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  • Soap actor Znah-Bzu Tsegaye Seeks Asylum in the US - BBC


    Prominent Ethiopian actor Znah-Bzu Tsegaye has sought asylum in the US after leaving the country about two months ago, he told Voice of America.

    The actor was in a weekly soap opera Sew Le Sew on state television.

    He left because of "repeated harassment and for being Amhara" he told Voice of America.

    In an interview with Voice of America's Amharic service, the actor said the Ethiopian security forces had carried out "atrocious actions" and he had decided not to return home until the "regime is changed".

    He said he wanted to seek asylum after the high-profile anti-government protest, and he is now in the US.

    Source: BBC

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  • Bullied, Cowed: the Nation’s Singers Shun New Year Festivities


    It started as a social media campaign, with a number of posts said to emerge mainly on Facebook, calling for a boycott on a number of concerts to be held by singers for Ethiopian New Year. The campaign rationalised its boycott to the current unrest in some parts of the Amhara and Oromia states, where “many” civilians are said to have been killed and arrested by security forces.

    So, the Facebook boycott campaigners argue that it is immoral to have a music festival in such a situation. Some of the singers, who spoke with Fortune on the basis on anonymity, say the campaign has affected them.

    This campaign has in fact forced many performers in and outside the country to cancel their concerts. It has cost promoters, music bands and the individual singers millions. Close to seven concerts in and outside the capital were cancelled – not to mention those in Europe, the US and the Middle East.

    “It is not like everyone who is cancelling their concert believes in the above argument,” said an industry source also affected because of the cancellation of their concert.

    He, whose name is withheld upon request, said that his band, which was to host a major concert in the capital, has lost close to 100,000Br.

    “It doesn’t make any difference whatever rationale they put out,” said the same source. “This is our job.”

    Some of the artists have also decided to cancel their concert so as not to collide with the Diaspora community, as they believe that the push is coming from them.

    Another big concert that is said to have been cancelled is the one at Ghion Hotel. The concert, organised by Eyoha Promotion, was planned to host Beruktawit Getahun aka Betty G, and Abdu Kiar. The promotion company behind the concert has been promoting the concert through a number of outlets, including billboards.

    Abdu Kiar, as a performer, has also suffered from another cancellation of a concert that was planned to be held in Israel, on September 15, 2016.

    Sources close to the organising of the concert told Fortune that the two singers were to be paid between 150,000 to 200,000Br.

    Another singer, who wants to remain anonymous, estimated that the bigger concerts, like the one organised by Eyoha, would briny at least 300,000 Br lose.

    He shared an experience where he himself was forced to cancel a small music show along with other performers.

    “Ours was not that big,” he said. “We lost around 70,000Br due to the cancellation.”

    This loss does not include advance payments for the performers.

    “It all started from threats, insults and bullying made as comments on Facebook,” he explains. “So, we fear that this might erode our reputation as a performer.”

    Eyoha Promotion is also know for its involvement in organising a number of entertainment activities, including exhibitions.

    Another concert that was targeted by the bullying mob on social media was the one organised by Aurora Productions. The concert was supposed to host four internationally acclaimed singers, as well as Lej Michael, a raising Ethiopian musician. Later, Lej Michael withdrew himself from the concert because of the same reason as many of the artists.

    “Most of them fear being singled out from the crowd and fear for their reputation,” Shewit Betew, CEO of Aurora, told Fortune.

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  • The Weeknd rocks the Guinness World Records 2017 Edition with two new titles


    Global singing sensation, The Weeknd (b. Abel Tesfaye), has cemented himself a spot in the Guinness World Records 2017 Edition, setting two new titles following the debut of his second studio album, Beauty Behind the Madness.

    Released on August 28, 2015, the breakthrough album was the Most streamed album on Spotify in one year, current (unique listeners).  Between December 1, 2014 and December 1, 2015, Beauty Behind the Madness amassed an incredible 60 million listeners on the streaming service.



    One of the lead tracks on the album – "Can't Feel My Face" – had 448,334,867 streams alone by January 13, 2016.

    Read more at guinnessworldrecords.com

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  • Ethiopian youth use media to address social issues

    A group of girls is taking a different approach to confronting social and cultural barriers that make it difficult for girls to thrive. The teen brand known as Yegna tells the story of five girls from different backgrounds and parts of the country. 

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  • Chula, an Ethiopian film that addresses mental health - BBC

    Chula, a film in its final production stages, aims to show the reality of the often quite isolating experience of settling in a very different environment. Its maker, Ledet Muleta, is a psychiatric nurse from Ethiopia who lives in the United States.

    She told BBC Africa's Jenny Horrocks why she turned to film making to get her message across.

    (Image: Still from the film, courtesy of Ledet Muleta) 

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