Town Beat

First Time in Miss Universe Contest

Ferehiyewot Abebe, a 19-year-old computer science student from Gonder, became the first Ethiopian to participate in the Miss Universe contest. The event was held on June 1, 2004 in Quito, Ecuador. Abebe was crowned as Miss Universe Ethiopia this spring. The pageant was televised in 156 countries.


Miss Ethiopia 2003 Dethroned

Yodit Getahun, Miss Ethiopia World 2003, has been stripped of her title for choosing to remain in the Philippines after participating in the Miss Earth competition there on November 9, 2003. She received the special title of Miss Friendship at the contest. In a recent news alert sent to Tadias, the Ethiopian Life Foundation, licensee of several international pageants for Ethiopia, claimed that Ms. Getahun’s decision to stay in Manila violated the terms of her agreement with the organization. Tadias could not locate Ms. Getahun for comment.

U.S. Doctors for Africa Opens for Business

The California based non-profit organization, founded by Ethiopian- American social entrepreneur Ted Alemayhu, has opened a new office in Sherman Oaks, California. Former Los Angeles Chief of Police, Bernard C. Parks, was among the many highprofile dignitaries present at the grand opening on May 16, 2004. Tadias profiled Ted Alemayhu in our May/ June 2003 issue.


Jiitu Abraham Models for Revlon

22-year-old broadcast journalism student, Jiitu Abraham, has signed a contract with Revlon to appear in a national print campaign for the company’s black haircare product, African Pride. The advertisement will run for 2 years in Vibe, Essence and several other magazines. Jiitu has modeled for Tadias’s Fashion Talk section (October/November 2003 issue), and was pictured at our Washington, D.C., launch party on June 17th, 2003 (August/September 2003 issue).

Ethiopian Film Nominated for Emmy Award

“Zemad’s Journey,” a one hour docu-drama by Ethiopian-American filmmaker, Belay Workeneh, and co-narrated by Awetu Simesso, an Ethiopianborn actor and a long time scholar of Africa at Stanford University, has been nominated for the 2004 Emmy Awards. Set in rural Ethiopia and the capital city Addis Ababa, the film documents the life of a young girl who follows her dream of improved life in a big city. Unfortunately, her dream turns into a nightmare as she falls prey to the harsh realities of unemployment, bewilderment and sexual abuse. “Zemad’s Journey” was reviewed by Tadias in our May/June 2003 issue.

Ethiopian- American Receives the Highest Science Honor in the U.S.

Dr. Tilahun Yilma, a professor of virology at UC Davis, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest honors accorded to scientists in the United States. According to the Davis Enterprise, the university town’s local newspaper, one of Yilma’s milestone accomplishments was the development in 1986 of a genetically engineered vaccine for rinderpest. “The vaccine was approved in 1997 for widespread use throughout Africa”, said the newspaper. “It was the first genetically engineered vaccine to be released by a U.S.-funded researcher in a foreign country”.


SENZERO Coming to America

Senzero has arrived in America. The first ever doll to be manufactured in Ethiopia is being made available in the United States in response to an overwhelming demand by Ethiopian-American parents who are eager to instill cultural pride in their children. The video CD that accompanies the doll shows Senzero performing traditional Ethiopian dance - he moves his shoulders up and down, pushes his head backwards and forwards, and lifts his knees in the air in the style of dancers from various parts of the country. The video is a clip from the popular animated television series.

Dr. Rebecca Mammo Wins Humanitarian Award

The Bay Area Consortium for Quality Health Care has honored the California-based physician for her humanitarian work and tireless dedication to help underserved communities. Dr. Mammo, 33, received the award at a Gala held on April 24, 2004 in the Bay Area. She is a graduate of Harvard Medical School and is currently the Director of Ujima Hollistic Family Health Center in Oakland, California. Dr. Mammo is also an occasional contributor to Tadias Magazine’s Health Section. Her article on the hidden dangers of Hepatitis B appeared in our May/June 2003 issue.

Yonie Signs with Major Record Label

Ethiopian-American rising music star, Yonie, has landed a major recording contract with Integy Records, a Seattle-based entertainment company with a worldwide distribution network. The 22-year-old artist expects to release his first album with the new label in early 2005. He is also scheduled to perform at the Seahawks Stadium during the closing ceremonies at the 2004 Ethiopian Soccer Tournament in Seattle, Washington. Yonie was featured on the cover of Tadias in our May/ June 2003 issue.