Three Ethiopian journalists run a weekly internet radio station to inform and entertain the Ethiopian community of Toronto and beyond. Megenagna broadcasts in Amharic from a studio in Toronto, every Saturday from 3-6 PM. The radio is established with the partnership of Radio Regent which is the subsidiary of Regent Park Focus and is hosted by journalists Elias Awoke, Eshete Mesganaw and Nebiyu Amdeselassie.
The station aims predominantly at the estimated 80,000 Ethiopian people living in Toronto and those scattered in North America. It offers commentaries on happenings in Ethiopia, news from Addis Ababa, and a dose of nostalgic music to give listeners a sense of being home. There’s a theme to each episode of Megenagna, and a variety of stories on that theme.
The producer, Elias Aweke, outlines the aim of Megenagna Radio: “Among other things, the radio actively seeks to bridge the information gap among the society. Its programs are uniquely designed in such a way that they ultimately bring to the society a semblance of unity.”
While the radio station is in its infancy, it’s broadcasting music and other news programs, storytelling and book review for three hours, which Elias says makes it unique “among the diaspora radio programs.” Since the maiden program launched in April 2017, the number of listeners have shown increase and the participants’ also become diversified. it is transmitted in around 143 countries.
Elias Aweke is an experienced journalist. He used to run a private weekly English newspaper, called The Sun in the 90’s which had a circulation between 3,500 and 5,000. The paper owed the success largely to the owners’ communication skills, in bringing renowned writers such as Sebhat Gebreegzaibher, Mulugeta Gudeta, Fitsum Getachew and many other emerging writers who launched their writing career there. After the Sun, Elias started a magazine called Focus, which was was trilingual (English, French and Amharic) magazine. Focus especially catered for the diplomatic community and many of the ambassadors in town were interviewed in the magazine. Last year, Elias came to Canada to visit his daughter and he prolonged his stay because of uncertainty and unrest at home. He paired with like-minded Ethiopians to launch the radio station.
Eshete Mesganaw, who moved to Toronto two years ago has more than a decade of experience in diplomacy and international relation, and his last official post was Deputy Head of mission in Ethiopian Embassy in Ghana. The promising diplomat and political analyst brings those experiences to add elements to the topics discussed on the program.
Nebiyu Amdeselassie is also an experienced journalist. When he lived in Ethiopia, he worked as presenter of the award-wining Pro Pride’s popular radio programme, Yibekal that addressed HIV/AIDS issues from 2002 to 2004. He also wrote and directed plays. He moved to Canada six years ago. Nebiyu is the voice narrator for most of the essays and books selected for the program.
Since few days ago, Megenagna is linked in the website Abbay Media, considered as the largest and the first Ethiopian media consortium, which has more than half million subscribers