Yabele Media, formerly known as Axumite Media Ltd., is an independent media organization with an online and a TV presence on Horn Broadcasting Services (HBS). Yabele was established in March 2021 by visionary journalists and media professionals who fled Ethiopia due to the ongoing genocidal war in the country, ethnic profiling, a total lack of media freedom, and a communication blackout in Tigray, one of the regional states in Ethiopia. Yabele through its online platforms such as Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Linkedin, reaches the digital community with content tailored to them. Its TV segment on the HBS satellite reaches all people who have TV sets in the war-torn Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia in multiple languages.
All of the journalists working at Yabele Media have horror personal stories and difficult times to remember; they escaped arrest and persecution, and most of them were working in media institutions in Addis Ababa and Tigray. Now, they work virtually as a team, some based in Kenya and others from Germany.
Yabele Media is producing content aiming at uncovering the atrocities, massacres, and the distraction happening because of the war in Ethiopia, with a particular focus on the people of Tigray. It independently produces content that advances the interests of the people of Tigray in Ethiopia and discusses issues related to the political future of these people and that of Ethiopia.
Yabele as Axumite Media had been providing content from March to October 2021 in the Tigrigna language for Radio Wegahta Tigray, a community radio registered in the USA which was reaching out to the rural people in Tigray. It covered the daily news of the station and provided other content targeting the most affected by the war. The radio was a light in the darkness considering the total blockade of information and absolute censorship in Tigray by the Federal government and its allies [Eritrean government and Amhara Regional Forces]. Later, Axumite media owned Axumite Radio, and it was broadcasting daily news and other programs at 15340 frequency, 19 meter-band, starting 8:30 pm evening time in Tigray, Ethiopia until February 2022.
Providing impartially verified information to the people affected by the war. There is high partisan framing of information and false propaganda, and Yabele, through its radio airtime and online platform, is trying to become a credible source of information that people could rely on to make informed decisions.
Uncovering the atrocities, massacres, rape, and human rights violations and reporting on the ramifications of the ongoing genocidal war taking place against the people of Tigray and beyond.
Setting agendas helpful to peace and negotiation, lasting political settlement, and deciding what is important for the future of the people of Tigray.
Preparing the mind of people for the post-war time of reconstruction and rehabilitation.
- News and Analysis (ዜና፣ ሓተታ) – are daily programs.
- Media Review- (ያበለ) –three times a week –reviews and discusses what is on the media regarding Tigray and Ethiopia.
- Reclaims (ንፅረት)- Twice a week and aims to alter wrong narratives, perceptions, misinformation, distortions, prejudice, stereotypes, hate, etc. by providing new information, introducing new meaning, and fresh perspective.
- Entertainment (ጠዓሞት)- It’s a weekly entertainment program aimed at breaking the depression, stress, pain and sorrow of the people in the war zone and beyond.
- Agenda (ፍኖት)- Twice a week and focuses on setting an agenda about the future of the people of Tigray, Ethiopia and the horn of Africa. It seeks to understand the real causes of the war and opens discussion aiming at bringing a lasting solution accordingly.
- Interviews (ሕሪያ)- Twice a week program where selected interviews on current issues are conducted.
- These programs are available on HBS TV and all Yabele media online platforms (YouTube, Website, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram, and Instagram).
Requests and demands
Grants and funds to run the media effectively: So far, individual contributors from the Tigray community worldwide have supported #YabeleMedia. However, it is becoming difficult by the day to raise enough resources to cover expenses for obvious reasons. For instance, Axumite Radio programs stopped broadcasting a while ago due to lacking resources to cover the 5333€ airwave rent.
We are now, struggling to have it back as Yabele Radio programs with the same airtime, a daily one-hour program. Therefore, it has become a necessity for us to look for programs’ content-based sponsorships (advertorials), grants, and funds from organizations that could support Yabele’s cause and see it grow as an independent alternative voice in Tigray and Ethiopia.
Relocation to third countries: Yabele’s team members would love to have an independent media institution in a world where freedom of expression is guaranteed, and journalists are protected. We believe that the post-genocidal-war people of Tigray deserve better institutionalized and independent media because post-war governments could potentially be very repressive, exploiting the securitization of politics. This requires moving to a country where the basic freedom of expression and media are respected. Most members of Yabele media team are in Nairobi and a few in Ethiopia, and we would like them to meet up in Europe, preferably Germany.
Protection and Safety: Team members don’t feel safe and can be abducted anytime by the Ethiopian security and intelligence forces operating in Nairobi. They request that protection be provided to them from the UN Humanitarian and Human Rights Agencies, the Kenyan Government, and other embassies.
Yebele Media Journalists Short Bio
Woldegiorgis Ghebrehiwot Teklay is the founder and the Managing Director of Yabele Media. He manages the media from Munich, Germany, where he is pursuing his PhD in Media Anthropology at the Ludwig Maximillian University of Munich (LMU).
Woldegiorgis has more than 13 years of experience in journalism practice, corporate communication management; media management; and journalism and communications education (lecturing and research). He has been practising journalism online, in print, and broadcast media outlets.
He practised and managed communication works in an academic and non-academic environment. Woldegiorgis taught courses such as journalism, public relations, advertising media planning, communications, media management, and media research methodology at a university.
Woldegiorgis has previously studied Journalism and Communication; Culture, Society & Media; Art and Politics; Human Security and Governance in Africa; and the Teaching Profession/Pedagogy, among others.
Andom is the Operational and Digital Media Manager of Yabele Media. As an operational manager, he virtually plans tasks and handles all the day-to-day editorial and administrative activities of the media from Uganda. As a digital media manager, he is responsible for curating and managing the media’s content on all digital platforms.
Andom is academically an electrical and electronics engineer. Professionally, he is an ICT expert, website and mobile app developer, photographer, graphic editor, author, freelance writer, and tourism expert. He has authored some books, published several tourism articles, written guides, produced tourist maps, and developed professional websites and mobile apps.
With more than 16 years of experience in teaching, electrical, information communication technology, tourism, and journalism Andom is a father of two.
2. Dawit Haileyesus Hailemariam
Dawit is a Production Manager at Yabele Media. He handles all kinds of graphic designing, audio-visual editing, directing, and recording from Nairobi. As a video journalist, Dawit had no chance of staying in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, due to the ongoing genocidal war targeting ethnic Tigreans.
He has over 10 years of experience in production management, directing, audio-video editing, and graphic designing. Dawit studied information technology (IT), 3D Max, camera operation, mass media & communication, and marketing management.
Tesfalem is a News Assignment Editor at Yabele Media. He manages the newsroom and decides on news content. He went to Nairobi by bus through Moyale crossing the border after travelling for two weeks for fear of political persecution and ethnic profiling problems. Tesfalem practised journalism for seven years at Dimtsi Weyane Radio & TV station in Tigray, Ethiopia. He has authored a book that narrates the history of modern education in Ethiopia. A graduate of Ethiopian Languages and Literature, Tesfalem is married and a father of one.
Teshager is a Programs Coordinator & Producer at Yabele Media. Teshager has four years of experience as a university lecturer, human rights activist, and defender. He taught constitutional law, human rights torts, property law, banking, and classes relating to civil rights. He is also an executive member and legal team coordinator of Seb Hidri Civil Society in Tigray on which he advocates human rights, justice, and the rule of law. Teshager graduated in law and was studying two postgraduate degrees in international human rights law and business law at Mekelle University before being forced to exile to Nairobi, Kenya.
5. Danial Zemchal Tesfahans
Danial is working as a correspondent for Yabele Media in Mekelle, Tigray. He sends news reports and produces programs regularly from the war-affected and conflict zone risking his life. He believes that it is through independent media that the public’s demand for informed decision-making can be achieved. That’s why he is striving to contribute to bridging the huge information gap amid the deadly blockage and genocidal war on Tigray.
Daniel has also worked as a Lecturer and Media Researcher at a public university in Tigray for seven years. He took part in various media reform research and implementation initiatives. Earlier, he worked as a Reporter at Dimtsi Weyane Tigray Radio. A postgraduate in journalism and communication (multimedia journalism), Danial is married and a father of one.
Volunteer journalists and current Affairs Analysts
1. Hagos Niguse
2. Solomon Shewabaw
Solomon has been a news analysis writer at Yabele Media since June 2022. He is a former lecturer of public relations and advertising at Mekelle University and practised journalism as an assistant reporter at 104.4 radio FM Mekelle in Tigray. Solomon holds BA in Public Relations and Advertising from Mekelle University and MA in Public Relations and Publicity from Selcuk University in Turkey.
3. Gebrehiwot Hadush
Gebrehiwot Hadush Abera is an academic staff and former dean of the College of Law and Governance at Mekelle University. Currently, he is a PhD researcher at KU Leuven, Faculty of Law, Belgium and volunteers as a current affairs analyst with Yabele Media.
4. Mulu Beyene
Mulu Beyene has been a member of the current affairs analysts team at Yabele Media since June 2022. Mulu taught law at Mekelle University. He is currently a PhD researcher at the University of Bergen, Norway, and regularly comments on matters about Tigray.
5. Bereket Redihun
Bereket Redihun has been a current affairs analyst of the weekly program, Adhibo-Yabele at Yabele Media since June 2022. He has practised law in Ethiopia, and he is a graduate of LLB, LLM and also currently studying International Law at London Southbank University in the UK.
6. Mikiy Raya
Mickey Raya was a liberation army member and security guard of the late prime minister Meles Zenawi. He is interested in commenting on the current political affairs of Tigray and beyond. He is now part of Yabele Media’s volunteer current affairs analysts as of June 2022.
Previously Worked at Yabele Media
Akberet Gebresilasie Gebertsadikan worked as a Producer & Host at Yabele Media (then Axumite) in Nairobi from March 2021 to February 2022. Before joining Axumite, Akberet worked for two years at the regional government’s Tigray Mass Media agency as a TV Reporter and live host on the Amharic service desk in Mekelle, Tigray, Ethiopia. Akberet is a graduate of Art Music with a BA degree.
Weyni was a Producer & Host at Yabele Media in Nairobi from March 2021 to February 2022. She is a gender equality activist and founder of Yikono, a movement that labours to stop violations against women and for gender equality in Tigray. Weyni wrote two books in the Tigrinya language; one is a collection of short stories, and the other is about the life story of a rape victim woman.
Yabele Media is available on HBS Satellite TV.
Yabele Radio will come back to air soon.
Short Wave Frequency: 15340, Meter-band 19, Daily on-air starting (2:30 local time/8:30 pm)
Mobile Application: https://play.google.com/store/apps/de…