A Renewed EBC: Genesis, Prospects

2 Mons Ago
A Renewed EBC:   Genesis, Prospects

AHMED MOHAMMED

EBC-- home to national treasure of Ethiopia - has now moved to Shegole Area. It is nearly century-old airwaves of eighty thousand hours are now being relocated, and of course will be settled at the newly renovated media complex.

Call it a recollection of a nation, not just relocation of collections of Audio-Videos (AV). Every time you try to retrieve pieces of clips from its AV archives, you feel the vintage, the depth of contents it has treasured, you stumble up on discovering Ethiopia; its history, identity and culture which the state-owned media-Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation has stored, tabulated and shelved for nearly a century for Radio and close to 60 years for the TV.

Ever since its frequencies burst   into the skies of Addis Ababa and beyond, EBC has immensely played great roles in shaping Ethiopia. It redefined and refined our identity, nurtured successive generations, traded patriotism to black people, introduced scientific discoveries from overseas, enlightened Ethiopians of old days, Africans as well.

EBC is known for the African cause- well preached blackness, mobilized movements against the then colonial masters, fueled the revolutionary Pan-Africanist thoughts in the Caribbean, introduced political ideologies and theories, fresh perspectives into African soil, promoted the birth of the then continental organization, Organization of African Unity (OAU), today’s AU.

Now, as a grownup, I distinctly remember the soul pervading tales that radio Ethiopia used to air, the travel stories I enjoyed and got help for imaginatively touring across the nation are still fresh in my mind. It shaped and refined my personality. In the lead up to which I’m today, radio Ethiopia has played its part, and deserves the credit, its book smart journalists of the time should be solemnly saluted as well. 

The broadcaster, which is now ambitiously hoping to be one of the prestigious media houses in Africa, has settled at its newly built media complex, where its surroundings are convenient, as many told me, and mood -boosting for journalists to freely operate and cooperate more professionally. 

With its new complex a little away from the heart of Addis, though, many find the present EBC suitable to produce quality productions for substantial factors. Unlike its old building, the latest broadcaster is, honestly speaking, work-friendly to contemplate, chat and make rehearsals under scattered and clustered shades of trees, apart from the adequately, artistically and carefully designed office settings. The scenery is captivating as well, and full of greenery neighborhoods of protected forests, which Gullele Botanic Garden is on its adjacent.

Here in the new media building, I think, latent talents can be retrieved, hidden gems - some journalists who have been long unnoticed would surely claim a suitable landscape for their creative passion to surface. What the forest pumps is fresh air, no nuisances to distract you from your thoughts. 

The building is composed of extra-large compounds, constituting a football field--- plot of land for urban farming practices ---- a patch for a dairy as well, from where snacks are cooked and served from freshly picked vegetables. Also is full of parking lots and several alleys to slip into the   nearby thick forests.

Now, short of a few years to go into a centenary, EBC, which got its birth years after radio Ethiopia took to airwaves of Africa, is looking forward to voice Africa entirely, setting a vision to claim in a few years to come.

Long story short---- Radio Ethiopia is a pioneer in introducing the concepts of radio into Ethiopia, Africa, if you like, with nearly ninety years of service. Radio Ethiopia, now one of offshoots of EBC, kicked off service here in Addis Ababa on the second of Sept 1928 in a place, commonly known as today ‘Nifas Silk’-which was almost two months after it claimed a go by the then Imperial Majesty Haileselassie to launch service.

To your surprise, Radio Ethiopia pioneered radio stations of African, Asian and even westerners. It preceded DW of Germany 25 years, came seven years ahead of VOA, but 13 years later to the BBC, and of course got its birth seven years before KBC took hold the Kenyan airwaves.

Unlike its contemporaries, Radio Ethiopia was a self –initiated media house; no foreigners were behind the idea. As they did elsewhere, colonial masters had no substantial roles; they assisted the launch only technically. From then onwards, radio Ethiopia played irreplaceable roles in shaping and redefining Ethiopia, and Africa entirely. It promoted ideologies, infused cultural and political revolutions, mobilized and preached against colonialism.

Reported the establishment of Organization for African Union, spoke to African founding fathers, introduced communist ideologies to Ethiopia, challenged unfairness and injustice, echoed words of freedom by black elites like Nelson Mandela and Malcolm X, into African airwaves. In short, Ethiopia Radio inspired, entertained and enlightened successive generations, first alone the joined by Ethiopian Television 1948.

Years later they teamed up and made a merger --- giving birth to what’s today Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation (EBC). From then onwards, EBC has kept voicing both Ethiopia and Africa. It heralded both the old good and bad days, fought for the African cause, mobilized generations, echoed reports of African significance, and inspired black people to stand up for their rights.  

Summed up, EBC, as many say, has begun shaking off its old dust to the core. At least, the establishment is safe enough to be a means to the end. What remains now onwards is hunting for passionate journalists, teams of experts, book smarts and people who do wonder how twins are the mind and the media!

 EBC----The Voice of Pan-Africanism!

 


አስተያየትዎን እዚህ ያስፍሩ

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