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.


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.


Dibekulu, affectionately known by his fans as “Dibe”, is an Ethiopian artist who resides in the vibrant capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. His melodic style, which is simultaneously playful and reflective, is influenced by his love of jazz, classical music, and improvised instrumental music stemming from his African roots. His passion for music was ignited by legendary Ethiopian artists such as Ketema Mekonnen, Tilahun Gessesse, Girma Beyene, Muluken Melesse, Aster Aweke, Asnakech Worku, and Bizunesh Bekele, who to this day serve as his role models and inspirations. In his own words, DibeKulu says: “These artists have had a huge impact on me both as a musician and human being, and I give them credit for having an influence on who I am as a person and musician”.

DibeKulu, the youngest of three children, was born in the city of Addis. His family is his compass and he attributes much of his musical passion to them. His grandfather, a strong man of faith, was a strong presence in his life, and gave him the name “DibeKulu”, which is a combination of two Ge’ez words meaning “Kehulu Belay” which loosely translates to “destined for greatness”. Early on, he recognized that he was born to be a musician who was put on earth to inspire generations with his gift of music.
DibeKulu started performing in the early 2000s in various nightclubs and other settings around Addis Ababa. A young and gifted artist like DibeKulu had plenty of options world ushered in a new millennium and a new decade.

Owing to his impressive live performances, DibeKulu gained prominence in the modern Ethiopian music scene. As a musician, he embodies the essence of African music, exhibiting a young man with an old soul. During his time with Jano Band, DibeKulu performed concerts in Addis Ababa, Arba Minch, Bahir Dar, Dessie, Jimma, and Mekelle cities. Internationally, he performed in Brazil, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, the United States, and the United Kingdom. As the young artist departed his former band and went solo, Haben Woldu sat down with him for an EBR exclusive.


The increased prevalence of single music tracks has diminished the prevalence of full music albums. However, those Ethiopian artists dedicating themselves to release the longer works are making significant impact. One tradition that seems to be on the rise along with the release of these music albums are the events that accompany them. It has now become common for artists to announce the release of their albums at lavish events. The latest addition to musicians employing expensive release events is Rophan—the young artist that has rocked the nation with his latest album called SIDIST. In this article, EBR’s Trualem Asmare tells the story of these album release events and their implication.


The revamping of Meskel Square, turning an abandoned area into Friendship Square, decorating the corridors of main roads, and a new project to be undertaken along the city’s railway have all been done by the current administration to lift the face of the capital. A city that was once insulted by the late Libyan leader Moammar Ghaddafi for being too dirty to host the African Union, has been on a series of facelifting activities in the last couple of years. Beyond aesthetics, the projects also serve individuals, small businesses, and the city administration as a source of income. While these project sites are attracting more and more photoshoots offering beautiful backdrops to seize important moments in citizens’ lives, many fear they have classed out the majority of the city’s residents, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


Concert business in Addis Ababa has been booming and getting the attention of music lovers as well as local and international performers. All was joyful before the bad news of a global pandemic kicked in. As has been the case for many other businesses in the hospitality sector, concerts and live events were banned from the public scene. Conflicts in the northern part of the country also meant that international and regional performers would not bet on visiting Ethiopia. Even when restrictions eased, it was not easy for these businesses to have showtimes. Slowly, but surely, the African capital is hearing the sound of musicians from live concerts again, writes EBR’s Trualem Asmare.


Pottery—the art of molding clay soil into various shapes of products—is bringing business to women at a center in Addis Ababa’s Gulele district. In the center, pottery is giving both livelihoods and life to the more than 300 women involved, though not as modernized as one would have liked. As much as the practice is giving a good look to people’s living rooms as well as giving high service in Ethiopian kitchens and homes, the craft still struggles to improve the society’s bad impression of it as a profession, writes Trualem Asmare.


Ethiopian artists have long presented their works for insufficient compensation. The same is true for artists worldwide, to varying degrees. The idea of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is now offering alternatives for artists to generate the income they deserve by ensuring the intactness of their artworks’ copyrights. Even though NFTs are a very recent phenomenon, some Ethiopians are slowly introducing themselves to this parallel digital reality. As much as this new world of NFTs offers an immense opportunity, legal, structural, and ethical challenges still remain to be addressed, writes EBR’s Addisu Deresse.

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