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  • The five best restaurants in Addis Ababa - Lonely Planet

    One of the best things about Ethiopian food is that no other cuisine in the world is quite like it. Traditional cooking here blends unique combinations of spices to create distinct flavours: some hot, some savoury. Spices are the key ingredients for many types of Ethiopian wat (a dish somewhere between a stew and a curry) that are eaten with flat, spongy bread called injera.

    Ethiopian restaurants can be found the world over, but none compare with the food made in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s sprawling capital. Vegetables are locally sourced, and the meat typically comes from freshly killed animals. Nothing here is mass produced, and every dish is made fresh to order. Addis Ababa is the best place in the country to try Ethiopian food, and these are five of the top restaurants where you can dig into the local scene.

    Oda Cultural Restaurant and Cafe

    Inside the Oromo Cultural Center is the Oda Restaurant and Cafe, which you might recognise from Anthony Bourdain’s Ethiopia visit on No Reservations. The Oromo are one of the largest ethnic groups in eastern Africa, and the Center’s restaurant showcases the best of Oromo culture. The hall is furnished with pinewood-carved furniture and curtains made of traditional fabric. Injera made of tikur teff (a black grain about the size of a poppy seed considered to be more nutritious than the more refined white teff), spiced butter and beso (roasted and ground barley) are at the heart of Oromo cuisine. Chumbo is prepared with black teff baked thick and yoghurt, cheese, and spiced butter spilled on top so that it looks like cake. Buna qalaa (roasted coffee dipped in butter) is a cultural snack that gives coffee deeper flavours. The Oromo Cultural Center is near the National Stadium.

    Puagmea African Restaurant

    Addis Ababa is the diplomatic capital of the Africa, so every country on the landmass is represented here. To sample cuisine from all over the continent without travelling too far, head to Puagmea African Restaurant. Located near the Bole International Airport behind the DHGeda Tower, Puagmea is decked out with paintings, traditional chairs and the coffee ceremony décor typical to Ethiopia. Among the dishes on the menu are ugali (a staple of the Great Lakes region made of millet, corn or sorghum boiled into a sticky porridge) and nyama choma (a Kenyan dish of grilled bone-in lamb, chicken or Nile perch fish). Live music is also on the table with DJs on Thursday nights and jazz on Saturday evenings.

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  • Britain gives £5 million to the Ethiopian Spice Girls

    Britain gives £5 million to the Ethiopian Spice Girls for their new talk show... on top of the £4 million we've already handed them

    UK taxpayers have picked up a new £5.2million bill to fund a talk show for Ethiopia's own Spice Girls.

    Yegna, a five-strong pop group, has been awarded a contract to develop its 'branded media platform', which also includes a radio drama and music.

    The foreign aid cash - which will keep the band going until at least 2018 - comes despite officials warning it may be a waste of money.

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  • The Weeknd: "I Represent Ethiopia" - Rare Interview

    The 26-year-old better known as The Weeknd (Abel Tesfaye), who on this Sunday in November is ­preparing to release Starboy, the follow-up to his 2015 pop breakthrough Beauty Behind the Madness -- opens up In rare Interview with Billboard about paparazzi, overcoming stage fright and his roots.

    Excerpt from Abel Tesfaye's interview with Billboard

    You’re representing for different ­places — Toronto, Ethiopia. How do you approach that?
    I made it known that I’m Ethiopian. I put it in my music, and my style of singing is very Ethiopian-inspired. I’ve never even been there. I’d love to go home and see my roots.

    Where would you direct a Weeknd fan in terms of Ethiopian music?
    Aster Aweke, for sure. You can hear her voice at the end of “False Alarm” on the new album. Her voice is the greatest thing you’ll ever hear. There’s a great composer named Mulatu Astatke, he’s probably the most famous Ethiopian musician right now. Jim Jarmusch used his music. I’d love to meet him and work with him somehow. Mahmoud Ahmed is a great singer, and so is Tilahun Gessesse. Teddy Afro is more of a pop singer, great voice. This is what I grew up on. I’d wake up in the morning, and my mom would be listening to all this stuff while she was making coffee. I’m working on University of Toronto getting its own class [on Ethiopian language studies].

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  • Sami Dan And Zewd Band To Be On Sauti za Busara 2017

    Sami Dan And Zewd Band To Be On Sauti za Busara 2017, One Of The Largest Music Festivals In Africa. The festival is held every year in February in Zanzibar, Tanzania. It is centred in the Old Fort, with fringe events taking place concurrently around Stone Town – including a carnival street parade.

    The Festival hosts several hundreds of artists participating each year. It showcases a diverse and dynamic programme of exclusively African music, which is more like Selam Festival in Ethiopia. Flying the ‘Africa United’ flag, the next edition during 9 – 12 February 2017 in Stone Town, Zanzibar will feature the following artists live on three stages. 

    Sami Dan known for his different themes; love, unity, peace, humanity, spirituality and happiness. With his exceptional song writing skills, groovy melodies and authentic arrangements along with Zewd Band will be representing Ethiopia at the festival.

    Carnival Parade:
    A festival kick off with ‘Full Mzuka!’ across the city (Feb 9)
    Africa United: 
    400 artists perform live on three stages: Old Fort; Forodhani Gardens (Feb 9 – 12)
    Festival vibes continue at Zanzibar East Coast on Valentines Night; Coco Blue (Feb 14)
    Movers & Shakers:
    Local and visiting industry professionals meet, network and exchange (Feb 10 – 12)
    Digital Opportunities Workshop:
    For East African artists to increase their online presence (Feb 10)
    Censorship vs. Freedom of Expression Seminar:
    For invited musicians and arts professionals (Feb 11)
    Swahili Encounters:
    Local and visiting musicians meet, exchange and collaborate (Feb 6 – 11)
    Busara Xtra:
    Festival Fringe events across the island.


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  • 10 New Artists You Need to Know

    Sounds Like: Swag surfin' with a rap prodigy from the 'burbs

    For Fans of: Chance the Rapper circa Acid Rap, GoldLink, André 3000

    The Rollingstone staff talked to 10 of the hottest artists who are climbing the charts, breaking the Internet or just dominating their office stereos. This month: “Caroline” hitmaker Aminé, Chance-affiliated Chicago rapper Saba; Morricone-fueled cineastes Tredici Bacci, jam-band scientist Holly Bowling and more.

    Adam Aminé Daniel has scored an unlikely hit with the wavy love rap “Caroline” – currently at 34 million YouTube views and counting. The Ethiopian descendant, Portland rapper is inspired by Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak and Outkast’s The Love Below, and taught himself to make beats with YouTube tutorials. He also studied business, advertising, and marketing at Portland State University (he recently dropped out with 15 credits left towards his degree), and creates his own cover artwork.

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  • New App to revolutionize music industry

    A new application that facilities the purchase of music using mobile air is said to revolutionize the music industry in Ethiopia circumventing long contentious copy rights issues.

    The brand new marketing scheme, which is expected to commence after seven months, includes a mobile app, web application and USSD Medias. Using the app one can purchase a music album for 15 birr and a single for 4 birr and 50 cents.

    The app was officially launched by Awtar Multimedia Plc and Ethio Telecom on Tuesday at Sheraton Addis. Awtar Multimedia, led by musicians such us Elias Melka, Hailemichael Getnet a.k.a Haile Roots and Yohannes Bekele a.k.a Johnny Raga, proposed the idea to Ethio Telecom and formed the partnership with the telecom monopoly.

    According to Elias, the app will be a solution for several problems that are crippling the music industry. He noted that many musicians face daunting challenges due to widespread copyright infringement. “Even though the law protects musicians’ rights and they are granted with privileges such as enjoyment of their rights for life plus 50 year, we don’t see this law implemented on the ground. Many musicians are poor not because they don’t work enough but because their musical works are robbed in broad daylight,” Elias said.

    The new app that many musicians hope would change the industry is structured to divide profit among the singer, lyricist, music arranger, melodist and producer. Each party is granted a 20 percent share of the profit. Elias said the system gives effect to the provision of the copyright law which stipulates that a music producer is entitled to five years of economic right after an album is released. After five years the right will be exercised by the singer and the rest of the musicians who participated in the making of the album.

    He also elaborated that the app includes music produced from 1950 until now. The app provides music under the categories of singer, producer, name of the album, year of release, lyricist and melodist or music arranger so that everyone involved in an albums is credited.

    Haile Roots, on his part, pointed out that the escalating illegal purchase of music these days using flash disks and memory cards is distressing musicians. “Musicians are doomed to live in poverty due to illegal music purchasing.”

    According to Johnny Raga, the app assists musicians to release albums within a short period of time and for a lesser price. He noted that from compact cassette to compact disc, every format is aging out and that a new system must be applied. Similar apps known to protect musicians’ copyright has been applied all over the world.

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