talking to a young man who started a center in hopes of supporting the growth of standup comedy, and the role it may have in society.   


New City Displaces Thousands

Ethiopians have been internally displaced for a variety of reasons over the last couple of years. The security challenges posed by Shene, a group labeled a terrorist organization in Wolega, Western Oromia, or by Gumuz Militants in the State of Benishangul Gumuz, or during the war between the federal government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), have all shown Ethiopians the height of social and economic challenges. The most recent reason for displacement, however, is related to the establishment of a city- Sheger, a name previously used to refer to the capital Addis Ababa. In this article, EBR’s Trualem Asmare tries to depict the plight of citizens who are displaced following the plan to establish the new city.


Providing Beauty to Urbanites

Walking on the streets of Addis Ababa, it would not take long to notice mini flower marketplaces. These marketplaces are now increasing in number in almost all districts of the capital as the tradition of using indoor and outdoor flowers to decorate residences has grown. At the various corners of the capital, it has become big business to grow and sell indoor plants. As a result of the community’s expanding change in attitude towards aesthetics, members of the society have started to purchase and use them at a premium price to adorn their homes. In this article, EBR’s Tirualem Asmare looks into the flourishing flower business that is bringing beauty and livelihoods to homes in the capital.


A decade or two ago, it would have been hard to imagine the numerous pastry shops Addis Ababa has now. As the nation’s economy grows and household income goes up, people’s needs are changing as well. In the past few years, bakeries that used to offer just a loaf of bread are transforming into pastry shops, selling cakes in all shapes and sizes. Along with this slowly growing business, we’ve seen the emergence of the art of cake decorating. In this article, EBR’s Tirualem Asmare looks into the growing, creative art of cake decorating.


The popularity of book-to-film adaptations is rising. Popular books are frequently adapted into movies and television shows because studios want to capitalise on a successful idea that already has a following, bringing it to a larger audience. Georges Melies, a pioneer who paved the path for numerous film methods, is credited with creating the first known footage of a book-to-film adaptation. In 1899, he produced two adaptations: Cinderella, based on the Brothers Grimm tale, and King John, the first film known to be based on Shakespeare. His other work is based on the English author H. Rider Haggard’s adventure tale, Her. The practice is also being adapted into Ethiopian cinema, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


The purpose of the holidays is to honor the things that bind people together in life. The holidays are also a time for giving beyond offering appreciation and expressing gratitude to loved ones– often in the way of gifts. This year, the culture of gift-giving faces a formidable foe in the form of unabated inflation, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


String art is the process of creating geometric designs by weaving colorful string, wool, wire, or yarn between hammered nails. Thread lines are used by artists to produce carving patterns that can take on a variety of appealing shapes. Using thread and nails to create angles was an organic notion that evolved into a unique style of art. Not long ago, it was not well understood in Addis Ababa. Since recently, however, this form of art is making its way to luxurious residences and taking center stage at art exhibitions, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


Ethiopia has long been home to musical artists with immeasurable social impact, from the traditional azmari who had the unique permission to critique members of the nobility with carefully crafted lyrics in times past to modern-day musicians who have fought against government censorship and oppression to keep the show going. Unfortunately, the artists have reaped less than what they deserve from their hard work due to the laxness around copyright laws and a lack of a proper system for distributing royalty payments. EBR’s Tirualem Asmare explores how the launch of a new music streaming platform has the potential for meaningful change.

Ethiopian Business Review | EBR is a first-class and high-quality monthly business magazine offering enlightenment to readers and a platform for partners.

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