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  • Africa’s happiest feet: the Great Ethiopian Run


    The Great Ethiopian Run is Africa’s biggest fun run. It’s colourful and chaotic, and there’s no better way to see the capital Addis Ababa.

    Addis Ababa is not a city that naturally lends itself to running. The potholes are deep. The traffic is hectic. Street corners are makeshift markets. And throughout the city, buildings, roadways and train lines spring up almost overnight, like mushrooms. Yet here I am, one of 40,000 people, my face painted with the colours of the Ethiopian flag, laughing and dancing and jogging through the streets as part of the biggest race in Africa.

    There are few phrases treated with such scorn in the running world as “fun run”. They are for beginners and are not worth travelling halfway around the world for. But if one event can reclaim the phrase, it’s the Great Ethiopian Run. Founded by Haile Gebrselassie, the greatest distance runner of all time and a national hero, it’s a 10km race through the heart of this bustling, fascinating city.

    What strikes you first when you arrive in Addis is the unique light: a sunset-warm glow softened by a dust filter – regardless of the actual time of day. Navigating the streets requires nerves of steel – there only seem to be two sets of working traffic lights in the whole place, and drivers view even these as purely decorative. High above it all is the growing city’s ever-present scaffolding. Built from the most fragile-looking bamboo, it makes that famous picture of workers picnicking on a girder atop 30 Rockefeller Center look like a health and safety ad.

    Read more at Theguardian.com

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  • Celebrating the Ethiopian New Year with Mahmoud Ahmed


    At 74, Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed still has a command presence onstage.

    When Mahmoud Ahmed opens his mouth to sing, his voice trembles. This isn’t some stylish affectation and it certainly isn’t stage fright. That lovely wobble you’re hearing is one of Ethiopia’s brightest and longest-burning stars attempting to wrangle an entire spectrum of human emotion into his vowels. It’s the sound of a national hero who, at 74, still sounds as stately as he does emotive.

    On Friday, Ahmed will ring in the Ethiopian New Year at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. It’s a large but relatively cozy venue for the singer, especially considering that the District boasts the largest Ethiopian population outside of Ahmed’s native Addis Ababa.

    If you’re lucky enough to score a seat, you’ll have rare proximity to a remarkable voice. So listen close. But don’t forget to dance.

    With Tineshu Tilahun on Friday at Lisner Auditorium. Show starts at 8 p.m. 202-994-6800. lisner.gwu.edu. $35, $29.75 for GW students.

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  • Africa Fashion Week London 2015 kicks off

     

    Africa Fashion Week London kicked off in the UK capital on Friday, bringing together over 100 new and emerging designers inspired by the culture of the continent. Susan Mwongeli with more on that.

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  • Global Leaders Focus on Poverty Reduction & Inclusive Growth

    Global leaders attending a development summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia have stressed the importance of committing themselves to reducing poverty and promoting inclusive growth. Around seven thousand stakeholders including government representatives, corporate leaders and civil society members are attending the meeting in a bid to find solutions to sustainable development. Girum Chala has more.

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  • Roha Band & Mahmoud Ahmed Reunion Concert

    One of the most popular music bands in Ethiopia, Roha Band will be back on stage on Monday, 6pm, at the National Theater after two decades. 

    Alliance Ethio-Française is hosting the concert twenty years after members of the band held their last concert together. Entrance is free.

    The Roha Band was formed in the early 1980’s right after the Ibex Band was disbanded. Members of the Ibex Band, namely Giovanni Rico, Selam Seyoum and Fekade Amdemeskel got together with Dawit Yifru, who was a member of Dahlak Band and agreed to form a new band – Roha.

    Roha Band went on to dominate the Ethiopian music scene playing at Hilton Hotel and Ghion Hotel. The band also toured the world including the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

    They recorded the legendary Mahmoud Ahmed’s subsequent albums and albums of other renowned singers. Roha was disbanded in the early 1990s. Most of the members are still active keeping themselves busy with new recordings.

    Source: Thereporterethiopia

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