Selamawit Dejen Woretaw seemed like a young woman on the move, looking confidently to the future and not to the past

By Samuel Getachew (The Huffington Post Canada) |

The favorite words of Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC) hosts, Selamawit Dejen Woretaw, are “Smile, as it is the world’s most powerful gesture.” It is no wonder; she has been smiling, as she hosts a daily sports segment, right after EBC’s most watched news program and makes history and shatters the glass ceilings for women broadcasters all over Ethiopia.

I had a chance to interview the elegant 25-year-old recently at her favorite restaurant — Hibr YeBahil Adarash — In the sought after neighborhood of Bole. I was an hour late and was apologetic as I walked in. Selamawit was gracious and did not want to hear my excuses. She seemed like a young woman on the move, looking confidently to the future and not to the past.

The Gondar native’s unlikely path to broadcasting started by chance three years ago. The then ETV — Ethiopia’s lone public broadcasting corporation — was on the lookout for a new host with a fresh look and style. Selamawit loved sports, which she barely played it in her adolescent years, but had a passing interest in it in her 20s. Her friends were persistent and encouraged her to explore the opportunity.

Selamawit was then a busy new graduate of Bahir Dar University in Chemical and Processing Engineering, and lecturing at Addis Ababa University’s prestigious Addis Ababa Science and Technology (ASTU) part-time, all before her 22nd birthday. She had skipped several grades and graduated from high school a few years in advance.

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Selamawit’s family wanted her to go far. Medical school, perhaps graduate school or even become a full fledged professor. They knew she had what it takes to pursue and achieve anything she wanted to. She was determined to fulfill their ambition for her.

Continue reading this story on The Huffington Post Canada
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