Every now and then, Martha Tadesse’s passion for photography leads her to travel to a region in Ethiopia, or another country in Africa, to tell a story, and convey a message with her camera

By David Tamsey  (MyWeku Tastes) |

Martha Tadesse is an Ethiopian photographer who believes photography can be a tool for community development, and even the development of the continent of Africa at large. After pursuing an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Dire Dawa University, she entered the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology to pursue a major in Community Development. Currently, she works as a Project Coordinator for an international NGO working with orphans and street children in Ethiopia. Every now and then, her passion for photography leads her to travel to a region in Ethiopia, or another country in Africa, to tell a story, and convey a message with her camera, which she hopes makes a difference in the lives of her continent’s inhabitants.

What has been the drive behind your passion for Ethiopia, and Africa at large?

Martha Tadesse: A love for my country and for my continent. Africa has been misrepresented big time. For many, Africa is all about the starve-appealing babies and huts. True, there are huts and babies with flies but you can never tell half the story and decide that is all about it. There are so many beautiful smiles that deserve a camera pose and many inspiring, uplifting and funny stories from those huts in the media that need to be told.

How did you learn to make photography your voice?

When I started photography, I honestly didn’t know I could use it as a tool in challenging societal standards. In the process of time, I grew into writing stories of the people I photographed. There, my passion for community development came alive and I became a great friend with my camera.

I realised I could talk about access to education with portraits of kids, so I did. I realised I could talk about domestic adoption with stories from street children, so I did. I’ve shared wisdom from the old, and painted photographic pictures of the beautiful cultures of different people groups. It’s been an exhilarating experience, serving as a voice for the subjects and topics I photograph.

So your approach has mainly been photographs and stories

Yes, I share what I can write about, be it people or places.

Continue reading this interview on MyWeku Tastes
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