Over the last few months, more than 1500 young people across the country auditioned and today the new cast of Yegna – one of Ethiopia’s largest youth brands – is being introduced. The new cast – a new group of five girls and two boys – successfully made it through a rigorous selection process based on talent, dedication and their ability to represent the Yegna values. Today the new Yegna cast is being announced, coming from a range of diverse backgrounds but united in their excitement and ambitions to become ambassadors for Yegna.

 

The new cast will star in a brand-new TV drama. Set to air in March 2019, the Yegna TV drama will follow seven young Ethiopians as they become friends and reprise the Yegna band. The seven new characters will represent the lives of millions of Ethiopian teens, as they strive to find their voice and follow their dreams. There’s Tsega [the brave country mouse] played by Tsedenya Lemma, Lomi [the thoughtful one] played by Blen Alem , Alem [the tormented princess] played by Tsinat Terefe , Fikir [the rebel] played by Tirhas Gebru , Hana [the wise] played by Bethlehem Shefredin, Dawit [the charming bully] played by Abenezer Tesfaye  and Haile [the boy next door] played by Yared Alemayehu.

 

The stories in the drama have been created to reflect the complex lives of teenagers across the country, and the characters serve as role models for audiences, demonstrating how to creatively overcome the challenges girls currently face in Ethiopia. Yegna TV Drama will be the first of its kind in the Ethiopian media space where there is no content specifically targeted at adolescent youth.  Yegna uses drama and music to champion the potential of Ethiopian girls and tackle the challenges they might face. Yegna has reached nine million people in Addis Ababa and Amhara and has been successful in provoking positive conversations through mass media about the role of girls in Ethiopian society. After nine seasons of radio drama and eleven seasons of radio talk-show, an accompanying TV drama will allow Yegna to make an even bigger impact on girls’ lives across Ethiopia.

 

Gayathri Butler, Country Director of Girl Effect, said: “This is an incredibly exciting next chapter for Yegna. By launching on TV and with a new set of characters and storylines, we have the potential to reach even more people and have even greater impact, building on our past successes through radio and music. We’re incredibly proud of what Yegna has achieved to date, and all the people who have helped to get it there.”

 

The choice to add TV to the Yegna product mix was informed by the success of a one-off Yegna TV special – watched by 2.2 million people – coupled with audience demand for a TV product, as well as the impressive potential reach of a TV show in the current Ethiopian market.

 

About Yegna

•          Yegna, Girl Effect’s youth brand in Ethiopia, tackles complex issues facing girls through its radio drama and talk show, TV special, digital channels, music, and school programmes. All of our products are designed by Ethiopians for an Ethiopian audience. Through compelling storytelling and role-modeling, Yegna addresses real-life issues relevant to girls – such as